Sunday, May 29, 2011

Good Eats: Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

At the start of the new spring semester, we got new FHE families. (For those of you who unfamiliar with LDS terminology, go here.) I wanted to make a good impression on my fellow wardmates, so I brainstormed some good eats ideas. Nay was in a cookie mood, so she suggested Cookies and Cream cupcakes. At first I was hesitant, but I found a recipe. (Here)
Aaaand, it was a hit!
Seriously, these are good stuff. A little on the rich side, so they are definitely a special time dessert. But they are soo good.
When I was topping them off with the icing, I kind of felt like DC Cupcakes except without all the drama and whining. I don't really understand the whole cupcake craze. I mean, seriously, a whole wedding cake out of cupcakes? But they are ok sometimes, and this recipe is so good. It's definitely going in my cookbook.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Let's Make Some Music!

Or rather, let's just listen to some music. I have little-to-no faith in my musical abilities, so I tend to leave the creative stuff to people with some real talent.
Liiiiiiike, Mr. John Schmidt here.
My mother has always been a huge fan and we've grown up with his work. Last autumn we went to an outdoor concert of his to celebrate her birthday. It was awesome.
So a couple of days ago, my mother texted me to check this out via youtube and I like!
I am quite partial to the cello. It's so deep and melodious, but it has some kick to it as well.
And thus I am sharing it with all of you.
Again, the blessings of the internet, may they never end.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#BooksWithBeddes: Eat, Pray, Love: What's in a Word?

"Then he went on to explain, in a mixture of English, Italian and hand gestures, that every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there. If you could read people's thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever that majority though might be--that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don't really belong there." (pg 103)

So I know it's been awhile since I read Eat, Pray Love (EPL) told you all about it but I came across this post that I had yet to post. (No worries, I have two more where this came from.) I think my thought-process what along the lines of spreading out the quotes from EPL to prevent chick-lit overload. Truly, humans can only take so much rom-com or chick-lit stuff.
Back to the quote at hand.
Isn't this the most intriguing idea? This concept that every city has a word--one word--that defines it and most of the people who live there. If this were true, it makes an interesting argument. Have you ever been to a place and just immediately been felt at home? Maybe the word that defines you is the same word that defines the city. Oooooo.
The only glitch in this idea is, have you ever tried defining yourself in one word? It's hard. I see myself on a spectrum. And I am rarely definitive on any one concept. But I like the idea of one central word that all other descriptive words depend upon; the keystone of your personality, if you will. It must be nice to know yourself so well, as to describe yourself in such a parsimonious package.
Therefore, because I think it's a good idea, I'm going to issue a challenge. The challenge is thus: that each of you lovely readers must find your word--the word--that defines you. And then tell me about the adventure that such a search is bound to be. I am going to do the same. Once I find my word, to be sure, I will let you know. And since it's me, you can be sure, it will be a funny story

Monday, May 23, 2011

This fairly indicative of my familial relations...

Guess which one just had their wisdom teeth out...


Yes, this is usually their attitudes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Movie Review: Something Borrowed

UPDATE: My Something Borrowed post came back! Woo! Thanks, Blogger!
So I just got home from watching this movie and I have to vent. To be considered a valid movie critic I should probably wait [probably] and put some objective thought into this, but nah, we are just going to go with what comes to mind.

Totally not worth the almost two hour run time. [I know, I know. I regularly watch movies with much longer run times. The thing is, they are actually good. So there, take that Hollywood.]

Rachel is in love with Dex for years but he is going to marry her best jerk-of-a-friend Darcy. Thanks to an overabundance of alcohol, Dex finds out that Rachel likes him and he tells her that he likes her back. Well, what do you know? Thus, the plot of the movie revolves around Rachel and Dex trying to figure out this thing [I am not even going to dignify whatever they have with the term "relationship"] while keeping Darcy in the dark. Meanwhile, Darcy has her own secrets and Johnathan Krasinski plays Rachel's other best friend who has his own flame.


  1. Rachel plays the victim the whole movie. Enough with the "woe is me" crap. Grow a backbone, woman!
  2. Rachel constantly enables Darcy's narcissism. It begins to drag on after awhile.
  3. Darcy is a jerk without a soul who only likes to party. I can handle jerks as long as there is some explanation. No one becomes a jerk just because. There is always a reason and it's lazy screenwriting to not go into it.
  4. Dex is passive, personality-less, and cowardly. [Albeit, he is attractive. This is his only strength in the entire movie.] Seriously man, be a man.
  5. Way too much sex for the sake of sex without any meaning.
  6. Rachel ends up with the wrong guy. [Strictly a matter of opinion, but hey, it's my blog.]
  7. I hate the best friend love story. Breaks my heart every  time.

  1. John Krasinski is really the only likable character. However, he has his own flaws, which in the end work in his favor. He isn't perfect but he is a heck of a lot better than the rest of the characters.
  2. Like I mentioned earlier, Dex is attractive. That is his only strength. Except, over the course of the movie he loses man-points by failing to stand up to his fiance, chase his dreams, go after the girl he actually loves, admit his real feelings, to stand up to his parents, etc, etc. What does Rachel see in him? Only heaven knows, really, at this point. I'm pretty sure she doesn't even know why she likes the man.

I knew from the get-go that this movie wasn't garnering rave reviews, so I pretty much got what I asked for. Still, it had such potential if only it was completely different...

P.S: I spent the whole movie trying to figure this out, but what exactly is the "something borrowed" that the title referred to? I realize that this movie is based on a book [it's definitely not on the "to-read" list] with the same title, but really, it doesn't make any sense. I get that it is referencing the whole "something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new" wedding tradition but either I missed the borrowed metaphor or it was completely absent which is another example of bad writing. Trust me, it's all in the hand of the writers.

Nightime Philosophers

Ever since school has ended, I spend a lot of time staying up to ridiculous hours of the night. Why for, you might ask? Certainly not to watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother (but yes, we have watched so much more of that show than is actually probably necessary)
Actually, there really is no good reason for staying awake til 1...2...3 a.m.
However, this is the one thing I will say for the wee hours of the morning: they sure give you time to think.
Maybe it's the illusion of seclusion, when the dark night is kept at bay by the soft illumination of my tasteful Christmas lit living room. Maybe it's the shimmer and sway of bubbles that are blown between secrets that are shared between two confidants. Maybe the carefully constructed social guard wall becomes more permeable as the minutes tick by until sleep resets the protection.
Whatever it is, late nights/early morning are good times to take an honest look at yourself, your goals, your perspective in life. Not that it's a guaranteed pleasant experience. The morning after isn't pretty either but hopefully it helps you lead a more direct, more purposeful life.
Introspection is nice, isn't it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I found this from a friend's FB. Thank goodness for FB, right? How would we find anything cool without it? Well, I don't know much about these boys. I am guessing they are Italian. Yes, I know, my detective skills are astounding. They sound much more mature than they look.
Mmmmm. Italians. Especially ones that can sing.
This reminds me of a book (like everything does, right?)
It's called the The Silent Gondoliers by the same guy who wrote the Princess Bride novel. It's an interesting fairy tale. I recommend it if you are in need of a short story.
Actually, the only thing it has in common with the video is Italians and the song, 'O Solo Mio'.
But hey sometimes, that is all you need.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

80's Playlist

I, quite possibly, have the coolest assignment in the history of all TA (teaching assistants). Yesterday, my professor asked me to create a playlist of 80's rock bands for the next class. Can you say, heck yes? Here is what I whipped up, in case you were wondering.
Of course, Journey makes the list along with some Van Halen, Queen, Styx, Kansas, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Boston, Cheap Trick, etc, etc.
I had the best time with it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy 17th of May, Norway

To all my Norwegian friends and anyone interested in all things Scandinavian: Happy syttende Mai!
Today is a big day!

It's their Constitution day, so kind of like their Declaration of Independence/Fourth of July. It's the day they mark their uniqueness and independence from the other Scandinavian powers (i.e. Denmark and Sweden...) and it's a big deal. See here or here for more info.

I'm kind of bummed that I barely  miss the celebration by exactly a month. Still, Norway gets the spotlight today.
Go Norway!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh the irony...

Lady Gaga released a new single entitled "Hair" today, right after my ode to my hair color post this morning.
I think not.
Lady Gaga is...unique. Let's leave it at that.
But this song is totally me.
"I've had enough,
This is my prayer,
That I'll die living just as free as my hair."

A Hair-raising adventure.

My hair reads like a story: the ups and downs of my self-esteem, the whim of my fancy, the change of the the weather. You get the idea. Usually, I tend to go darker in the winter, lighter in the summer. In my heart of hearts, I've always wanted to look good blonde. Like radical platinum blonde. That is never going to happen. I know that, but that doesn't mean I won't keep trying. :P
No. I guess I won't ever try going blonde all over, but parts of my head will always be, I suppose. 
Well, last autumn, I dyed my hair black to cover the growth from one of my favorite looks: brown, red and blonde. Despite how much I like to rock the multi-colored lock look, when it grows out, it's really hard to keep it going, so I had to dye it all one color. Black works well.
Except when it doesn't.
This particular shade of black was like the never-dying dye. Seriously. Every time I tried to change it, it only changed my roots. I.E. NOT A GOOD LOOK.
My options were quickly dwindling to professionally help or drastic measures. Since I can't take others disappointment in very well, I resorted to the drastic measures. Those hair stylists, man, they can get upset if you try to take your hair into your own hands. So I try to avoid the salon as much as possible.
Long story short. I got some DIY color remover and mixed it up. 
Wahla. At least the black is gone. For now...
Anyway the moral of the story, I am glad that I've found my own brand of DIY fix it.
That is all.
The current look: quasi-ginger w/ all sorts of different shades.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Great Day!

Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium, anyone?
Can you see what this is?
A Camel! In Orem! Inconceivable!
A Rainbow! (Sorry the pic is slanted...I blame Blogger)
Today was a fan-freakin-tastic day. Seriously. I went to the MTC to help out the new missionaries. It was so much fun. It's been awhile since I was there, and these new missionaries were just so adorable. And then I went to campus to help out some of my TA students. The session went well, I felt. I hope they do well on their test. I really try to do a good job. 
Anyways, after that, I headed home and me and Nay went to go get Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars tickets. Yes people. It's happening. I am actually going to a real concert. Pictures forthcoming.
On our way into Smith Tix we saw the camel, in the rain. That was definitely a highlight. They are huge creatures up close. Let's just say, we were grateful for our car between us and the beast.
And then after a couple of embarrassing drive-bys to get the previous shots, we got all cute-ified for a "stake opening social".
Funny story.
So yesterday, the word went out through the ward that there was a stake opening social at the Skyroom in the student center. For those of you not familiar with BYU, it's the "fancy" place to eat on campus. We were confused about the placement, but we showed up on time.
Only to find out that it was a stake leaders opening social. Someone got an email that they weren't supposed to. It was only our ward, so we turned the mistake into a Denny's run. There were about twenty of us. It was a good time and a good story. 
To finish off the day, there was a rainbow!

Things-in the-near-future-that-I-am-looking-forward-to

Utah Symphony presents: Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky

Utah Scandinavian Festival in Ephraim, UT
Janelle Monae AND Bruno Mars in Utah Valley, this MAY
Both of them, together. It's like my dreams come true.
This comes out in July, so I won't be able to see it until I get back from Norway, BUT! I am intrigued and I have some high hope for this one. Everything I've read about Ryan Gosling is impressive and to finally see him in a romantic comedy? Knock on wood, I hope his performance is just as good as his other work. I also like the other characters: Steve Carell when he's not Michael Scott and Emma Stone was hilarious in Easy A, despite it's laugh-out-loud inappropriateness.
Again, here's hoping.
And of course: 

36 more days.

Good Eats: JCW Burger Boys

A variety of condiments!
Sometimes my roommates and I joke around that we should start a burger blog. Actually, we aren't joking that much. There is a startling variety of burger places in Utah Valley. And we eat at a lot of them and we still haven't run out of new burger places to eat at. So, like I said, we kind of like burger pros or something.
I had read about JCW's when they were still in Lehi or American Fork (so far enough away from Provo that it would have been an extra special trip to make it out there for just a simple dinner). But then they moved to Provo! And poof, we had no more excuses not to go. So we did.
It was a celebratory end-of-semester/finals thing with the roomies.
Product Placement
 Overall, the food is really good burger food. The fries were nice and thick and hot! The burgers were huge and they had a variety of toppings and flavors. Seriously, if you get more than one patty, it makes it hard to get into your mouth. The buns were different too. I can't really describe it which is another sign that I am not the best food blogger, but one fault was that the buns crumbled pretty quickly as you were trying to eat the thing. So there were some pros and cons there.
This is Stell's "how-am-I-supposed-to-eat-this-thing" face
Close up shot of the goodness...
So definitely wouldn't come here every night for health reasons (obviously...) and a little pricey but if you want some good burger joint food with a nice, clean atmosphere, JCW's is a good choice. If you are at all familiar with the Burger Supreme/Crown Burger/Apollo Burger (I swear, they were all started by the same people...) chain here in UT then you have a pretty good idea of what the food tastes like but unlike those places which are very dark on the inside (maroon tiling and dark wood paneling come off somewhat dour when you are trying to enjoy your dinner) JCW's is bright, clean, and happy.
My Shake face. Specifically ice cream shake-face.
Oh! And their ice cream is de-lish. They also come in huge sizes, so underestimate your hunger pains and get a small or mini. Trust me, you will be glad you did. You don't get as much for your money as say Iceberg shakes, but in the world of ice cream, they are not too shabby.
P.S. Blogger has been all sorts of messed up. I don't know where my review on the movie Something Borrowed  went, but I am kinda bummed that it is gone now...I don't have the energy to rant about it again. Hopefully it will get restored. It was a good one too. :(

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Did I mention how much I love bubbles?

So in my blog hopping mode, I came across this post from A CUP OF JO. I was quite blown away with the photos. They combine two of my favorite things: bubbles and Norway. I ask of you, is there any better way to start the day? I submit, there is not.
Pretty things always make my day better. 

 These stunners are from a Norwegian photographer by the name of Odin Hole Standal and here is his flickr account. Below are some links to a couple of my favorites. I might just have to try this little bubble blowing activity when I get there.
37 days left folks til I am on my way to dear old Norway! SO EXCITED.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Heart Characters: Janelle Monae

I first heard of Janelle Monae last year? Sometime like that. I love her sound, I love the strangeness, I love the fact that you cannot box her in. She is an artist, which is the highest compliment I can give. I love this new song, which is why I'd thought that I'd share.
Even USA has "character approved" her. See here.
And as we all know, USA knows how to spot characters. Which is why basically any of their TV shows, I'm a fan.
More on characters later...

Friday, May 6, 2011

This is what my weekend is looking like.

No joke.
I am not seem like the type of person to go all superhero nuts, but I am totally gaga over Thor. This is partially due to my love of all things Scandinavia and also, I am just a geek at heart. Iron Man and Batman (not the Christian Bale version) are also on my love list.
Here's to hoping Thor doesn't disappoint. It shouldn't. Everything I've read thus far has had only nice things to say.
Did you know Kenneth Branagh directed it?
This calls for only one word: epic.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Flashback: Spring 2009

I found this picture when I was wasting time on FB. I just love our faces and my super cool aviators. It's funny to see how much time has changed in only two short years. Those glasses have been broken for a long time now and both these lovely girls are married and graduated.
My how time flies!
Apparently, it doesn't stop rushing on either.
Well, here's to the next two years and beyond!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good Eats: Cake Pops!

Original source for the idea:
Directions: here.
To make the actual cake pops from the cake ball directions above, just place sticks in them and dip them in chocolate and voila! Cake Pops.
Bakerella has all sorts of creative variations which are way beyond my talent or motivation level, but they are pretty to look at. Mine were just good to eat. :)
Basically, you make a cake mix (or from scratch, which is what we did because it's really the only way to go) and once the cake is cooled you crumbled it into one giant bowl. Take frosting (you can really mix and match flavors any way you want.) and hand mix it into the crumbled cake. It's kind of like making hamburger patties, because it's cold and sticky. You want to just put enough frosting into the mix that the cake will stick together in a ball form. Once they are formed, stick them in the freezer while you get the dip ready!
These are our cake pops, freezing in the freezer.
So, because we are the highly creative, poor college students that we are, to top the cake pops we scrounged around for any kind of chocolate. And I do mean any.
 Even an old (age undetermined) Easter bunny was sacrificed into the pot for pure deliciousness.
 Look! He's happy to see you! :)

 Nay is quite skilled at dipping things. Strawberries, cake pops, you name it, she'll dip it. One thing we learned from this experience is to invest in some melting chocolate or candy coating. We found out that when you add milk to the various assorted chocolates we had gathered, it never really hardens up, so the cake pops were more like brownies on a stick. Still, they were quite addicting and fun to make. But probably not often, because as one recipient noted, it's like a heart-attack on a stick.
But oh what a way to go. ;)
Let me know if you try these out!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


As a sort of celebration after this last semester, Shannon and I headed down to Toquerville, UT to spend a couple of days with her parents. And since it was Easter weekend as well, we did the usual activities. 
 We dyed eggs all sorts of colors...
 Shannon lost at the cutesy cardboard pop-out matching game. This is a picture of her sad "oh, I lost" face.
  These are all of my cards. (I won!)
 Shannon's mom taught us how to decorate cakes. Key to success? Hand muscles. It is really the only trick, learning how to grip the frosting and move it just right. Having the right kind of frosting helps too. Still, we did it!
 The finished product...
 Isn't it the gaudiest thing you've ever seen? :) Can you find the bunny?
This last picture is all the tips we used. The frosting always got stuck, which was gross, but it sure made for a colorful picture!
Happy belated Easter!