Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas post on it's way

Ok guys I know I am a terrible blogger for not having my Christmas special up yet but trust me when I say that my Christmas was fantastic and worthy of a magnificent post! I will cover everything from our sweet  little tree and paper fireplace, to our christmas party details, to the late night Christmas snuggles! I even borrowed an awesome camera to capture it all! In fact, I will be using said camera to capture New Years as well. So after the fireworks and resolutions have settled expect a brilliantly wonderful post from yours truly!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Catastrophic Events of the Week : How NOT to Make Coconut Brittle

My entire body ached even though I haven't exercised in the last two weeks--welll besides all the walking back and forth between classes and the grocery store and whatnot ,thanks again bikethief-!-I seriously feel like I just went nine rounds of girl-boxing. Of course this is nothing more than I expected, just doing the rounds right? Oh Finals why must you make me so sick to my stomach?See the thing is that this semester I took serveral of my upper level communications classes and, while I loved every minute of them that meant turning in 8 page papers instead of taking an exam. I love writing don't get me wrong, but keep in mind here that I also write for the newspaper and that the professor I have for two classes happens to be a pretty strict grader. AKA I was up all night for much of this week trying to hit deadlines, and it doesn't help that I am a bit of a perfectionist about written assignments. Anyway Wedneday night I finished with one of the essays and my dear friend Michelle came over to borrow a Christmas card ( oh crap I still haven't sent those out) and found me proudly patting the top of the microwave. "What are you doing?" "MAKING COCONUT BRITTLE IN THE MICROWAVE!" I shouted excitedly. She looked over my shoulder and raised her eyebrows appraisingly , my smile faltered , that her communication was wordless did not diminish its effect. A few minutes later I opened the door cautiously ...something smelled funny. See below for what I saw. I figured, well if at first you don't suceed try try again right? Haha FAIL. We worked together this time, bending over the stove and trying to figure out if the syrup had turned gold enough. Yeah it was gold enough ...immediately it started to go brown so we tried pouring in the baking soda as quick as we could and it puffed way way up! We were yelling and running around trying to pour it into the pan when it happened...I BURNED MICHELLE!!! I was trying to frantically scoop the puffyness out of the pan and some flicked right onto her finger. She looked at me with this sad desperate look and said in her Meeshy way of saying things "um...ow" and then "um ow ow ow ow ow" with this look in her eye that said "What do I do what do I do What do I do?" and I reacted on gut instinct. It was go-time. I grabbed her hand and ripped that sticky burning ooze right off. I turned the water on cool (not cold, because that would be too harsh of a temperature change) and ran her hand under it. It seemed like I had four arms flailing around because somehow I managed to turn the sink on and pull a bag of peas out of the freezer simultaneously. Long story short my fast reaction didn't seem to do much good, she ended up with a huge blister. She forgave me though...I think.
After that I gave on up brittle, and moved on to bigger and better things like writing essays and studying for exams. 12 noon on Friday finally rolled around and I was finished. I sat there for a good hour, numb, like I said finals are exhausting for no apparent reason. Now that it was all over I needed a good night's sleep, but alas fate decided against it. Justin didn't finish his last final until around 7:30 p.m. and it was torture waiting to find out how he did...things didn't go well. His professor hadn't told them about the two-hour time limit and , welll, Justin likes to take things slow when it comes to taking a test or picking out a can of refried beans. He didn't even make it to the last page. Needless to say he was pretty forlorn by the time he made it back to me and that was NOT a good thing. See at this point neither of us had gotten proper sleep in a while and to top it off , we were finally able to bring our borrowed Christmas tree home. I had been running around all day on half -empty and the thought of decorating that tree was the only thing that got me through it., my Christmas spirit was (IS!) in a state of fragility, I keep getting so nervous that Christmas can't exist without my family ...all of this to say that Justin coming home and effectively fire-hosing my teetering happiness was just about the last straw. Poor guy. I had tried cheering him up by smiling, telling him forget about grades it's Christmas, tickling him, and holding him close but he couldn't pull himself out of that dark cloud. I got really quiet, and, well, alright fine I was sulky. He took a walk and when he came back he gave me a hug and said sorry. I don't know if he was ready for what happened next -- I broke down crying in his arms, I can't quite explain what I was feeling except for that I wanted to have Christmas really mean something for us this year, I wanted to be a full functioning adult and throw a party and beautifully decorate a tree. I wanted to show people, especially Justin, that I was all grown up and creative and whatever else your supposed to be in this world. As I rested my cheek against his shoulder, however,  fighting down the sobs that kept rising higher and higher in my chest, I couldn't help but think I am just too little for this, too young , I just need someone else to do it all. I hated that I thought it, hated that all those judgemental people who tried to shove their opinions in my face might have been right, but there you  have it, the life of a young wife.

After I had had a good cry I told Justin to put his party clothes on, we both needed to forget ourselves and just have fun. We headed to Foodland, as we opened the door to Angel's shave ice I realized I had dropped my wallet. "Could things get any worse? " I thought. Laie isn't the best place to drop a wallet, though it's just a small town theivery seems to be pretty, my friend Lacee's bike was stolen earlier that same day. In any case Justin and I figured we'd better turn around and retrace our tracks ( we were riding on his bike). Just as we were leaving the Foofland parking lot I saw a familiar looking, blue bit of duct tape. "Wait" my brain told me, the guy who had been walking just ahead grabbed a bike from behind a half wall and yes it was LACEE'S BIKE!!! I spoke unhesitatingly "DUDE, That's my friends BIKE!", my hand shot to my mouth in disbelief , I had said it so aggresively. The guy looked at me fearfully, "Oh really, I --uh---found it on the side of the you like...want it?" "Um...Yeaaah." I said grabbing the handlebars. MENTAL FISTPUMP !! I was so excited to surprise her with the recovered bike. We had to ride past the suspected thief again and he shouted at us angrily, but I barely heard him as I wooshed by. It felt like the wind was echoing my jubilation. We even found my wallet on the way back. What a week!!!! Now I am off to write two article that may or may not be appearing in the LDS Church News-- JAZZED!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Invites/Cards: I am so excited!

Just watched the Men's basketball team and experienced a rush of adrenaline when we got back to the apartment. Twiddled my thumbs on pinterest for a while until I came across this, which led me to the realization that the "brown package" paper I was looking for was sitting there waiting for me in my teeny tiny bathroom. I couldn't resist putting together a prototype for our Christmas Eve party, and have now decided to make the necessary modifications to turn this baby into the cutest/cheapest Christmas card ever! I downloaded and printed the " North Pole Tracking and Delivery" tag from here :
and came up with the poem myself :) In full it reads:
                                  "With Christmas near the list is here and after checking twice
                                   The Royer's have decided that they think you're rather nice
                                   So come on over Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. and then,
                          We all can welcome Santa Clause and the Babe from Bethlehem"
I'll post the final versions when I get them finished but I couldn't help giving you a sneak peek. I am planning on tweaking the poem to fit as our family Christmas card. As pictured I attached tags to the bow which ask the party-comers to bring a scripture or memory to share and cookies for Santa. Is it too presumptuous for the hostess to ask for that much personal investment? Let me know what you think in your comments.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How To: Bridal Shower Invites and Decorations

Some of the stuff I came up with for Katie's shower:


          Since I didn't have a lot of time or money, I decided to put my wrapping paper scraps to use. I simply cut invite-sized rectangles out of wrapping paper, cut snowflake-esque designs from white printer paper( I left straight edges in some places so it would look more invitation-y), pasted them on and hand-wrote the information in black ink.


       Lacee was able to score some colored paper from the Education Department, so we put it to good use. The banner is pretty self explanatory. To make the white snowflakes we folded the paper in fourths, pinched the folded corner ( bottom left), rounded ( see picture below) it , then made random two-cut shapes along the edges. Lacee learned to make the purple one on YouTube. Our martinelli bottles from Thanksgiving have become stand-bys for all my decorating needs, and I brought them to Katie's to use as centerpieces. Pictures of all these decorations in action to come.

We hung the snowflakes up with tape and dental floss...desperate times desperate measures.

Glued on either end and wrapped around the bottle to cover the "Martinelli's" sticker

I embellished my homemade bottle cover with little mini snowflakes. This is what I meant by "rounded".In this picture the folded corner is at the top.

   I know they are simplistic but they looked super cute when we were all done decorating. Like I said stay posted for the action shots!

Happy Holidays

Amidst the terrors of upcoming finals it seems I have been neglecting my blogging duties, Thanksgiving's already two weeks old and Christmas is right around the corner.Though I am , admittedly, in the throes of school-overload, I want you to know that it has absolutely NOT put a damper on my holiday mood. Which the new married me is discovering means being terribly CRAFTY!!!

Back in the day when I was not married ie; 7 months ago, my Mom was quite the party animal. Whether it was a birthday, Christmas, Valentine's, End-of-School, Make-Over, or Just-Because-We-Felt-Like-It party my Mom always threw an excellent one. I used to chalk it up to our awesome house and video games, but I have realized that this party thing-- it's a real talent, a knack if you will, which requires real dedication...I'm talking bordering on obsessive. I always used to chuckle when my Mom was up late the night before a party, carefully setting out the food in just the way she planned to have it the next day.Then Thanksgiving happened.

See Thanksgiving was coming and I figured that since both last year and my freshman year people had hosted me, that it was time to return the favor. I sent out invites ( which I designed on Adobe Illustator with the help of my friend Micheal Gulden) and started planning. That's when I realized that this knack, this talent...IT'S A GENE!!! No really guys it's in my BLOOD!!!!!!! I had so many ideas, so many plans. My mind jumped dizzingly from one to the other as I twirled from project to project taking pictures, drawing up ideas.Of course it was my first party (ever ever as I told Justin), so it probably won't seem like a big deal from the pictures, but man was I in love with the whole process. I loved the crafts the projects the doodads.(pictured below)I even loved making the turkey(pictured below). In the middle of it I even got to go to a grown-up Stampin-up party thing and trade Christmas cards.I got so into planning that I springboarded right into helping put my dear friend Katie's bridal shower together ( not my first time planning one of those as I am sure you could have guessed :)) Long story short I am sooooo doing a Christmas party, I'm thinking a soup buffet, or maybe Christmas Karaoke, or maybe even... well anyway. Please people, don't think that this is me forcing myself into the oddly shaped cookie cutter that is the culturally-ideal molly mormon.I am having fun and this is totally me!!!!!

In other news we had a truly Christmas-a-riffic weekend. We and our friends Lacee and Matt borrowed their friends' car and we drove down to Pearlridge mall. There we had a boys versus girls Christmas shopping extravaganza ( in other words we went shopping for our husbands and they went shopping for us) After stopping at Spencer's gifts to buy some funny unmentionables for the bride-to-be Katie, we spent the day girl-talking it up as we hunted for man-gifts at reasonable prices. Then we went home and switched spouses to wrap. It ended up being a totally awesome way to go about it because now everyone knows what everyone is getting except for the person who is getting it. I am so glad the Roberts(es) are staying here for Christmas too. Our lone wolf Christmas has become a wolf pack Christmas and I am loving it.

P.S. After Christmas shopping Justin and I were so into the holiday spirit that we made a cardboard fireplace! ( pictured below)

Had to have a fireplace to hang stockings on, made from cardboard, paper, and a little magic...also known as elbow grease.

Lingerie cupcakes by Lacey Krout for Katie's bridal shower!

Like mother like daughter ; I set up the table the night before in the middle of our livingbedroom!

Also I taped our lights under it solely for this picture...

...but in this case Christmas beat Thanskgiving.

Justin made a turkey sandwich--on Thanksgiving. This man marches to his own drum and I love him for it.

                                            Cute kids playing near our table, this is Nikki.

Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, our packmates...I can hear their thoughts as we speak...just like Jacob in Twilight.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hawaiian Thanksgiving: How to Make a Ti Leaf Cornucopia

Came up with this idea for a centerpiece because I wanted the local culture to be represented in our Thanksgiving spread.


                        -1 paper plate
                        -8 medium-large Ti leaves


        Form a structure: Shape the paper plate into the rough shape of a cornucopia by rolling one end tightly and securing with tape. Give the roll a little bend toward the tip once the tape is in place.
                    Braid the brim: Wash 4-5 of your Ti leaves, pat dry leaving the leaves moist. Microwave each leaf in 10 second intervals until they are pliable. ( You should be able to bend them without any tearing or cracking) Place 3 of the leaves lengthwise in front of you and fold the left and right sides toward the middle. Repeat.Use the now folded leaves as sections and braid. As the leaves will probably not be of equal length you will need to feed in another "section" when you come to the end of the shortest. When you come to the end of the shortest leaf bring it to the middle of the braid and tuck it downward; place the section on top of the downward facing leaf end , leaving about 1/2 inch rising above the braid-line. Cross the other two sections over the new section and continue braiding as normal. You can trim the 1/2 inch sticking out later if you want. When the braid reaches the length you want ( which will depend on how many times you want to wrap it around the wide edge of the paper plate-- mine was about 2 1/2 ft) Tie both ends off. Place in the fridge (to keep the leaves fresh) for later use.
             Wrap the structure: Use the remaining Ti leaves to wrap around the rolled paper plate. Start at the wide end and wrap horizantally. I was pretty liberal with the tape, but found that it was possible to tuck the ends under the mid-section of the leaf ( in case you want to be more crafty than I was). You will have to secure the edges closest to both the tight and the open ends with tape.
              Secure the brim: With the rolled paper plate lying tight end toward you, cut a wide, horizantal slit near the edge of the wide, open end. Feed one end of your Ti leaf rope into the slit. If the previous knot you tied does not keep it from slipping out of said slit, re-tie it so it's a little bigger. Turn the structure around so the wide end is facing you and wrap the braid clockwise around the open end. Keep wrapping until the end of the braid and tuck it under the previous row. I had to play around with the rows a little bit to get them to sit tightly, if your rows are sagging a little, gently tuck a the lose row over a tighter one.
               Fill: Fill the cornucopia with whatever your heart desires. I used dried coconut and macadamia nuts as another nod to our location, beautiful North Shore, Hawaii.

About Me

My photo
I am a videographer located in Goodyear, Arizona. Visit my site to check out my best work and the Stories Told blog.