Friday, January 24, 2014

Around Here

Around here, we {mostly Travus} have been busy working in our basement.P1200326P1200332P1200343P1200478It was partially finished when we moved in, but there is still a lot to do.  We decided to sacrifice a bedroom to enlarge the downstairs family room.  It’s coming along nicely and will some day be awesome!

Around here, We {mostly me} have been recognizing our hoarder messy tendencies, and have resolved to be better and more orderly.

P1200474Looks like an office overhaul is in my near future.

I’m hoping to use these thrifty finds to make my office fabulous!cabinets And speaking of thrifty finds, how cute is this brass roadrunner?!  He makes me smile.

RoadrunnerAround here, we’ve been looking for ways to eat a little healthier.  I found this recipe in a magazine at the gym and am excited to try it.  I’ve never had brussels sprouts before, but hey, if they are good enough for Beyonce and Jay Z, they are good enough for me.

beyonceSpeaking of food, I also cannot wait to use my new hot sauce from Puerto Rico!  Anyone have any good recipes that this would work in?sauce Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Never Too Late {or too early!} For a Good Christmas Project

If any of you follow me on Pinterest, you already know that I love a good wreath.  One that I especially love is an ornament wreath at Christmas time.  In fall of 2012, I decided that I would start collecting glass ornaments to make my own ornament wreath.  I collected all through 2013, and by November, had enough ornaments to make my wreath.


You all know how the Thanksgiving\Christmas Season is a little nuts schedule-wise, and my wreath did not get made.

So I am making it now, and when Christmas 2014 rolls around, I will be ready!P1200406To start, I chose a large wreath form and wrapped it with some vintage tinsel I found at the thrift store. 

P1200407 P1200411I gathered my glass ornaments and started gluing.

P1200417 P1200423 I figured that I would start with the metallics and add colors as I went, but the more gold and silver I added, the more I decided that I really love it with just the gold and silver.

P1200429P1200430 P1200433 Which means I will have to collect a few more bulbs to finish the wreath. 


It was super easy to make, and kind of fun.  I’m not sure why I put it off for so long.

The hard part now?  Waiting a whole year to use it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One Day {in San Juan}

Many of you know that I love to travel, but because of well, general life obligations, I rarely take long trips.  Such was the case this last weekend, when winter got the best of me and I had to leave town.  I needed to go somewhere warm.  Anywhere warm.  So I talked the hubs into taking a quick trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Warm temps, warm water,  perfect.

1787 It took some doing to convince him, as it is an 8-10 hour flight and we would only be in San Juan for 24 hours, but my whining won out in the end.  We made arrangements for the kids and took a red-eye to New York and then connected to San Juan early the next morning arriving right around noon. 

2059 As soon as we landed, we found a hotel.  We ended up at the San Juan Plaza Hotel.  It was listed on the Hotel Tonight app, and looked pretty good, so we went there.  When we got there, we actually secured a lower rate right at the check-in counter, so note-to-self, don’t just blindly book a room on the app.  Go there and actually see what they can do for you.  If they can’t do better than the app, then just book it through the app on site.  The hotel was undergoing some remodeling, so it was a little rough, but our room was clean, updated and comfortable and usually includes pool, exercise room and on-site breakfast.  Since they were under construction, our breakfast was next door at a different hotel, but still included. 

17862034After settling in, we hit the beach.  It was a little crowded, but there was still a ton of room to throw down our towels.  The sand was nice, the water was perfect.  Just what this Utah girl needed to thaw out.  We stayed at the beach a few hours and then went to find a late lunch.

1779We ended up at Orozcos.  It was rated well by Trip Advisor and did not disappoint.  We started with some virgin pina coladas.  In my opinion, one of the greatest joys in this world is a virgin pina colada.  I could drink them all day.  For lunch, I ordered a Puerto Rican platter that included roast pork, beans and rice, plantains, and something orange and sticky/mushy that I can’t remember the name of.  At first, it was a little bland, but I decided that I would try some of the house hot sauce that was on the table.  Let me tell you.  It.  was.  amazing!  So amazing.  Hours later, I was still recalling how amazing it was.  My husband got sick of me telling him how amazing it was.  I wanted to go back for dinner, that’s how amazing it was.  Travus ordered some equally amazing Puerto Rican food at Orozcos.  He had the Chicken Parmesan, which was delicious even without the hot sauce.  He opted for the crunchy plantains, though, which were certainly crunchy, and tasted a little like hard potatoes and bananas mixed with glue.  They were served with fry sauce, which to anyone outside of Utah, including our waiter, is ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together.  The fry sauce helped, but not much.  I guess crunchy plantains are an acquired taste.

P1200384 After lunch, we decided that we wanted to visit Old San Juan, which is an area that houses many government buildings, and some old forts that were built by the Spanish about 300 years ago. 

P1200385P1200388P1200391When we planned our trip, we didn’t know that we would be visiting during the Saint San Sebastian celebration, which was pretty much a colossal party that lasted 4 days.  We happened to arrive on the final day.  I have to tell you, it was nuts.  There were tons of people, all with some kind of noise-making device like drums or whistles or air horns, all trying to out-do the person next to them.  Every now and then the police would come through with their sirens on extra loud.  Imagine 4th of July parades combined with New Years and multiply by 20.  There were also several bands, tons of music, arts and crafts and lots to eat and drink.  It was a little late in the day, so by the time we got to the forts, they were just about closed, so we didn’t get to look around as much as I would have liked, but will have to do that next time.  When we were done, we headed down the hill to try to find a taxi, which apparently, 8000 other people were also doing at the very same moment.  We waited for 30-50 minutes in the taxi line, and when we finally got to the front, we were herded {by the taxi service under the supervision of local law enforcement} into a 10 passenger taxi van that was already holding 16+ people.  Travus and I ended up sharing the front bucket seat, while 2 drivers shared the drivers seat.  When we were not stuck in traffic, we raced around the city at break-neck speeds, narrowly missing parked cars and oncoming vehicles.  As we dropped more and more people off and were making our way to our hotel, the driver and some of the remaining passengers got into a disagreement about where he would drop them off.  Now, I don’t speak Spanish, but the gist of it was:

Other Passenger:  We need to go _____.

Driver:  But you said Condado, this taxi goes to Condado.

OP: You will drop us off ____!  We will not pay you if you do not drop us off ____!

Driver: {Angry Spanish yelling, Condado! Condado!}

OP:  We will pay you more money if you drop us off _____!

Driver:  I am going to Condado!

OP:  Let us off here!

Driver pulls over, other passengers start to leave.

OP: {sweetly, to me} Buenos Noches!

Driver gets out of the car with angry passengers and all proceed to yell at each other in the street until police come.  All I can see at this point is arms making angry gestures.  After a good 20 minutes, the driver gets back in, and takes us to the hotel that he thought we were staying at.  We weren’t, but at this point did not care.  We got out and paid the man and then found our own way back to our hotel on foot, which was 1-2 miles away.

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped for dinner at Crepe Maker.  The food was good and the service was great. 


The next morning we had a few hours before having to be at the airport, so we spent some time swimming in the ocean, and lying on the beach.  We also did a little bit of shopping for souvenirs, and got one last virgin pina colada at Orozcos on the way back to the hotel before checking out.

Overall, it was a great trip.  Great food, great people, great beaches, great weather.

Can’t wait to go back!

Monday, January 6, 2014

January Visiting Teaching Message {The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Exemplar}

This month for Visiting Teaching, we are focusing on how Christ was the ultimate example.  When we draw near to Christ and follow His example of love and service, we become more like Him. 

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said “You wonderful sisters render compassionate service to others for reasons that supersede desires for personal benefits.  In this you emulate the Savior.  His thoughts were always tuned to help others.”

P1200380 There are so many ways we can look outside of ourselves and help others each day.  I’m a list maker.  If it doesn’t go on my list—it doesn’t get done.  So for the handout this month, I grabbed a few calendars from the dollar store for 2014.  P1200354I took the plastic cover off, and underneath was a cardboard cover.P1200356P1200357P1200360P1200379 Inside, I have the message, a place to write the contact info for each of my sisters, and a place to jot down a few service goals {for example: doing an act of service each day, visiting with my sisters before the 15th of the month, being more aware of the ways that I can serve my family and neighbors, etc.} Not only will I be giving these to the sisters I visit this month, but I made one for myself as well, because I need it.

P1200361P1200359 If you would like to make this for your sisters, you will need a sheet of cute paper for the message.  Print the message part on the white side, or least printy side. {I cut down a sheet of 12x12 to print on, and then used the scraps to back the white sheets}, and just regular white printer paper for the cover, contact info sheet and service goal sheet.  You can also add a pen, a binder clip and washi tape if you would like.

P1200381Happy Visiting Teaching!

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