Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clothes that I love but can only dream about

Jacket Love

Dress love

Cardi love

All from Anthropologie.
All adorable, beautiful, and expensive.
Hence, I will only dream about owning them.
This makes me want to pick up sewing and the ability to create my own adorable threads.
And don't even get me started on the shoes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Something to make you laugh

Friday, February 19, 2010

Love, Love, Love

Valentine's Day was very special this year. I think the fact that it was on a Sunday made it unique for our first married Valentine's Day. We had a really nice weekend.
Here's what we did:
  • Michael went to a friend's bachelor party
  • I attended a bridal shower
  • We went to the 9:30 session at the temple on Saturday (early but worth it!)
  • We spent a nice evening at home on Sunday to enjoy each other and snuggle while watching a cute love-filled movie.
  • And Sunday evening was also accompanied by a steak dinner (thank you mom!)

As we went to different wedding-related events, it made me think about our wedding and how exciting and wonderful marriage is. I thought about how much fun Michael is and how much he makes me laugh. Everyday is an adventure with him. He keeps me grounded, yet lifts me up when I'm down. When I'm cold, he unzips his coat and hugs me so I can feel all the warmth that was trapped in there. He tells me I'm pretty. He insists on opening the door for me always. He loves me. And I love him. We've got a good thing going here.

So, let me tell you about this steak dinner and the marinade we used. Oh the marinade! It was to die for. I didn't have all of the ingredients the recipe required, so I improvised a bit, but it turned out to be sublime.
Here's the recipe:

Garlic Marinade [adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook]
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (used garlic powder instead)
1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
1/2 tsp. ground mustard (used mustard seeds, they pop in your mouth)
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar (used about 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar)
1/4 cup dry sherry or apple juice
1 tbs. black pepper
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning such as Tony Chachere's or Slap Ya Mama

Place steaks in plastic Ziploc bag, pour marinade over meat, making sure to coat fully. Seal bag and place in glass baking dish (just in case the bag leaks) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Originally, I thought it seemed weird to combine rosemary with mustard, garlic, and soy sauce, but were we ever surprised when we tasted our steaks the next night. The marinade made the meat tender and juicy and we were very, very happy. High recommendations on this one. Perfect end to a perfect Valentine's weekend. Love is in the air!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We need your opinions.

We are participating in a "friendly" Iron Chef Cook-off in a couple of weekends. We must prepare three dishes to be judged. There are "secret" ingredients for each dish. The appetizer must include spinach, the main course pineapple and carrot, and the dessert cream cheese. We have some pretty good ideas for what we want to prepare, but don't want to reveal them here as there are some who may be watching... ;)

Do you have any suggestions of interesting and special recipes that we could prepare for this competition? Keep in mind that in Iron Chef, the goal for each dish is to highlight the "secret" ingredient and make sure that it is at the forefront of flavor. (Did you like that alliteration?) We'd love to have your input and may even name a dish after you if we choose to use it in our arsenal of recipes to squash the competition!

Honest Scrap

Thanks to Mindy for "forcing" me to share 10 things about myself that people might not know. This should be fun, so here I go.

#1 I was deathly shy as a child. So much so that when I was asked to be a flower girl in my cousin's wedding, that I cried and never made it down the aisle. That being said, once I got to know and trust somebody, you couldn't shut me up. I had a pre-school teacher who I loved and I was a miniature bride at her BIG wedding, and had no trouble with that experience. I still experience shyness, but have really grown a lot in that respect. It still takes me a while to warm up to some people, but know that once I'm comfortable, you won't be able to shut me up!

#2 I hate olives. Always have, always will. But I joke with Michael that the one day I start craving olives, I will most likely be pregnant.

#3 Loud, sudden noises have bothered me for years. When my father was shot right in front of me at a mall in Jackson, Mississippi, I became terrified of noises that reminded me of the experience. Fireworks, balloons popping, car backfiring. I was 4 years old when this occurred and it was a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The man who shot my father was participating in a gang initiation where he had to rob someone and shoot them in order to become a member of the gang. My father still has pellets from the shot gun in his left leg and has limped and struggled with circulation for years. I'm forever grateful that he survived and that my father wasn't taken from me at that time.

#4 I share similarities with my grandmother and namesake, Winona. Such as my love for the hydrangea, which is my favorite flower and was hers also. Also, I like Dr. Pepper from the fountain, but prefer Coca-Cola from the can. The reason being is that Dr. Pepper from the fountain is not too sweet because of the fresh carbonation, and Coca-Cola from the can benefits in flavor from the lack of fresh carbonation. I've had many instances where my mother would say, "Wow. I heard my mother say that my whole life!" It's pretty special to think that we might have spent time with each other before I came to this earth. (She died while my mother was 6 months pregnant with me.) I feel like this is why we are so similar in many ways and can't wait to meet her someday. What a grand reunion it will be!

#5 There are days I wish that I would've gone to culinary school instead of studying music. Don't get me wrong, I love music and music therapy for that matter, but my passion for cooking and baking is so strong that I have a deep desire to become a chef in the French style of cooking. I've even had friends tell me that if I wasn't so good at music, I should have become a chef. I think there are many opportunities ahead of me to realize this dream and I look forward to preparing yummy, healthy, and unique meals for my family and future children.

#6 When I was 4, I spent an entire week in the hospital battling the flu. I was severely dehydrated when my parents brought me in and almost in cardiac arrest from its effects. But, I enjoyed my time in the hospital, eating popsicle after popsicle to keep me hydrated and watching orchestras play classical music on PBS. I boy that had a crush on me in kindergarten (I had a crush on him too), made his mom buy balloons and flowers to bring to me at the hospital. It was cute.

#7 I remember my baptism day vividly. I felt the Spirit so strongly that I started to cry before entering the baptismal font. I was not the only one crying that day, there was nary a dry eye in the room. Even at the young age of 8, I had a testimony of the gospel and knew it to be true. That has carried me through struggles in my life, never failing as it has helped me to keep perspective of Heavenly Father's plan for me.

#8 I'm a grammar nazi and perfectionist. They kind of go together. I try to not correct people on their grammar in conversation or in writing, unless asked. I cringe when I hear somebody put "I" where "Me" belongs and vice versa. It also pains me when people don't understand the difference between "their, there, and they're". And yes, this is coming from the girl who was raised in Louisiana, a state where "y'all" is singular, "y'alls" is possessive, and "all y'all" is plural. (Btw, it means "you all" so make sure the apostrophe is after the "y" not the "a"!)

#9 Even though I tend to be prim and proper, I love to get my hands dirty. And when I say dirty, I mean real dirt as in gardening. My father always had a large garden and I loved to work alongside him, helping him till, pick, prune, and weed. I think it made him proud that I shared this love with him. I want to have a HUGE garden for my family, filled with all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and such. Nothing tastes better than a homegrown tomato or corn on the cob. I also LOVE flowers, as they have the natural ability to beautify a small patch of land. All it takes is a little love and attention (which is a stress reliever for me) and you can enjoy one of God's most beautiful creations.

#10 I have no greater desire than to be a mother. I can't wait for the day when Michael and I are able to bring our first child to this earth. Granted, we know that we both need to finish school so we can give everything to our children, but sometimes that day just can't seem to come fast enough. I will feel so blessed and honored for Heavenly Father to trust me in raising his children in the gospel. I pray that I will be able to serve them and lead them in the right direction as Satan is becoming even stronger in his power to adversely affect this world. I know that as Michael and I stay close to the Lord and follow his counsel, that we will not be led astray and can be the best parents to our children.

Well that was interesting and gave me an opportunity to reflect. Nice experience though!

I believe I will inflict this "nice experience" on some friends. I tag Emily, Arianne, Shalese, and Chelsea. Love you!

Monday, February 08, 2010

USU vs. Nevada

Anybody who's been to an Aggie game recently, has beheld this chant in the last few minutes of a winning game. With a 4,000+ student section, it's pretty brutal and very much "in your face" for the losing team. Show me some True Blooded Aggies!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Guess what my new calling is?

Based on the first picture, I'm sure you've figured out that I'm going to be in the Young Women's organization. I'm stoked! Working with the young women of the Church has to be one of the best callings ever. Some changes have come about since I've been a youth, one of which is in the picture below.

The addition of "Virtue" to the Young Women Values is brilliant and certainly something Heavenly Father feels is important for all women to know and cherish. It fits so perfectly and rounds out the former 7, to now 8 values, that it makes me wonder how the list was complete without it. Being married in the temple and sealed to Michael for time and all eternity has made me realize just how important "Virtue" is and why our Father in Heaven wants us to cherish it.

So with all this information about the Young Women Organization, I'm pleased to announce that I'm the Personal Progress Leader. Funny story about being called to this position...I never completed my Personal Progress and received my Young Womanhood Recognition. So, when I was called, I laughed, a bit embarrassed, as I felt like the Lord was saying, "Haha. You thought your not completing Personal Progress in youth meant that you were home free. But nope, here's your chance to repent and start anew. I know and see all!"

It's definitely a humbling experience for me, but it also presents a challenge to step up and be better. There were so many difficulties associated with my first time in Young Women's, but so many blessings from it also. Many of those difficult experiences took precedence over receiving my Young Womanhood Recognition, and they all had their special place in my life. I learned a lot from them and was blessed by my Heavenly Father for persevering through the struggles.

What I'm most excited about is that I now have an opportunity to work toward and receive my Young Womanhood Recognition along with my girls! We only have 2 young women in our ward, but will be gaining 3 more throughout the year. (Our ward is very much a newlywed/nearly dead kind of ward). It will be an adventure to get to know each girl personally and help her achieve her goals. As I attended class today, I felt their enthusiasm for the gospel, faith, and strength to grow during one of the most difficult times in life. I'm looking forward to many great experiences ahead and the opportunity to grow and stretch myself like never before.

By the way, isn't it always funny how each calling you receive you can see how the Lord has prepared you for it through all your callings previous? And also once you begin working, you realize that this calling was meant for not only you, but for those with whom you interact? The Lord knows...and he has a plan. What a blessing!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Just for my Homie Bryant

Hey Bryant, I don't blog really all that much, in fact this is only my second post ever! But I decided I'd do it just for you. Sorry it's taken me so long to share this with you but here is my incredibly simple pizza dough recipe.

Mike's Pizza Crust

1 c. Water (Warm/Hot)
1 tbs. Sugar
1 tbs. Yeast
1 tsp. Salt
1 tbs. Oil
2-4 c. Flour

Bake at 450 degrees for ~10mins.

Mix the water sugar and yeast together and let sit for about 10 mins to allow the yeast to germinate a bit. Then add the salt and oil. At this stage you can also experiment with your dough, such as sometimes I like to sprinkle in some oregano or if you're going to a Mexi-pizza then you could add in some Cayenne pepper. Mix a little. Then 1/2 cup at a time add the flour mixing the ingredients. This is where a Kitchenaid is fabulous to have or after it becomes more of a dough from a paste you may start to knead it on a floured counter top. The final dough should still be moist but should not really stick really to the bowl or your fingers. The dryer the dough the less it will rise. Once you have your dough, place it in a bowl, cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 min or until about double its size.

As the dough is finishing it's rising you'll want to start preheating your pizza stone. After the dough has risen roll the dough out on a floured surface to the size of your pizza stone. The transition of the pizza to the stone and into the oven needs to be quick. If you have a pizza peel then you may assemble you pizza before you take the stone out of the oven otherwise just roll the dough out and have all your toppings ready so you can quickly transfer the dough to the stone and assemble. I've found that sprinkling corn meal on the stone helps form a nice crust but is not necessary. Also I think that it helps to prevent the pizza sticking to the stone when it comes out of the oven.


This recipe is very basic and allows you to be very flexible with your creations. Here are a few variations you can do with the recipe.

Bread Sticks

Make the dough like normal but when you put the dough on the stone make slits in the dough and brush with butter, garlic, and cheese then bake.

Chicken and White Sauce

Bake the dough plain with nothing on it. Pull it out 3 min early then sprinkle baked chicken pieces and a jar of Alfredo sauce and cheese then put back in the oven long enough to melt the cheese.


Fold it in half, make a couple of slits on the top et viola!

Make some taco meat instead of pepperoni. Replace the tomato sauce with salsa.