Friday, December 31, 2010

This is for my dad

I stumbled upon the art of James Hance completely by accident, but I knew I struck gold after opening his page.
He is a incredibly talented artist, but I love his Star Wars stuff the most.

My favorite are his Wookiee the Chew prints. He turns Chewie into Winnie the Pooh and Han Solo into Christopher Robbin. Adorable!

I knew I had to buy something for my dad the minute I saw it so I bought two The House at Chew Corner books (one for me of course!) for Christmas.
Unfortunately buying prints back then was hard because you just had to email James and hope he got back to you, now it looks like you can actually add them to your paypal cart.
So I bought these three to test out the new way of buying (okay, not really, I just had to have them):

They'll be going in my office and probably future nursery.

Dad, I'm sure there are a lot that are catching your attention, but be sure to look at the Kessel Run in his cartoon works. Totally you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas decor

I know it's after Christmas but I'm just getting around do doing this.

Christmas was pretty pitiful at our house this year, I wasn't in the decorating spirit because I knew I'd have to put everything away and I thought I'd have Enna's pups keeping me busy right around the time everything was coming down.

This was our Christmas tree this year, okay not really, that's a house plant that sits there year round. A Christmas tree sounded like a nightmare to me this year.
It always becomes a cat tree for Sophi and we usually end up picking it up 3 times and always fixing slouching "sophi nap spot" branches through out the season, I just didn't want to deal with it. Also John and I don't exchange gifts and gifts don't get put under the tree since Sophi rips off the paper so there was really no point to set one up. Yeah, I was feeling pretty grinchy this year.

This is my Martha Stewart moment. This is where I've hung cards for the past two Christmas seasons because I'm a freaking genius. Normally the ribbon goes all the way to the floor, but Sophi loves to rip it to shreds.
I use little push pins to hang the ribbon on the walls and then hot glue the bow onto one of the push pins. It's like a pretty present.
Then I bought the cutest, teeny, tiniest clothes pins and hang the cards on the ribbon. Again, I'm a freaking genius.
My sadly decorated fireplace. I didn't want to hang stockings because it would have just been Sophi's and mine. I haven't finished John's yet even though I've been working on it for 3 years now. I remember I have it in October, work really have on it until December and then put it away until the next October. I WILL finish it for next Christmas, along with the dogs.
P.s. I still hate this fireplace so much. I can't wait until we remodel it.
You didn't know that Jesus only had angels come visit him, did you? Well in my nativity that is the case. I just barely started collecting the pieces from the precious moments mini nativity and I didn't add to it this year. The pieces are hard to find since they're the ones that are only 2.5 inches tall. Eventually I'll have the whole set and actually make it cute instead of just setting it out.
There was also a 2008 Ballet West special edition nutcracker on the corner of this table, but Sophi knocked it off and broke it in half. Hence the shock mat.
As you can see, Sophi is like the Christmas destroyer. She swoops down like a Tie Fighter (Star Wars reference) and blasts the crap out of all my nice things. Why do I own a cat again?

Christmas lights weren't meant for us this year. The snow came too early and ruined our day after Thanksgiving tradition of putting up lights. We'll now be moving our tradition to October so we can get everything done. Also our blow up Frosty was put out but two weeks later he mysteriously "popped" (I think the neighbor kids popped him) so I put him away.
As you can see there is a space in our sidewalk lights, that is a burned out light. Three sidewalk lights have burned out this year, John replaced two and then the third one burned out and we said screw it.

What lights area missing this year: the whole tree, our blow up Christmas ornaments and Frosty.
What lights we added this year: around the door, the icicles, and inner door window lights that I didn't turn on for this picture. We bought more tree lights, but as you know, they didn't go up.
What lights we're planning for next year: net lights for our fence and big bush, lights for the pitch of our roof and chimney and possible mailbox lights.

So there you have it, our not so festive Christmas decor that will probably be taken down this weekend.

Monday, December 27, 2010

no pregnant puppy

We found out today what I've been suspecting for weeks. Enna's not pregnant.
I took the day off work (mostly cause I could) and we went to the vet at 8:50 AM and were out of there at 9:00 AM. No x-ray needed, but that's probably a good thing because it saved us $150. The vet didn't make us pay for her tummy rub (I love our new vet. After Makoa's freak out at Animal Crackers I was done. I don't care if they're cheaper) and he wants us to bring her in when she goes into heat again so he can do a fertility check.
I asked about doing A.I. next time and he said it only has about a 40% change of working so I guess that's out of the question. I really don't want to have to breed her again and I don't want to send her to Texas. Guess we'll see what our breeder says after John gets up the courage to call her.

I guess some good news is that we can get our guard dog puppy sooner now...we'll as soon as we have the money to pay for one. Also I can go to Cali sooner to visit Dana.
We're still sad, but when you have known for a couple weeks that your dog isn't pregnant the news isn't as big of a shock.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sour Cream Banana Bread + some Enna news

For the holidays I usually make baked goods for my co-workers and neighbors as gifts. This year I made a banana bread recipe that I'd never used before and it has become my all time favorite banana bread recipe.

Also for those scared to make bread because of the yeast, this recipe doesn't have any yeast!

Sour Cream Banana Bread


1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

2.In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas (I used my stand mixer and just cut the bananas in chunks so the mixer mashed them), sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and hand mix in flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans (make sure you only fill the pans half full or they'll over flow and create a big mess).
3.Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (I had to bake mine for an hour and 10 minutes)
*the bread came out of the pans really sticky. I let it dry overnight on racks and then wrapped them in cellophane. My own loaves I slipped into big Ziploc bags and they became sticky again. I asked my co-workers and they said their bread wasn't sticky so I think cellophane is the way to store it. I also heard that it freezes really well*

The Enna news: She has an appointment Monday morning at 9 to get an xray to see if she is pregnant. Cross your fingers that she is and that she won't deliver New Year's Eve so we can go out with friends.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Anniversary part 2

Our anniversary was Wednesday the 15th and I was just taking my sweet time posting about it. Mostly because I could, there was no other reason.

We went to the Melting Pot for dinner. Neither of us had been there before, mostly because it is a pretty penny, but we decided to splurge...also John's company was paying so I wasn't going to complain. (John's got a bonus visa card and that's what we used, they really didn't say, "Hey, it's your anniversary! Pick somewhere pricey and we'll pay!")
This is the view from our booth. I'd go back to the Melting Pot just for the ambiance. The booths are really private and you can't see anyone else eating, it just has such a romantic vibe.

We got the Big Night Out meal, you get 4 courses for a hefty bill, totally worth it. You start with a cheese fondue starter with bread, fruit and veggies to dip in, then a salad that I passed on, then the main course. They bring this broth and add a kajillion things to it at your table then give you a kajillion dipping sauces that really need a color coordinated map to navigate through. Your main dipping items can vary depending on how much you spend, we went with lobster tail (John's favorite), duck, fillet mignon (my favorite), peppered steak strip, shrimp and chicken. All your meat arrives uncooked, you skewer it and put it in the broth for a few minutes to cook. Along with your meat your also get veggies, but I just stuck with the meat.
Next comes dessert, we got a creme brulee white chocolate with strawberries, marshmallows, rice krispies, cheesecake and pound cake to dip. It was heavenly. We spent about 2 1/2 hours eating, make sure you plan about the same amount of time if you go.

After dinner we strolled up to temple square where we had a horse drawn carriage waiting for us.
 Well it was waiting for us a half hour after we got to temple square, I booked it for 8:30 so I knew we'd have enough time to eat but we got there early so we wandered temple square for a smidgen.

So all my pictures kept turning out blury and I couldn't figure out why for the life of me, later I remembered that my camera has a night setting and that's why. Yes, I did go to college for photography, why do you ask? Enjoy the stupid pictures anyway!

This would be such a pretty picture if A) it wasn't freaking blurry and B) the light pole wasn't in it.

 These next pictures are from when we were on the carriage. Again blurry.
I was super mad at these people, it took me 4 tries to get this picture not blurry and on the only good picture they decide to walk in it. Thanks ever so much, stupid heads. If I had photo shop on this computer you'd be outahera!

If you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little to the left they don't look so blurry.

 In the end the carriage ride was only so-so. I don't know if it was just that our horse was super slow but we didn't go to the Gallivan's Plaza like the website said and there really aren't that many lights outside of temple square. Also our driver blabbed the whole time which equals not romantic at all. The reason why there's no picture of John and my face all squished together is because I felt rude holding the camera in front of our driver's face while he talked to us. 
After the carriage ride our driver talked with us for 45 minutes and every time I tried to politely end the conversation and leave he'd start up another topic. 
I'm glad we did the carriage ride because I had never been on one before, but I don't think I'll ever do one again. So not worth $50 bucks.  

So there you have it, our anniversary low down.
For gifts John got me a Kindle that I've mentioned to him that I wanted 235,765 times, he also made the nicest maple box to store it in. I'd take a picture of it, but Makoa is locked up in our room because John has a friend over and he'll start crying loudly again if I go in there.
I got John the most bad ass ring...if you're a carpenter.

The ring has blood wood and silver inlaid into it! yeah, coolest ring IN THE WORLD!!! I got it from an etsy shop called jewelrybyjohan. They have lots of cool rings, go look if you have time. I had the hardest time narrowing down choices and even now I want to go buy more, but I have to be realistic. John is a man's man and doesn't have a thing for jewelry.

Pretty good anniversary to celebrate our 3 years if I do say so myself.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Enna's name

Lately I've been thinking a lot about names, mostly because John and I plan on getting another dog (I know you think we're crazy, but if your house had been broken into twice you'd be considering a guard dog too). John is pretty set on a name he likes for a male, but I keep suggesting names for females since we can't agree on what gender we want.

I also have been reading The Lost Hero (on my kindle, more to come on that later) for my book club. It's all about Greek mythology and is written by the same author the wrote the Percy Jackson series (that I've never read). I love Greek mythology and know a lot about it so it's no surprise that Enna's name comes from it.

When John and I got confirmation that we were getting our first puppy we went to work trying to decide the perfect name. We wanted something Alaskan for obvious reasons but we wanted the name pronounced correctly and that was a task. We looked up name after name and loved how we pronounced them, but when we went to the Alaskan translation sites the name changed drastically. We were having a hard time finding a name we liked.
We decided that we needed to go another another way and veered over to geek mythology. I didn't want anything that was to recognized so we went to the main gods children. Persephone drew our attention, she's the Greek goddess of Spring (also Hades wife, but ignore that fact) and with our puppy coming to us on the first day of spring we thought that fit well. Persephone is also deemed Kore or Kora. Kora was the name for our dear puppy.

Kora didn't last long with us and when we were told we'd get her sister we knew we'd be having another hard time picking a name. Persephone doesn't have a sister, that would have made it too easy, so we dove into the myth even deeper, we wanted the pups to have correlating names.
In the myth Persephone is carried off from a field by Hades. The field is different in various local traditions, the Sicilians believed that Pluto (Hades) found her in the meadows near Enna. We had found our name, we're also probably pronouncing it wrong, but by this we didn't care.
Also Enna's registered name is 'PR' H.O.T. Enna's love for Kora, we definitely wanted to remember our first puppy and her sister and that was a perfect way to do so.
So that's our little Enna's name. Pretty interesting, I think.

For an update on Enna's pregnancy. We're still not sure if she even is. She's either 6 or 7 weeks along depending on what breeding stuck and I saw pictures of other dogs as far along as she's suppose to be and they were FAT. Enna looks the same as always. I was pretty convinced that she wasn't pregnant, but John called our vet to see what they thought and they said it was still too early to tell since she's a little dog. They say to give it at least one more week and then she really might be showing.
Who knows...we're still playing the waiting game.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I really might this time

Remember how like two years ago I said I was going back to school and didn't? Well this time I'm a little more serious about it.
I wouldn't say I love my job, it pays the bills and is alright, but they want us to make 5 year plans on how we'll move in the company and I just don't see myself staying in the science world. I'm just not smart enough, they start explaining tests to me and I nod my head like I understand, but really I'm thinking, "I have no idea what you're talking about, but if I nod then maybe you'll stop talking." (It's okay for me to talk about work, my blog's private :) )

So this got me thinking that I really should get into my creative side again and do what I love. I went to SLCC to speak with a counselor on how to get my credits to transfer and what classes I would need to take to either finish my associate of art or start a new degree in interior design. Worst experience of my life.
First off, parking at SLCC is a joke and I always feel stressed when I don’t really know where I’m going. Second, I had made an appointment with a counselor but I still had to wait 15 minutes to see one. Then the counselor was so unhelpful, all she did was print out the course description, throw it at me and sent me to talk to admissions.

Then before I left I realized that John had grabbed my wallet in the morning and didn’t put it back so I had no money to pay for parking or buy my lunch. Luckily the parking guy was really nice and let me leave but I still left feeling depressed and not excited to start school.

When I got back to work I explained to co-workers how disappointed my trip went and then it turned into how I just can’t seem to function in a “real” school since my creative brain gets bored. One girl suggested the Art Institute, I had thought about that school but in my mind I just kept thinking it wasn’t a good school and how no one would want to hire me if I went there, but I called the school anyway.
They put me on the phone with the interior design department and the lady talked with me for 45 minutes about my interests, my schooling, my hobbies. It was so nice! I actually felt like someone cared if I joined their school! I scheduled an appointment for John and I to go meet with them in person and take a tour of the campus.

Besides being 20 minutes late for our appointment it went really well. I asked (but made sure to put it as nicely as possible) if I’d be taken seriously with a degree from them and the guy told me that 91% of their students graduate and are working in their chosen field within 6 months. Also 21 students graduated from the Nevada location with a I.D. degree and all of them got jobs in their field within a year. It made me feel really comfortable and confident in the school.
Other perks: very small class sizes, students help their career field while in school (i.e. students from A.I. always design the Sundance Film Festival fliers), & they have a career department that helps you find a job after you graduate. Also I can get a bachelor's in I.D. at A.I and only an associate at SLCC.

I’m not fully in school yet, I need to fill out financial paperwork and talk about payments (right now my goal is to not take out any more school loans, we’ll see if that happens), but the next start date is January 10th. If I’m not ready for that then I’ll start in April. So hopefully this is more for real now 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anniversary part 1 - the perks of being married in December

Last night was my company Christmas party which they held at the Grand America hotel. Because of this the Little America and Grand America gave discounted rooms for the night. We decided to book a room at the Little America because the Grand was $100 more and after looking at pictures and reading descriptions all you really got extra was slippers. Those better be the best slippers in the world if they're charging $100 for them.

The room was really nice. It had a big king sized bed, a sitting area with a chandelier, yeah I said chandelier, and a bathroom that was probably the size of our bedroom at home.
We were on the 11th floor and the view was amazing, you could see all the city Christmas lights and the lights off in the valley.

So there was a phone in the bathroom next to the toilet, I found this hilarious. I can think of a few reasons why there would be a phone there and I'm sure the front desk wouldn't want to be contacted for those reasons.

Our anniversary is the 15th and we'll be going to the melting pot and on a horse drawn carriage ride so more to come!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

John learns how to work the internet

We FINALLY got the money to replace our stolen items this last week so we've been trying to replace everything as quickly as possible before we use the money for something else (that's what happened last time).

Usually when a computer is involved I take over. John is a REALLY slow typer and usually doesn't know where to go. I had already started a spread sheet with some of my jewelry: what we're replacing it with, how much it will cost to replace, how much we were given and if we lose money on the purchase or come out on top so I thanked myself under my breath.
When we got down to the nitty gritty John placed himself in front of the computer and so a squabble wouldn't start about his lack of computer skills, I let him continue sitting there knowing that everything would take twice as long.

I read off the list of stolen items, cost of items and how much given from our Allstate letter to John and tried to hold in my rage while he slowly typed it into our spread sheet. We then decided if we were replacing it, what we were replacing it with and searched the Internet for the cost of the item. This is were my patience ran thin because I'd have to tell John "click that, hover over don't click it! Okay click the back button, hover this time, click on that..." it takes a long time. But we got it done.

John also learned how to use my favorite website, Amazon, which was pretty funny. I showed him where you click once you decide you want to buy something and he got very immersed in the process. Checking how much something will be after shipping took longer with him doing it because he had to check EVERY price :) but at least he was thorough. Then I made the mistake of mentioning to glance at the sellers approval rating to make sure you'll actually get the item. John thought this was awesome and took it to extremes. Usually I just glance at it and make sure it's above 90%, John had to click on each person to see how long they've been selling on Amazon and then read some reviews to make sure all were positive, again thorough :).

We have replaced 95% of our belongings now, most online and some in store. Some of the stuff we replaced with other items, like our wii has become an xbox360 kinect (that we ordered online so it hasn't come yet), jewelry with different styles and perfume with different smells (on a side note, I own 18 bottles of perfume and I didn't replace all my stolen perfumes. What can I say, I'm a connoisseur of scent P.S. Usher UR and DKNY Be Delicious Fresh Blossom are amazing!).
It's going to be like Christmas when everything starts showing up! I'm the most excited for my replacement Tanzanite earrings, Alexandrite pendant, lime green lop top (thanks Dad!) and xbox (mostly so I can start watching Netflix again).

P.S. John's computer skills or lack there of and his immense interest in Amazon stays between us. You don't want to hurt his feelings do you?