Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

What a wonderful Christmas Eve! Yes, we did have to work from 10-5:30, but we were excited to get out of there so we could go and see the Christmas lights at Temple Square. Little did we know that it was freezing outside and we didn't have any scarves, gloves, ear muffs, etc... on us, so our trip was a very quick one. Temple square was packed, but it was fun to see all of the lights and nativity scenes. Of course, with our luck, my camera happened to delete ALL of my pictures from tonight, so no cool temple square pictures :(

Next on the evening's agenda was dinner: Red Lobster. Yum. As usual, Brenan got shrimp scampi and I got shrimp alfredo and we shared a dessert.

Lastly, we began our new tradition tonight: each Christmas Eve we will open our new ornaments that we got for each other and we will hang them on our tree. Here are our ornaments:

This is from Brenan's family

This is Rachel's new ornament, Santa & a snowman

Walter's pug ornament :)

Brenan's ornament, snowman roasting a marshmallow

Here are our Christmas decorations for this year:

Our first little manger scene (top of box) we got last year, as well as the candles, and this year I bought the little snowman that says "Let it Snow"

This is our shelf that I put our three snowmen from last year on. To add some "bling" I added some of our ornaments. The shelf and box/frame sit next to each other on the wall, so it's pretty cute :)

Our stockings: Walter's (top), Brenan's (middle, with the "B"), and Rachel's (bottom). They completely don't match, but we each chose our stockings. Actually, I bought Walter's to match mine, and Brenan went rogue.

Longshot of our stockings and tree. You may notice that the bottom of the tree has no ornaments...a certain dog kept trying to eat them. You may also notice that the bottom right-hand area of the tree isn't lit up...the same certain dog ate the light bulbs, so I decided that instead of replacing them for him to keep eating, we'd just leave it alone and unlit for the rest of the year.

Merry Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Year 2009

This year was a crazy year. We packed it full and had lots of fun. Brenan and I moved from Idaho, to Oregon, to Utah...All in one year! Needless to say we hate moving and don't plan on leaving Heber any time soon. Brenan went from being an insurance salesman, to a dishwasher, assistant manager, clothing associate, to head wrestling coach. I went from a call center, student mentor, to an server/assistant manager, to clothing associate, to banquet server. Busy, busy. The best news is that with this economy, we only experience one month of unemployment, and are happy to now be solid in both of our jobs.

One of our greatest blessings of the year was getting el perrito, Walter! We got him in May when he was only 11 weeks old. He was so cute and so tiny and now he is still cute, but much larger (almost a year old!). I still remember him not being able to walk down stairs (since he was so small) and now he travels in leaps and bounds! For the most part he is very well behaved and obedient. He LOVES to play with Dozer (my mom's dog) and feels that he is the size of a lab as well...

We had a lot of firsts in 2009, such as: First new year together, first time teaching primary, first Valentines Day, first pet, first blog, first time working in a restaurant, and first anniversary!

Brenan: "It was a pretty good year"

All-in-all it was a good year, and we worked through all of our moving/trials/unemployment with grace and definitely with The Lord's help. He has truly blessed us and we look forward to a new year together!

Monday, December 14, 2009

new phone

here i am blogging from my new phone the verizon droid. i have to admit, its pretty cool and fast and smart. The only downside I have run into so far is that it's required to pay for internet per phone line every month. thats an extra 30 bucks a month for just my phone. If bren upgrades too then its 60. I don't know if I'm willing to pay for that. Anyway, it's a cool phone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Car troubles

We have had a hectic month of car issues, most of it happening this week. To start, I got a flat tire about 3 weeks ago. So, I drove my car as little as possible since I had that little doughnut rubber spare. This meant using Brenan's truck, which is a gas hog. $65 to fill up/week. Suck. So, then I convince my dad to buy me a new tire for Christmas. Good bye $110. I did this Friday afternoon so that I could go down the Price to watch the wrestling tournament and see the fam. I decided to treat my baby to some Premium gas to make her happy. Not so. As we were leaving Price, it started to act funny. Just 10 miles into the journey the lights all dim down, all the warning lights come on and everything starts jerking and it's ready to die on this huge hill. So, for our safety we turn around and coast down into Helper's only gas station. We park, check all gauges, belts, fluid levels, owners manual, etc... Nothing is wrong. It starts right back up like nothing was ever wrong. Then the debate began: stay here and have it checked out, most likely not returning home until Monday, or chance it. Brenan's parents parked in Green River just in case they needed to come save us, but with their advice and our own thinking we decided to chance it. So, we take it easy driving home, hoping that we don't get stuck in the snow in the middle of the pass... We were just praying that we would at least make it to Spanish Fork, and if we got stuck again we would just stay with relatives. We got home safely late Saturday night and decided to pick up Brenan's truck Monday morning (he left it there to ride the bus down with the team) on our way to work. We arrive at the school: no truck. HIS TRUCK WAS TOWED! Like a miracle, all of the principals jump on their phones and start calling around and within 5 minutes, his truck was found and he was on his way to pick it up. The Athletic Director gave the towing company the ol' 1,2 and we got it back for free (they can't tow without school permission). Then, last night, as I'm driving home from work in the freezing conditions, my car lights start to dim again about 3 miles from home. My blinkers are barely working and my headlights are turning off. Luckily, I was able to pull in to my parking space just as my car died. I turned it off. I tried to turn it on again- nothing. It wouldn't even turn over. Great. Broken car again! Then this morning, it started up like nothing was wrong! What is wrong with my car?! I think it's possessed. Hopefully the shop can figure out the problem when I take it in. And, to my good fortune, it's under warranty. It's just a huge nuisance.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Pearl Harbor Day

I think that saying, "Happy Pearl Harbor Day" may be an...the word is escaping me...idio...something...
Anyway, I think that it may contradict itself, however, I say it because today is the day that I remember Pearl Harbor. Every year on this day I watch the movie Pearl Harbor that came out in 2001. The very first time I saw it happened to be on December 7, 2001, the 60th anniversary of the bombing. This was completely unintentional, but my friend Valena and I watched it together, crying, of course. I remember my step-dad walking in and making fun of us, but oh well. It's a sad movie. Let's be honest, the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a very sad event in the history of the war. Anyway, tonight Brenan and I will be continuing the tradition by watching the movie tonight.
Remember your veterans!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Carbon Duals

Friday and Saturday we spent in Price, UT for the Carbon Tournament. Here are some pictures of the boys, and that cute coach ;) For the safety of the boys, and because I don't know all of them, no names or weight classifications will be given.


Brenan yelling at the ref. One of my favorite moments. The other coaches were yelling too, but I didn't get them in the picture. I was trying to capture the moment really quick before he settled down.


Quinn & Brenan

The team

We were missing 5 weight classes for this tournament, which meant that we gave up 30 points every match we wrestled. Overall we took 7th out of 10 teams. A highlight was beating the Wasatch JV team.

Brenan's family was able to come up to the tournament as well and we were up until almost midnight hanging out with them, then on Saturday we watched the tournament and went to Wingers (one of Brenan & Rachel's favorite restaurants--sticky fingers, yum!). We are really glad that we moved to Utah so that we could be closer to his family. Now if we could just make it down to Arizona to see Amber & the boys...

On a side note, my car decided to freak out on the way home and we ended up spending an extra 45 min in a gas station diagnosing it and wondering what to do. The good news is that we got home safely without any more incidents from the car.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cool Jewelry

Our sister is doing a hand-stamped jewelry give-a-way! She hand makes all sorts of cool jewelry (as seen on her blog) and she is giving away some for Christmas (it will be all personalized). Check it out!

Here is the give-away link

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday

Black Friday :) Not "the-day-after-thanksgiving-sale" but BLACK FRIDAY! Woke up around 9 am and giggled at all the people that had been at work since 10 pm the night before (Banana was open for 23 hours...). Brenan and I cruised into Park City expecting it to be mayhem. When we pulled into Redstone (the shopping center) the parking lot was empty!! We got a front row parking spot at Best Buy and walked in to very clean, organized, uncrowded store. It was fabulous! I walked around for a few minutes, picking up games and movies, and waited in line to check out for about 4 minutes. 4 minutes!!

We went over to work about 30 minutes early to try and find parking. After some yelling and horn-honking we decided to skip the parking lot and park down the street. We perused some stores and ended up splurging a little at Bath & Body Works. To make our apartment feel more like a home, we got some yummy smelling candles (frosted cranberry and fig leaves) and some evergreen spray for our fake tree to smell like a real tree. LOVE it.

Work was chaos. Hundreds of customers and only 15-ish employees at all times. Yikes. Some people were pulling double shifts just to help us get the store organized. I imagine they were there until midnight but we left after ten. We could have stayed longer, but we wanted to come home and play our new video games that we had just purchased.

Here are our treasures from the week:
Blu-ray: Star Trek, Transporter 2, Valkyrie, Quantum of Solace, X-Men Origins:Wolverine, Taken
DVD: 17 again, Seinfeld seasons 4-6
PS3: DJ Hero,Wolverine, Batman Arkam Asylum, NBA live '10, Transformers
Wii: Wii resort, Super Mario Brothers, Wii Fit

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Primary is such a fun calling. Brenan and I teach the CTR 6 class (5&6 year olds). This is what our lesson went like today...

Rachel: Who memorized the first article of faith?
K: I went to a party last week, and it was a pirate party and there were really hard games and this gun game that shot kind of like soft bullets and I got like 1000 tickets.
Rachel: Anyone else?
S: We believe, that's all I know.
Rachel: Good start bud. Anyone else?
J: We believe in God The Eternal Father, and in Jerusalem.
Rachel: Jerusalem? Good start, you're really close. Maybe next week.
Brenan: What is fasting?
J: I finally learned how to jump on  pogo stick. It's really easy now.
Brenan: What does a pogo stick have to do with fasting?
S: Don't eat a pogo stick!
K: I'm really excited for Christmas.
Rachel: Me, too. Ok, what can we fast for?
S: Next time I fast, I'm fasting for a lot of Christmas presents.
K: It's almost Thanksgiving, then Christmas will be here!
S: I wake up before my parents and find all of my presents and unwrap them, then I wrap them up again so they can't tell. Then I know all of my presents.

J: ..."and we pray that we'll get lots of Christmas presents and drive home safely. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Loyal beyond reason

Here is the post that I have been meaning to get to. I hope I can give it justice from all of the jumble in my brain. My point is to emphasize the importance of customer service from both and employee and client perspective. At my new job at the St. Regis, we had a training about being 'loyal beyond reason.'  

To give a little background/exercise, our presentor asked us, "What brand are you loyal to beyond reason?" I liked this example most so I will use it. Someone said "Starbucks." You know that everytime you go to Starbucks, you will get an amazing drink. If you get a yucky drink, you will most likely still return to Starbucks at another time to get another drink and you will give them another try. Now, how much would it cost you to make a cup of coffee? A teaspoon of beans costs (wholesale) about twenty-cents. So, add your twenty-cent coffee to the price of a cup and any extra add-ins, and you're paying about $1 for your product. Does Starbucks charge $1 for coffee? No. So, what are you paying for? Are you really paying for the coffee, or are you paying for the experience of going to Starbucks? Why don't you take your $5 and get your coffee at the local coffee shop that is closer to your house? You then come to realize that it isn't just about the cup of coffee, that it has to do with more than that-- the ambiance, the service, the experience! Now, what do we love so much about Starbucks?  

People have 5 human needs: We want to feel like we belong, we want to feel special, we want to feel in control, we want to be understood, and we want to reach our potential.  

Is Starbucks not meeting most of these needs? WE BELONG: they call us by name to hand deliver our coffee. FEEL SPECIAL: they make that cup of coffee how ever we want it, and it's made just for us! CONTROL: We tell them how we want it, and we expect it quickly and it is delivered as expected in quality and speed. UNDERSTOOD: If I want my drink a certain way, I make sure that they know it, no matter how complicated it is; after all it is MY drink- they'd better get it right. You can see how much more complex and complicated a cup of coffee has become. Though we may not recognize these steps consciously every time we go, we do think about these things. We trust Starbucks. You are loyal to them beyond reason. When I leave Starbucks, do I remember my cup of coffee and how much it costs, or do I remember the experience/interactions that I had there?  

This concept works at any company that you love. That company that you are loyal to beyond reason should work as hard as they can to meet some of your human needs. On the flip side, as an employee, how are your needs being met? How is your company working with you to understand you, make you feel like you belong and that you're special, etc...? What are you doing to meet your customer's 5 needs? Is the customer going to remember what they ate or bought for dinner? Probably not. But will they remember if you did something to exceed their expectations? Absolutely. Even more importantly, will they remember if something negative happened to them? Yes. They are more likely to remember and share a negative experience than a positive one.  

A customer at a hotel had an issue, and in a hurried attempt to "solve the problem" the manager hand wrote a note and gave him a bottle of wine. The customer was still upset because he wasn't being "understood," just "dealt" with. He was a recovering alcoholic and in the quick attempt to go from "problem" to "solution" his needs were not being met.  

I really like this whole concept of human needs and loyalty, because it does work both ways- employee & customer. Happy employees = happy customers, and vice-versa. After having this training, I could immediately tell a difference in my demeanor as I went to my second job 2 hours later. I could tell I was more friendly and helpful than I usually was after working an 8-hour shift followed by a 4-hour shift. The other cool thing is to look at the brands that you are loyal to (Nike, Adidas, Gap, Costco, Starbucks, Burton, etc…) and to see how you are paying for the name, the experience, and the human needs and that you’re not just buying a cup of coffee.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here's what's coming...

I have this really great post to post; however, I know that it will take me at least 2 hours to fully give it the justice that it needs, so in the mean time, be prepared. It is full of thought and depth, and it really makes you think and reflect.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Calling card

Calling cards... I always thought it was funny when my mom used this term. No, I'm not talking about a prepaid calling card so you can call anywhere in the U.S. for just 2 cents a minute. I'm talking about what someone leaves behind to let you know they were there. The Joker, for example, left a joker card behind so people would know who's handy work to admire (admire or clue-in Batman?). Regardless, you see this happen with a lot of villains now days in movies. My point is, that I'm housesitting for my parents right now and watching their black lab, Dozer. Dozer is big. Dozer left a "calling card" this morning. Both dogs seemed fine last night, and both dogs seemed fine this morning when Brenan took them out. However, Brenan can't see at 6:30 in the morning since he doesn't put his contacts in. He can smell things though. 2 and 2 were not adding up, so he put in his contacts, and came back upstairs with some disparaging news. Dozer left us a calling card... How do we know it was Dozer? Well, compare a pug to a lab and you'll understand why. So apparently poor Dozey was sick last night. All three types of sick. Nothing stayed in. Nothing. Now, I'm not trying to gross anyone out, but rather simply trying to set up the debacle of cleaning such a mess without paper towels, napkins, or gloves (because there were NONE of these in the house). Problem number three- My parents are in Arizona at my sister's wedding which, at this point, started in 30 minutes. So we frantically are calling them trying to find something...ANYTHING to clean the mess with. Our solution? A dust pan, a tupperware lid, garbage can, toilet, toilet paper, 409, and Lysol. It was no easy task. We were gagging and luckily, we hadn't eaten breakfast yet, or there would have been bigger problems. So, remember, next time you're watching a dog, make sure its owners didn't leave Halloween candy at dog level and you will have a happy dog.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This is our second Halloween together, but this was the first time that we celebrated together. I spent last Halloween working until Midnight at the slave factory (Melaleuca's call center). After work we popped on over to my parents for a "halloween party." We were the only adults that were dressed up...

Walter, our pirate

Close up of the costume

Brenan & I; the wrestler and the zombie bride

Carson (our cousin) was octo...something. The villain from Spiderman...
Notice all of the adults in the background are NOT dressed up.

Family photo :)

Yes, Walter did get a hold of Halloween candy and yes, he did sneeze chocolate all over my wedding dress. My REAL wedding dress...not a costume.

On a side note, I got a gift bag from my aunt for my birthday which included some Ralph Lauren lotion (yum), some Bath & Body Works hand soap, and some Estee Lauder lipstick. Yes, lipstick. I am finally (and reluctantly) overcoming my... hesitancy ?/ fear of wearing lipstick.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

80's classics to whistle to while you work

Today I was cleaning the house- both of my parents taught me how to clean from an early age. Though I didn't live with my dad for a long time, I remember him harping on my step bro/sis when they were little to clean their rooms, clean the kitchen, etc... The only thing I remember as a child was him telling me to clean my room, only to send my sister up with me to help (I think we shared a room). So as you can imagine, a 3-5 year-old won't clean as well as a 10-12 year-old; and I can remember my sister (Amanda) always putting on music so that we would clean quicker. "The faster the music, the faster we clean". Today I thought about that as I was neurotically cleaning the kitchen. If only I had had some awesome late eighties music to jam to i.e. Madonna, Boyz II Men, Debbie Gibson, New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer, and Vanilla Ice. Ice Ice Baby! If you were born in the late seventies to the mid-eighties, you will know exactly what I'm talking about! Next time you are cleaning and need some motivation, pop in some old tunes on your i-pod or computer and clean away :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin carving/decorating, round 1

Today, we (and by "we" I mean "I") carved our first of two pumpkins. A while ago I found dog patterns in the Better Homes & Gardens for October. Needless to say, I got online and downloaded the pug pattern. I didn't realize how over-my-head I was in carving this, but I gave it my best shot.

These are the white pumpkins that I painted bats on. The idea is to hang them from stakes or ceiling/roof so that they are suspended in air. Unfortunately I don't have any stakes, and I don't have any string to hang them with, so they are sitting on our porch wall.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday?

My birthday this year snuck up on me. I didn't really have time to prepare. Even birthday week was...lacking, to say the least. Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday- work. WORK ON MY BIRTHDAY! Ugh. Friday night, for my birthday, I wanted to play Nintendo, original Nintendo. Brought it home, went to set it up and...NO POWER CORD! My hopes and dreams were squashed. Brenan is sick, so I didn't work with him today (and if he would have been there, the day really would have been about 100x better than it was). To make work worse, people (customers) as a whole were kind of rude/snooty to me all day.  So, later I went and bought myself lunch (alone) and as I was walking back to work, the bag broke and it all fell on the pavement (while splattering sauce all over my shoes and pants)! Grrr... I need to preface my next story: at Banana Republic, we ask every customer if they want to sign up for a Banana Republic credit card. Every day/week/month we have goals we need to meet for signing people up. If you don't sign anyone up, you get put on a "naughty list". So, needless to say, I ask everyone even though it puts me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes we get rewards from our managers or our district people for signing people up.
Today, as I was ringing someone up (like, I was about to ask them if they wanted a card since they were spending so much) my manager came over and asked my customer if they wanted to sign up for a card. They said yes, and she took the credit!!! IT WAS MY CUSTOMER!! It should have been my card! The nerve.
No one at work even knew it was my birthday until I said something near the end of my shift. In their defense, one of my managers did go buy me a frozen yogurt and made me a card before I left. 15 minutes before I left. And Brenan did clean up the house while he was home and made me dinner. Now we're watching TBS, "very funny". That is my birthday celebration. TBS.

No cake, no ice cream, happy birthday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Boy's night in

I LOVE my family. Last night, as I was getting ready to leave work for the day, my brothers and mom walked in the store to say hi! It was a nice surprise. Then, to sweeten the experience, my mum took us out to Cafe Rio for dinner. If you have ever eaten there, you know how absolutely delicious it is. Our favorite: fire grilled steak burrito with pinto beans, cheese, green sauce, lettuce, pico de gallo, and rice on the side. Usually Brenan and I split one, and never finish. I tell you what, we scarfed down the whole thing last night! Amazing. Then I thought to myself, what if the boys stayed the night at our house for a sleepover and I could bring home scrapbooking stuff while they play Halo. Perfect. So, we ran to Redbox and got The Proposal and trotted on home. It was a perfect Thursday night. The boys watched Community, Parks & Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock while I made homemade cards for my sister. This was one of my  favorite parts of the night: "Rachel, can you make homemade popcorn?"--John. Yum, homemade popcorn is the best! The boys also bought a bumload of candy for the movie with one of my favs- Twix :) Then this morning, we had waffles and cheesy ham and eggs. Best sleepover ever! My brothers and hubby rock!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Night Fashion Show

What? It's Friday already? Where has the week gone? Oh, I know...Thursday night, one of the most important nights of the week was...The Office! We were glad to see that Jim and Pam finally got married, though some parts were kind of awkward- to say the least. Can you imagine having people dance down the aisle at your wedding?! I would like to see the real youtube video that they got that idea from.

Tonight, we scampered away from work early and went and got Walter some gifts. He got a new bed, collar, doggie bowls, rain coat, and winter coat. We love Old Navy's dog line, especially when it's all on clearance and we get an employee discount! First thing first, we dressed him up. It took a few minutes for him to get used to the clothes, but he looked so cute!

**On a side note, I want to let everyone know that we are not those type of pet owners that buy their dog expensive things and dress them up all the time. When we first got Walter, Brenan told me that I could only dress him up once a year (Halloween), but once we moved to Utah, we realized that he hates the rain/frosty grass. So, instead of focusing on his "business" when he is outside, he hides under trees to find shelter. This led us to buying him clothes out of necessity, not glamor ne sais quoi.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not a typical Tuesday

Tuesday, a day off :)

Tuesday also became laundry day, bear stew day, pilates day, Law & Order day, 19 Kids & Counting, oh- and Walter humping my leg. Yes, you read right, humping!

Last night Brenan asked for bear stew. Rewind: Quinn (our little bro) shot a bear a couple of weeks ago, and while the fam was visiting in SLC, they gave us some bear and elk. WARNING if you under cook bear, you will die. No joke. So, I made bear stew just as you would make beef
stew. It turned out good, and I would describe bear as lobstery beef, meaning it's the difference in texture between crab and lobster. It tastes like beef but is squishier.

Pilates, just like any other day. I usually do it while Brenan is in the shower so that he doesn't watch me/ make fun of me. Yesterday, things went over well; no incidents with Walt. Now, if you know about pilates, it's rather stationary in terms of your entire body, and you move one body part at a time, i.e. leg, back, etc... So, I'm doing scissor kicks and Walter keeps running after my leg, like it's a game. I thought he was just chasing my leg. Brenan walks out and is laughing because he got stuck on my leg as my leg went back and forth and kept tumbling over. Then Brenan gasped. I looked and there was Walt
humping my leg. It came from nowhere! What is my puppy learning? It was an accident. I hope.

He may think he's king of the hill, but he's just so cute that it's hard to get mad at him.

On a side note, Paula Deen's cinnamon rolls are awesome and were great for conference weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mousse au chocolat

Compliments of Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat.

So, as we moved into our new apartment, I kept finding hidden treasures that I forgot I had. Under my stack of piano books I found French Women Don't Get Fat. Totally forgot I had this book. I bought it before I went to France, just for some research on the French. I started perusing through the book when I re-remembered (?) that there were recipes in it! I love French food and would enjoy about 90% of the recipes in this book; however, Brenan would
probably only enjoy about 15% of it...Thus I decided on mousse au chocolat. Can't go wrong
with a simple chocolate dessert (sidenote: if Brenan knew about all the raw eggs in this, he probably wouldn't have eaten it. It took me a few bites to forget about the eggs and enjoy it).

It was nearly as easy as it seemed for something that I had never made before. My trouble was with the chocolate...I don't have a double broiler, so I had to improvise. Secondary problem was that for some reason the sugar didn't fully dissolve into the chocolate, then w
hen the yolks were added it got stiff and cold. This proved somewhat difficult when you're trying to fold it in with the egg whites. All-in-all, it turned out and tasted great!

I put the mousse in champagne glasses to make it more fancy (and because my large mixing bowls are not here).

A well set mousse. We didn't refrigerate it over-night, but 4 hours seemed to be long enough.

Brenan enjoyed it so much, he decided to share it with his shirt.

Mousse au chocolat

serves 6 people (1/2 cup per person)

4 oz dark chocolate
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites

  1. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double broiler set over a pan of simmering water on medium heat. I put my chocolate in a glass Pyrex measuring cup and set in in a half-full pot of boiling water. There are other ways to improvise not having a double broiler.
  2. Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the sugar. Stir well and add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks are formed. Gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture until well blended. Definitely need a hand blender or a Kitchenaid. There is NO way to hand beat it this stiff.
  4. Pour the mousse into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Birthday Season

In our family, we have 6 birthdays in 2 months. It all begins at the end of August with John, and ends in October with me (Rachel). This week we had two birthdays, my mom (17th) and Brenan (16th). Traditionally, we celebrate "birthday week" which means that something fun is done everyday during the week of your birthday. Here was our eventful week:

Monday: Spaghetti night mmmm.... We had the day off and relaxed at home. I ran to the library and got 2 books for Brenan and I to share : Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America's National Security and Jack and Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage. For some reason we've been into political/history books lately. By the way, Bill Clinton is an idiot/skeeze.

Tuesday: Another day off from work. Brenan and I left early early to get to Park City by 9:30 for my interview at the St. Regis hotel. I got offered the job (on the spot) after a highly unorganized interview, but hey, who am I to complain?? Then, we drove to Salt Lake to spend the day there for Brenan's (early) b-day. We went and did a live session at the Salt Lake temple (my first time there), then we went to lunch at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. Brenan got the Turkey dinner (which was HUGE) and I got the tomato romano soup and a club sandwhich. The tomato soup was pure bliss. After a filling lunch, we walked over to Deseret Book and got Brenan a new CTR ring.

To end the day, we stopped in Park City and got Cold Stone ice cream (yum) and came home to our puppy :)

Wednesday: Brenan's actual birthday. We worked 1-8. It was slow so we came home early. My parents bought him a triple chocolate cake (which we promptly scarfed down) and some other treats. It was late, so we put in State of Play which was a way better movie than I thought it would be (I highly dislike Russell Crowe as a person). I actually stayed up and watched the entire thing. On a side note, this is the night our bedroom light broke. We have been in the dark since then. Literally, not metaphorically. The TV is our new light. Suck.

Thursday: My mom's birthday. She got a pedicure and we spent the day up in Park City shopping and having fun. I let her use my discount at Banana Republic and Old Navy, and we both got some cute clothes! Then, she took me to see Julie & Julia which I absolutely LOVED! I'm a sucker for anything French, plus I love to cook and blog, so this movie was made for me.
Winding up our events for the week brings us to today. At 9 a.m. sharp, we toured our new apartment, put down a deposit, and got all of our paperwork! We should be moving-in sometime next week. Our treat for the day was... CAFE RIO! If you have not eaten here, it is a fiesta in the mouth that words can barely describe. We got, as usual, a fire-grilled steak burrito, pinto beans, mild sauce- nothing extra or fancy. Except for the fact that the dude at the counter was a HUGE idiot and made it without asking us what we wanted. Lucky for him, he paid for his mistakes. Tonight we would have gone to the Wasatch High School game, but a) Brenan had to take a quiz before 8 (and we got off work at 7) and b) the beautiful rain and lightening storms was not something I wanted to sit through.
Until Thurday, I have been unable to find any of our batteries for our camera. We buy rechargeable batteries because they last longer and regular ones die in about 5 seconds-- hence the reason I wouldn't buy any replacements; however, while shopping with my mom I had had enough. I caved in and bought new batteries and have no excuse to not be taking pictures. Am I sad I missed taking birthday pics? Absolutely :( Sorry I have no real pictures to post for birthday week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Hey everyone! I'm sending in an order this month for more scrapbooking/stamping stuff. You DO NOT have to live in Utah to order supplies- I can send them straight to your house no matter where you are :) Free shipping & 10% off first order!!! My blog has a link to the Catalog (Autumn/winter idea book)--- check it out!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The crazy life we live

Life has been crazy lately. First, Brenan and I both got jobs at Banana Republic Outlet! At first we were skeptical at working retail, but after hours of filling out applications, they hired us both on the spot. Cool. We actually like working there a lot more than we'd thought we would. The first week was crazy because of Labor Dabor, but we managed 8 days straight of work pretty well. Our managers (Jan, Jake, John, and Stacey) are all pretty cool. On nights that we close, we play trivia games with John over our headsets. Example: Lord of the Rings trivia, who said this line trivia, voice impersonations, etc... Also, the discount is FANTASTIC! 30% off full-price and sales, 10% off clearance (good at BR and Gap outlet). We get discounts at the regular retail places, including Old Navy, but we never go to the mall... So, this has been a hug plus in our lives. We like our jobs and we like money to pay our bills :)

Last Sunday we got called to be Primary teachers for CTR 6A (that's right, they have A/B classes because their primary is so HUGE). We're pretty psyched for this. Did I say psyched? I meant scared. But excited at the same time. I mean, they're only 6 year olds...right?

Now, here is my small tweek with life. First, I sell scrapbooking supplies. I must sell a certain amount to stay active in the business (required). The end of the month is my quarterly deadline, so I thought I should jump on the bandwagon. So, I spent 8 hours handmaking invitations to the ladies in our ward, handed them out, and put up a reminder on the RS blog. Did anyone come? NO. Not one person. However, my delivery of product for the open house was late, so maybe it was a blessing. It just sucked and was super frustrating to spend hours doing things to prepare and have no one show up. It's not even the sales requirement that scares me, it's just failure. But, we (and I say "we" because Brenan supports the cause) will not give up. I really think it would do great out here; I mean, it's Utah!! Doesn't everyone scrapbook?!

Last, we live with my parents. Before, it was no biggie because we had an entire basement to ourselves (2 bedroom, bathroom, living room, storage, personal entrance/exit). Now, we have a bedroom on the main floor and share the only bathroom on this floor with everyone. NO personal space. And, the insulation sucks so we can hear everything all the time! We love Walter, but it's hard to find cheap housing when you have pets. They want to charge you larger deposits and monthly pet fees. Give a man a chance!

The Lord has watched over us and blessed us and has treated us well, so I shouldn't have anything to complain about. I just have to keep telling myself that things have been looking up, and everything else is just a learning experience.

We need a vacation. Or even a staycation. Something.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

John's birthday cake

I thought it would be fun to make a cool cake for the little stinker, so I experimented with marshmallow fondant. It turned out really well and was pretty easy to do. However, it was messy. I got my clothes covered in powdered sugar, and a good portion of the island covered in Crisco, Pam, and powdered sugar. The boys seemed to like it. They called it the "rubber cake" which I am choosing to take as a compliment.

"J" for John

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I ♥ nerds

I love the language of nerds. Mostly because a large part of what they have to say is completely not interesting. Thus, they feel the need to spice things up to grab in their readers. Today's headline (case and point) : "Suicidal planet seems on death spiral into star." Really? Planets are suicidal? I had no idea!! Even if you have no interest whatsoever in astronomy, or self-loathing planets, read the article. It's short and very amusing! It's "tango of death" should be taken lightly, because like I said, nerds need the readers.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Football according to Rachel

I know football pretty well so this is not said in naivety.
New Rules:
  1. If the stands are quiet (which you will know by the silence and lack of response to the cheerleaders) and I'm bored, then the stop clock will not be stopped. What did take 3 hours will now only take 1.

  2. There will be less penalties called, i.e. the ones that don't matter: illegal man down field (big deal), offsides, late tackle, holding, personal fouls. This will result in some real football and the clock will run much quicker.

  3. The coaches must run an equal running:passing plays. Don't keep kicking a dead donkey.

  4. If the team is winning, has possession, and there is only 1 minute left in the game, put in your JV players. Give a man a chance.

  5. Cheerleaders must smile or else I won't cheer back.

  6. Cheerleaders will not do pushups everytime the team scores. C'mon girls...

  7. It is decidedly so that concessions will not cost more than $1/item.

On an unrelated note, how cute is Alex? I mean, how manly is Alex?

Go Wasatch!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Job Hunting

The wonderful world of job hunting has brought more disappointments than smiles. However, I would like to announce that Brenan got hired as the Head Wrestling Coach for Park City High School! Yea!!! This is BIG :) We're pretty excited about it.

As for myself...I have filled out job applications for several positions at three different school districts, a couple of jobs in Salt Lake, some up in the Park City area i.e. resorts and downtown, and the lowest of low...McDonalds. I have not heard back from anyone. At all. No one. Zip. BUT, and I say that strongly, I have hopes that something will come through for us. I would love to sell scrapbooking supplies full-time, but you have to have money to make money... and I don't know anyone to sell them to yet, so this is still a backburner project.

On a random note: Michelle Obama should wear longer shorts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Smore night

The night started out innocently. We set up our fire pit in the back yard so that we could make smores. The downside to a new house is that we don't know the sprinkler schedules or how to shut them off. So, about 5 minutes into the firelog lighting, the sprinklers go off and we are running and screaming across the yard to try and escape. The only problem is that the firepit, chairs, smores, and camera are still sitting in the middle of the sprinklers. So, after three trips, Brenan and I pulled everything out- soaking wet. Luckily, the camera was ok. Our ghetto solution was to put the pit on the front patio where we would be safe from the rest of the sprinklers.By this point, we were wet and cold. I held most of the enthusiasm for roasting the marshmallows, so I roasted and they ate.

Walter's new friends

Once upon a time, Walter spent all weekend outside. Since he couldn't come in, everyone congregated outside around him. He met two new friends that loved him and vice-versa. Quinn loved taking him for a walk and throwing his toys for him; whereas Jace would run around with him and chase him.

Walter also made friends with hornets. He got attacked by about 4 hornets and got stung on his front paw. It swelled up pretty good, but luckily the Benadryl made it go down, as well as knocked him out for the entire trip home.

Walter is peeking through the window at Jace.

Anniversary Weekend

The week before our anniversary was hectic! We packed, moved, and drove to Colorado by Thursday night (after leaving Wednesday night to beat the heat***). Moving a dog across three states makes a trip a lot longer! Friday morning was the funeral for Officer Kinternknecht, of which we saw the very, very long procession line of police cars from all over Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming. It was very touching to see all of those people there.
***It was 109 degrees the day we moved. Packing sucked in record breaking highs that week.

That night, we went to the famous B&C restaurant in Olathe :) This is the classic combination burrito that we always get.

SATURDAY: our anniversary :) Also, it was the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival, featuring Clint Black. I was psyched to go! I tried to fit in by wearing a cowboy hat and pigtails...I think I did alright. I tried my first piece of Olathe Sweet Corn, watched Brenan do karaoke, and sat 11 rows back during the Clint Black concert.