Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wreath Revamped

I've been dying to get my hands on our front door wreath for some time. It's really cute and earthy with all its branches and berries. I've always liked it. (Hence the reason I "borrowed" it from my mom, she didn't like it and never used it).

Sadly, the weather, sunshine, and a couple of winters have taken its toll on the poor thing and it was in desperate need of a little spruce. Or a "revamp" as I see it! I had planned to wait a few weeks until it was warmer and I could get the job done outside, but Logan weather has a mind of its own and I was too tired of waiting. So, I gave in and made our kitchen table the project space for Saturday afternoon!

Here is the "revamping" process:

Not too bad. Just a bit faded and yellowed.

I painted about half of the berries a similar shade of red to what they were before. This looks a lot like the wreath did when I first acquired it. Better, but not quite what I wanted. It still needed a little something else.

Cute, isn't it? I painted a sort of robin's egg blue/teal-ish color on most of the left over berries. And then added some bright "lipstick" red to a couple others.

I also painted the bow and other branches with a light green, which brightened the entire wreath right up and brought everything together!

A little detail shot for you.

I love it. And think it's super cute. It's the perfect Springy addition to our front door.

Here's the extra fabulous part. I didn't have to pay anything because the acrylic paints I used for this project were already ones we had in our collection for art and craft projects. Score!

Michael said that it looked pretty and told me, "Nice job wifey!" He actually got together with our friend Hunter yesterday afternoon and they also worked on a little project of their own. I'm excited to share that one with you. Their project is one that he and I have been looking forward to for quite some time. Once everything is finished, I will share that with you. So, have patience for a few more days and then the big reveal will occur!

Hope you're all having a wonderful Sabbath. I love Sundays. Enjoy it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice

I made this delicious one-dish meal for the Fruits and Veggies Recipe Swap we had a couple weeks ago. Yep, we're still going strong with the Recipe Swaps. It's really fun and I love that every month I'm motivated to try a new and interesting recipe. Keeps me on my toes!

And boy did this recipe keep me on my toes. Never before had I cooked with butternut squash. I've cooked with other squash before, mind you. How in the world I've let butternut squash pass me by until now is beyond me! It's creamy, buttery, and slightly resembles sweet potatoes. I'd also never cooked with coconut milk before either. That was a journey! I forgot to shake the can before opening and the top layer had congealed. Michael laughed as he watched me scrape the contents of the can into the bowl, then began mixing it with a whisk. A bit more laborious than I had planned, but it was worth it.

The end product was light, filling, and here's the best part: completely meat and gluten-free. Now who doesn't love that. The flavors melded together so well and Michael said this recipe was a keeper. Always a good sign. (Course, he says that about pretty much everything I make!)

I must thank the dear Tartelette for being a genius and for her wonderful culinary and photography skills which provides such inspiration for me. The recipe is from her blog. Check it out if you get a minute. You won't be dissapointed!

Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice

1 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup short grained or basmati rice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
1 teaspoon chopped fresh (or 1/4 teaspoon dried) thyme
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (if using canned, drain & rinse them first)
zest and juice of one lime

Bring broth (or water) and coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep warm (I just keep mine covered while I prepare the rest of the recipe).

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and lemongrass and sautee 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucid.

Reduce heat to medium and add the squash. Cook until tender, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme, salt, pepper and black beans. Cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Add rice to squash mixture, add the lime zest and juice and stir to combine.

My personal suggestions: If you can't find lemongrass, use about 1/4 tsp. ginger and some lemon juice in its place. I also made the rice in a rice cooker and then mixed everything together afterwards. It turned out just fine. That way, I didn't have to worry whether the rice was cooked too little or too long. Just make sure your liquid in the rice cooker is the amount it normally calls for.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can't help it...

I've put this off, but I figured it was time to post the video that's been getting lots of hype and has resulted in many messages, texts, facebook posts, and general comments to me in the past week.

One word to describe this: painful. And painful from so many perspectives. Her singing, the lyrics, content, and just her general demeanor. Makes me cringe and laugh all at the same time!

Anyway, here you have it. I won't tell you to enjoy it, instead I'll say...good luck!

Friday, March 18, 2011

I am such a slacker!

So there will definitely not be any blogger of the month awards given to me, because I have been slacking on my posting lately. Sorry to all you friends who check up on me and find nothing new and exciting here.

With my hand raised, I promise that I will TRY to be a better blogger from here on out and to post fun, new, exciting, maybe even boring, lovely, happy, or sad, spring-y, food-related, friendly things, etc. in the near future and beyond! I feel like I should say "Scout's honor"!

That being said, let's get on to business. What has been keeping me from all my fun blogging lately?
  1. Internship applications - They are insane and require lots of time, thought, stressing, planning, crying, and effort. Been acquiring transcripts, solidifying letters of recommendation, practicing for my video submissions, answering VERY interesting questions, among other things.
  2. CILs - Soapbox moment here. USU officially canceled/got rid of the CIL requirement for students. Only thing, it's not retroactive or effective immediately. Those of us who are graduating this May (ME!) must still take them 6 stupid computer-y tests. So dumb. They really aren't that difficult, but they just take time to schedule, study for, and take. So, I spend my spare time worrying about those.
  3. Work - Trying to cut back on my Six Star time so I can start teaching Voice through The Book Table in downtown Logan. They GIVE me students and I get paid more than I would charge through my private studio. Plus their practice/teaching rooms are nice and beautiful. Just been putting together résumé/fact sheet materials for that. And Michael and I are working on printing out some business cards for me as well. It's all so grown up and exciting!
  4. Young Women - My calling seems to be taking a bit more of my time. Makes sense when you are in the presidency, not just an advisor. There's a lot more teaching to this than before. And when I say teaching, I mean we have to teach our new leaders/advisers. They're new and haven't been in YW since they were teenagers. Takes some getting used to. So, some stress with that, but MANY blessing also. I love the girls and wouldn't want to be doing anything else on my Tuesday evenings than spend time with them!
  5. Practicum - Hardest one yet. Still feel like I'm lost! I need my elderly people, adolescents are stressing me out! Lots of growth opportunities for real.
  6. Running - Been training for my first 5k! Wahoo. Running has been a serious stress reliever for me. I've been really pushing myself and it feels good to see progress. Plus, it gives me one hour a day ALL to myself to do what I WANT to do. And I'm starting to feel and look better.
  7. French - I do not enjoy my French teacher this semester. She's just not a good teacher. She's funny, but that's all I feel she has going for her. I'm not immersed in the language like last semester. Now my teacher last semester was amazing! I'd think and breathe French for the entire class period and then struggle to make the shift back to English once class was over. That was awesome. C'est la vie. Persevere!
  8. On top of all these things, I've still got to make time to be a wife and a good one at that. I must focus on Michael and attend to his needs. We have to schedule time together because our lives tend to get insane. So, when we do have a night to ourselves, we must put away our electronic devices and focus on US. We've been trying to do that more lately, and it's harder than I thought. It's easy to become addicted to them. But, through our hard work and lots of love, we'll get better!
So, there you have it folks. Anybody else feel like I do right now? Is life just crazy and trying to kick you in the tush?

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm a Guardian

I recently had to take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter Personality Questionnaire for my Developmental Psych class.

I love taking these kinds of quizzes. Usually, they don't tell me much more than I already know, but this one did surprise me with some new information about myself. Like my feelings and position regarding the workplace. I don't usually think about my personality in regards to the workplace, but now I've become a bit more aware.

So, here are my results...

Guardians® (SJs) are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services--from supervision to maintenance and supply -- and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.
All Guardians share the following core characteristics:
  • Guardians pride themselves on being dependable, helpful, and hard-working.
  • Guardians make loyal mates, responsible parents, and stabilizing leaders.
  • Guardians tend to be dutiful, cautious, humble, and focused on credentials and traditions.
  • Guardians are concerned citizens who trust authority, join groups, seek security, prize gratitude, and dream of meting out justice.
Guardians can have a lot of fun with their friends, but they are quite serious about their duties and responsibilities. Guardians take pride in being dependable and trustworthy; if there's a job to be done, they can be counted on to put their shoulder to the wheel. Guardians also believe in law and order, and sometimes worry that respect for authority, even a fundamental sense of right and wrong, is being lost. Perhaps this is why Guardians honor customs and traditions so strongly -- they are familiar patterns that help bring stability to our modern, fast-paced world.
Practical and down-to-earth, Guardians believe in following the rules and cooperating with others. They are not very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails; working steadily within the system is the Guardian way, for in the long run loyalty, discipline, and teamwork get the job done right. Guardians are meticulous about schedules and have a sharp eye for proper procedures. They are cautious about change, even though they know that change can be healthy for an institution. Better to go slowly, they say, and look before you leap.
Guardians make up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the population, and a good thing, because they usually end up doing all the indispensable but thankless jobs the rest of the population takes for granted.

Guardians at Work
As a Guardian, you enjoy working as a valued member of a team, whether you are leading it or following a credible leader. You like to work with people who carry their weight. You appreciate having clear-cut responsibilities and being recognized for your dedication and achievements. Your natural traits are those that employers have traditionally valued - and that successful companies still respect. You are responsible and loyal to an organization once you've signed on.

Establishing and following a familiar daily routine is critical to your well being. In your ideal job, you and your coworkers would all share information so that everyone could remain "on the same page” as projects move forward. Because you genuinely care about the people you work with, your colleagues and your customers appreciate your unassuming kindness.

If you'd like to find out more about yourself, take the survey for free. It's about 70 questions and won't take you too long. Can't hurt huh? I think it's more fun than anything!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Mardi Gras Past

Today I am remembering the good ole days when I lived in Louisiana and was able to celebrate Mardi Gras in all sorts of ways. You can say I'm rather reminiscent.

Kinda kills me that the one year that spring break at USU falls during Mardi Gras week, Michael and I are unable to travel down South and join in the festivities. Cest la vie.

So, to get myself more "in the mood", I'm pulling out some old photos from my freshman year at LSU. I, along with a good group of friends, went down to New Orleans and partied it up for Mardi Gras Holiday. (That's another thing I miss about Louisiana, 3 days of Mardi Gras break, elementary school all the way up to college!)

Here is some evidence of the crazy fun and festivities!

The entire group of friends that went down to NOLA. We were taking a break and decided to walk over to the LDS ward building on St. Charles for some food and soft grass. Some of us were from NO, others from Baton Rouge, Michigan, and all around. Many of us were experiencing Mardi Gras in New Orleans for the first time!

Monday night a.k.a. Lundi Gras. I think this was the Endymion parade. We sure caught a lot of beads. See all of them around my neck? Yeah it weighed at least 10 pounds. Super heavy! Just being silly with Emily, Alicia, and Drew.

Floats ride through the streets and beads get thrown everywhere. Sometimes they don't make it to a person, but get caught in trees!

My dear friend Emily. She was an Egan back then and I was a Rougeau. We had so much fun together. Lots of sexy faces and singing of duets.

Emily taking a picture with Beetlejuice. She just asked for a picture then he grabbed her and went a bit crazy. Scary! You never know what to expect in the NO.

Oh, boys. Drew, Jim, Brian (you can't see because he's stuck in the middle), Phil, and Mike. They were just excited to find out that a tree still does grow on Bourbon Street. (Bit of an inside joke from that trip).

Anyway, just a few tidbits from my Mardi Gras past, as well as younger and more carefree days! Wish I was there right now to take in some warmth and sunshine as opposed to the cold, snowiness here in Logan! I think I'll just have to make some Jambalaya and King Cake here instead. And then I'll say, "Laissez les bontemps rouler!"

Monday, March 07, 2011

House Love

Over at Design Sponge today, they are featuring a sneak peek into the home of Anne M. Cramer. She's a fashion designer herself and you can definitely see her sense of style through how she has decorated her home.

There are so many elements I love about this home, so I couldn't help but share a few today!

Oh, this dining room! I'm seeing more and more dark walls like the color of slate and ash lately. I love color on walls, but never thought I'd like the darks as much as I am. This dining room is making me reconsider my pretenses.

Apparently she couldn't find a wallpaper that she liked and was affordable to put on the walls in her living room, so Anne painted the walls then just added the pattern with an enamel. Beautiful. I'm starting to love grays also, with little pops of color (turquoise, yellow, and green).

I want this sleeping porch! The iron bed, windows, and white bedding are fantastic. I especially love the lime green! Reminds me when I painted my bedroom lime green at my mother's house a few years ago. Kinda makes me think of being in the jungle, lounging in the breeze coming through the open windows.

You should go over to Design Sponge and check out the rest of her home. I love her kitchen too.

Hope everyone is having a grand day. Love!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

It's about time!!!

My brother, Michael Thorsell Rougeau, is engaged to the wonderful Natalie Egan! He finally popped the question after almost 3 years of dating/skyping etc.

We are seriously so excited! Natalie is amazing and comes from an amazing family. They are so great together. They do things like....

Run a 5k.

Eat crawfish.

Hang out in LSU Snuggies.

Pretty cool huh? This is not an all-encompassing list mind you. Throw in Jazz games, concerts, leaf fights, silly faces, video games, LSU football, and a myriad of other things. They're pretty much fabulous.

The tentative date, I am told, is set for June 3rd. That means Michael and I will be taking a road trip (with my mother) to Louisiana in the next few months!

For any of you who are interested, this is a picture of her family from Thanksgiving. Here's a couple reasons why this is a perfect match. See the girl in blue on the far left? That's Jane. She is married to the man in the striped shirt right behind her. That's Jake. He also happens to be my brother's best friend. And see the girl in red sitting next to Jane? That's Emily. She was my best friend when I was at LSU. We were pretty much inseparable. I now get to be her sister-ish. And Michael is now brothers-ish with his best friend. Plus the entire Egan clan is awesome. Parfait!

Congrats to Michael and Natalie! Love you both!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Jane Eyre

Only 10 more days. I am immensely overjoyed at the fact that this new and (what appears to be) awesome film version of the classic book will be released on March 11, 2011.

And I use the word "awe"some in all aspects of its meaning. I'm pretty sure I will sit in my seat, on the edge of it nonetheless, with tears in my eyes, trying to catch my breath because I am in such awe with the film. It's going to be a wonderful night!

I'll keep all of you posted on my feelings following my viewing of the movie with my dear friend Natalie, who is a crazy reader just like me. We already have our girlfriend-y date scheduled. :)

In the meantime, enjoy this clip of one of the most passionate scenes from the book. Makes me get all warm and fuzzy inside.