Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Harry Potter's "The Burrow" Gingerbread House


I couldn't resist creating another Harry Potter Gingerbread House.  I thought it would be fun to try a topsy turvy feel.  I tried to make as many textures as I could.  I created it in October as a Halloween Gingerbread house then converted it into a Christmas gingerbread house.  I donated "The Burrow" Gingerbread House to the the Festival of Trees at the beginning of December.

I started with a fun Pinterest image.


A helpful toddler asking every 5 minutes if it's try yet.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Branch & Main Farmhouse Tables and Benches

My sisters-in-law and I have been having a lot of fun this year making farmhouse tables in Utah Valley.   It started when we wanted farmhouse tables of our own but were too cheap to buy a $1200 + table.  My dad suggested we build our own plus one extra to pay for the supplies.  That is exactly what we did.  We had some saws and drills.  We borrowed tools that we didn't have from my dad (the ultimate do-it-yourself guy)

It was harder and took longer than we expected but we really enjoyed it.  I usually get pretty depressed during the winter.  These tables gave me something to look forward too.   We decided to build a few more and see what happened.  Eventually Branch & Main was born!

We build custom farmhouse tables, benches, consoles, coffee tables.  It's a lot of hard work but we really enjoy it.  Here are some pics of what we've done:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Office Pets

I know, I know, nobody panic that I'm writing a blog post.  Its been too long, I know.  I'm about to make up for it with the longest post I've ever written.

I work at an internet marketing company.  To spice things up around the office we have pets.  Now this started long before I got here.  I would like to blame Paul.  He would keep (in a Costco pretzel container) an assortment of spiders and other creepy crawly things that people would catch around the office.

When I came to work here he had Gandhi the praying mantis.  Gandhi stayed alive for quite some time.  We would feed it crickets from the local pet store.  We'd throw the crickets in and Gandhi would go into this trance death sway and nab the crickets.  It was a hit around the office.

One day I was taking a nice Sunday walk around my neighborhood in Provo when I saw a big ol' hairy tarantula!  I, of course did some appropriate girl freaking out, then promptly caught it to take to work.  That same Sunday my roommate saw another tarantula.  We caught that one as well. Naturally.

I took them to work and we decided to have an ultimate cage match.  Luckily, another coworker had caught a black widow, so that took it to the next level.  Just for effect we bought a bunch of crickets at the pet store.  We had 1 praying mantis, 2 tarantulas, 1 black widow, and 6 crickets.  We dumped them all into the Costco pretzel container.  I have never been more disappointed in my life.  Gandhi scurried up a stick out of danger.  The black widow webbed a perch on the wall.  One tarantula, out of over stimulation, dropped dead and the other tarantula hid under a leaf.  The crickets just hopped around completely unaware of anything.  Total bust.  In the end, all the the crickets got eaten.  Gandhi ate the black widow and died.  The remaining tarantula won by default.

Side note.  We put the body of the dead tarantula on the stairwell down the side of our office and really gave the lawn care people a fright. Ha

After a few months the other tarantula died.  About that same time was Paul's birthday.  He being the ringleader of the pets-at-the-office brigade, we decided to get him something special.  We stewed and stewed about it and finally decided on an Emperor Scorpion.  Beautiful.  Off I went to the pet store.

We named it Jezebel.  Jez for short.  She lasted 9 months.  She feasted on crickets and occasionally cockroaches.  Once while I was gone they fed her a baby mouse.  I think that scarred everyone and they never did that again.  One day she died.  We placed her on the outside window ledge so she could stay in our minds and hearts.  She is still there.

While all that was going on we got some fish tanks.  Fish are pretty boring though.  All you need to know is that we also placed the dead ones out by Jez.  We still have a bunch of fish: 2 angels, a dragon fish, 2 plecostomus (one white, one brown), 1 shark something something, 1 neon tetra, 1 invisible fish, 1 gold fish, and 1 other gold sucker fish.

After Jez died Paul decided he wanted something a little more friendly and furry.  The hunt on KSL began.  We decided on a pair of gerbils.  One black and one white.  We named them Smeagol and Gollum.  Side note: we had a Frodo action figure that we put in the cage. They bit off the hand first.  No joke.

Last week I felt something on my foot.  I was right in the middle of a project so I didn't pay much attention to it.  After it moved for a 2nd time I looked down and saw one of the gerbils on my foot.  I freaked out!  I do NOT do mousy type animals.  See previous post.  I scream bloody murder and the office came to my rescue.  Smeagol was safely returned to his cage.

This morning I come into work and am immediately greeted by my coworker who says, "Don't you think it smells funny in here?"  Bad sign.  Come to find out Gullum had passed in the night.  There was NO way I was about to touch a live gerbil, let alone a dead one.  I coerced another coworker to take him out to the dumpster (he definitely was not going to end up on the windowsill with Jez).  Now my office smells like dead gerbil. Gross.

Now for my pet: Lil' Brother.  I got her as a baby on Cinco de Marcho.  She has grown so big over the summer.  Sniff sniff.  They just grow up so fast.  Lately she has been into digging.

 My boss just got a puppy for his boys and occasionally brings it to the office.  She is the cutest thing!!!

I also caught a black widow under my desk a few weeks ago.  My coworker is taking good care of her.  Her name is Carl.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Death by Insurance

I just need to vent for a minute. Insurance. I. hate. you. If having diseases doesn't kill me, insurance will.  Why must insurance be such a pain?  If it wasn't absolutely necessary I would bag it and take my chances.

If having MS and RA wasn't bad enough it is compounded a thousand times by insurance.  There is one insurance company in the state of Utah that will accept me.  They have to accept me but that doesn't mean that they have to make it easy.  I applied 6 times. Count them, 6.  I am finally accepted.  Its a Christmas miracle.  But of course they don't any pre-existing conditions for the first 6 months. Of course.  Why the heck else would I be getting insurance??

I spend more time thinking about insurance than anything else in my life.  I could start my own insurance agency now.

I feel so much better now.

On a more positive note both of my doctors cleared me to run a half marathon this summer.  Take that.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I have a confession.  I love music. L-O-V-E.  I think about music all the time.  I am constantly looking for new bands.  Spotify has really taken my music listening to a whole nother level.  If you have some spare time search "Hipster Heaven" and enjoy my favorite playlist.

I'm definitely not one of those people who loves all types of music.  I really dislike several kinds of music.  Anything with loud drums and electric guitars... no thanks.  Anything where they sing about trucks, guns, beer, and sitting on the porch in a wife-beater... no thanks.  Anything that is remotely connected to EFY... No Thanks!

I am about to give you a smattering of music that fills my life with great joy:

I want to be her.  nuff said.

If there is anything better than a hipster band its a hipster band doing a cover of another hipster band.

I also want to be her.

I just want to say that I liked this song before it was popular.

I just like this one.

I... I... no words...

This song has been a favorite for years.  I cant help but smile when I hear it.

My phone ringtone.

This one is for sure the weirdest.  He is so fascinating. I think this is termed "Agressive Musical Poetry"

I really learned the dance. It comes in really handy.

Music just makes me so happy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Funny Things

Sometimes funny things happen to me.

Once I was driving down the road with the windows down, probably singing really loud to the radio, when a bee flies in through my window...and right down my shirt.  I freak out.  I pull the car onto the shoulder, which is really small.  So I'm half in the road half in this bike lane, I jump out of the car and start flipping my shirt trying to get the bee out.  Understandably.

That would all be fine BUT in my panic to get the bee out of my shirt I forgot to put the car into park.  So here I am trying to get this bee out of my shirt while my car is driving away from me.  In the end I ran and jumped in my car with a bee free shirt.

Another time my car was so dirty that the car wash could not be avoided.  I was a hazard on the road. I really hate the do-it-yourself car washes so I always go through the ones that are automated.  I pay my $5 and drive in.

I'm listening to my podcast and playing a little spider solitaire.  My podcast finishes and I realize I've been in here a while.  I notice that the jets are just spraying in the same spot.  Its one of those cage sprayers so it not like I can just drive out.

I start looking around for ways out.  What is the next step...call 911, call my brother, call my roommate, call ???  Then I notice a sign on the wall with a big red button, "Push for Emergencies".  That would be a great idea if the jets weren't spraying full blast right at me!!  I would have to get out of my car getting myself and the inside of my car soaked.  No thanks. 

I sat there for another few minutes trying to decide what to do.  I decide to just rattle the machine a little... so I start driving forward a few feet then back a few feet.  Finally that jars the machine enough to finish the cycle and let me out.  Car Wash you are dead to me.

This story isn't really a funny story, its more of an "are you serious" story.  I was out jogging by my house.  I'm on a downhill stretch so I'm going fast.  Across the street this guy is playing in the field with his 2 dogs.  His little yappy wiener dog spots me and takes off after me.  I start running faster but its still coming at me. It only had to cross the street before my ankles were going to be dog food. I look ahead and see 2 cars coming...

I can tell by their trajectories that this is not going to be good.  What could I do?  Nothing.  So I just cover my eyes.  Poor little dog didn't make it.  The owner ran over.  I felt awkward.  I wanted to go over and comfort him but I also didn't want to see a squished dog.  After a minute I edged out and ran home.  I felt bad but it was either me or him...and I'm glad it wasn't me.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Oh they say when you marry in June...

Apparently June is the month to get married.  I did flowers for 5 weddings in the last month not to mention a billion other things.  June, I'm glad you are over.

June 9th - First 10k and Wedding Flowers

 I have to say I am really proud of myself for running in the Utah Valley 10k.  I'm not athletic by any stretch of the imagination.  I got talked into running in this race.  I'm so glad I did.  I wasn't running to break any records but I ran the whole time and didn't drop dead at the end.  Success.
In this wedding I used lavender roses, lavender football mums, and spray painted daisy mums. Floral spray paint is the best thing ever invented. 

June 16th - 2 Weddings.  Never doing that again.

There were so many flowers in my apartment that night.  I lined all the arrangements up on the railing to be out of the way.  The arrangements on the left are garden roses and they smelled heavenly.  I loved this wedding.
Her bouquet was tulips, daisy mums, stock, football mums, roses, and anemones.  I'm so glad she picked anemones.  They are so beautiful.
 We just did simple baby's breath arrangements.
I was an honored guest at this Engagement Party. Angela got us ao dias from Vietnam.  It was a beautiful and delicious celebration.

June 17th - Flew to Texas to visit Natalie 

(aka Mavis, aka Best Sister Ever)
 At the Dallas Zoo (everyone is thrilled to be there)
 The cutest fattest baby on earth
 Insert your own caption
 Ollie eating sand/Natalie eating sand (like mother like son)
 Ethan's awesome bird costume from Science School
 Lego airport
 On the plane to Grandma Utah's house!

June 28th - Family at the Temple

Bryant went through the temple for the first time in preparation for his mission to Nicaragua.  It was really great to be in the temple with all of my family (except Jay who is 10).  I love this family. 

June 30th - Wedding Flowers

Natalie's sister-in-law and a good friend's wedding.  My favorite arrangements I've done so far.

July 5th - More Flowers

One of my friends and old roommates got married.  I did her flowers and was a bridesmaid. (1 of 14 bridesmaids).  I failed at taking pictures of flowers at this wedding.
(Picture from Kate Osborne Photography)

Sorry about this being the never ending post but June needed to be documented.