30 March 2010

Today's Afternoon SNACK

Jamba Juice has saved my metabolism and blood sugar levels today! I was finishing up my afternoon stroll of taking my Netflix (Phenomenon, if you were wondering) packet to the post office downstairs in the Wilk; when on my way back to my computer desk job, I saw that Jamba Juice was giving away free samples of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.

It's basically oatmeal covered with apple pie filling. Mmmm... it was such a perfect snack for 2:30 Pm. I would definitely eat it again!

I chased that with a Raspberry Lemonade Jolly Rancher. Interesting flavor mix, I know, but I guess Jolly Ranchers have new flavors now, so I couldn't refuse a free sample. It's Free Sample Tuesday!

P.S. Happy Birthday to my Momma today!

27 March 2010

Stones Into Schools - Book Review

A couple weeks ago I got a package from my darling mother. She loves to send me packages of her finds from the White Elephant thrift store in Sitka, Alaska and other random doo-dads. She often sends in the package a book that she's recently read or would recommend. I have stacks of books from her that I still haven't started to read. But when I received Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson from my mom, I knew that it was going on the top of my reading list, and I took the opportunity to start the book on a recent sick day.

I'm not a pro book reviewer, so I would rather throw at you a lame attempt at a book endorsement. Greg Mortenson has led an amazing life, one that I would only hope to partially emulate. He has taken on the responsibility of bringing education to Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly the girls in that community. He first writes of his adventures in his book, Three Cups of Tea. But you don't need to read that in order to understand Stones into Schools. I didn't... but I'm definitely going to back track now to do so. When I naively opened the pages of Stones into Schools for the first time, though, I simply began by reading the introduction, and from there I was hooked! The story is SO inspiring. I'm not kidding. After only reading the introduction I wanted to start my own NGO, tell Scott about this divine intervention, and send money to Greg Mortenson for Central Asia, or all three.

"If you teach a boy, you teach an individual. If you teach a girl, you teach a community." This is the girl effect. In Mortenson's book, Stones into School, he gives an amazing account and facts to support "the girl effect" - how educating women makes such a huge difference in economies to eventually bring about a possibility of world peace. In fact, in the beginning chapters of his book he even said that the Taliban, when looking for new recruits, focuses on communities where the female population is particularly uneducated. They have more success in those communities because culturally the mothers have to give their permission for their sons to join the "jihad."

I love The Girl Effect, because it is so true! One person can make such a difference, and it is exponential when that person is a woman. I especially love this YouTube movie for The Girl Effect sponsored by Nike. Motivating advertising! I've had it in my list of "Bzzing Sites for Your Curiosity" for quite some time now. I am a firm believer too, that education makes a huge difference in world health, which is a concept dramatically portrayed in this non-fiction book.

In the final acknowledgments of Mortenson's book, he says, "It is my hope and prayer that over the next decade we will do everything in our power to achieve universal literacy and provide education for [the 120 million school-aged children on this planet who remain illiterate and are deprived of education], two thirds of whom are girls. Nothing would make me more pleased than if Stones into Schools became a catalyst to reach this goal."

I would like to add my prayer to his.

Visit Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute website.

25 March 2010


I am a Bzz Agent. I've been one since I got back home from my study abroad to France, and saw a campaign where I got free chocolate and only had to tell them how I liked it. Free food... gets me every time.

Well lately I haven't been too much into Bzzing, because it seems like BzzAgent has been kind of scattered. They keep offering me campaigns that I'm not really intereted in, or they are REALLY into the social networking thing and taking advantage of your connections. I'm not huge into the social networking world, (my Facebook friends can attest to my lack of updates and photos) and I'm not so much a fan of exploiting friends, so I've limited my participation. I DID try this amazing mascara when they had a campaign recently, and will probably never go back to my old mascara, though.

Then, today they sent me an email about Babies, a new movie that they are working with. Not exactly sure what connection BzzAgent has to the movie. It sounded cheesy to me, like one of those forwarded emails I get from a certain mother-in-law (wink wink) or coworker to try to make me smile with silly pictures of babies or kids say the darnedest things quotes.

But I decided to watch the trailer anyway... and I was kind of amazed. It gets me sucked in right at the beginning with these two babies in Africa. It's a documentary about babies in various parts of the world and how their lives and learning vary. It's so amazing to me what some babies are learning in order to survive.

Did you see that BITE? Anyway, with all the babies being born this Spring, I thought you might enjoy a look at this trailer about how life is so connected and yet drastically different in today's world! Babies comes to theaters on May 7th.

23 March 2010

Summer House Parties and Med School Update

Remember how I told you about the Bicycle Game House Party coming up soon? There are SOOO many more House Parties on the list now, I'm not sure if I'll be able to choose which one I like the most! I'm anticipating that we will have more time to party, as we have now heard back from all medical schools, and there is no good news. *insert little frown* Well... I guess the good news is that now we know and we are moving on to organizing Plan B.

So while we're on to Medical School Apps [Take 2], I've decided we should also included some awesomely sponsored parties. Which one of these do you think sounds the best? Or maybe, better question, which party would you want to come to if we were having it at our house?

My favorite Potential House Parties on Houseparty.com:

Hasboro Game Night House Party
"Get a jumpstart on your summer fun by hosting an exclusive Hasbro Game Night! Your friends will be in awe when you invite them over to be among the first to play the newest, hottest Trivial Pursuit game — weeks before it appears in any store! But that’s just the beginning. Because this Game Night is action-packed with plenty of free goodies including coupons, and two other fun-filled Hasbro games, every partygoer will feel like a big winner!"

Bicycle Playing Cards, What's Your Game House Party
As mentioned before

McDonalds Nuggets and Shrek Forever After House Party
"Coming to a home near you! An evening with great food, your favorite Ogre, and McNuggets® of fun for everyone. So gather your family and friends for an exciting evening with McDonald’s and Shrek®! With Chicken McNuggets®, a DreamWorks’ Shrek DVD, Happy Meal® toys and cool goodies to make any kid — or adult — green with envy, this will be a night to remember forever!"

AquaFina's Flavor Splash House Party
"On May 15th, you'll gather your guests and learn how to make a fit lifestyle more fun, thanks to Aquafina FlavorSplash. You'll enjoy this light, clean, refreshing water with vibrant flavor. Ideal for any time consumption and perfect for the whole family.
If selected as a host, you'll get a FREE party pack that will energize the crowd and make sure your party is a fun-filled success. Don't miss this new look at making “healthy” more enjoyable. Everyone will be in for a remarkably invigorating time!"

Bryer's Summer to Remember House Party
"Remember when summer meant lazy days, long nights, and yummy ice cream? Revisit those great summer memories with your friends and family — and create a few new ones — at a Breyers® Summer to Remember House Party™! Be one of the first to indulge in the all-new, delicious Breyers® Smooth & Dreamy™ ice cream bars and sandwiches while taking a joyful trip down memory lane!"

What do you think?

19 March 2010

Hard Times Reception

I am interning for the Springville Museum of Art. I've been wanting to do something with the museum since we moved to Springville after we were married. So when my BYU creative writing class idea flopped, I decided that I need to replace the time that I would have spent in class and homework with something productive and meaningful. I applied to volunteer at SMA, and they liked my resume so much they asked if I wouldn't spend a few more hours a week and call it an internship. The internship works in museum operations, specifically development. So far I haven't developed much in the way of grant monies, except to research potential grants, but the museum staff is very appreciative. I also help out with events and membership, which is a cool opportunity for me also.

One of the best perks though, of being an SMA intern, is that I get to enjoy the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture every time I visit, and all of the amazing artwork. The building is so beautiful and peaceful, especially in such an accepting environment. Currently on display in the Springville Museum of Art is the All-State Utah High School show, which is a jured show (meaning that the pieces displayed are only the best of those judged). Wow! High school students are so talented. I am really not much of an artist, so I respect and am in awe of their talent.

I've become a big fan of these multiple media pieces, because it feels doable for me to work with my hands to make art rather than to sketch or paint... which I guess is also with your hands. I feel like I can create more when the medium has some physical dimension, I guess is what I'm saying. In the background of this picture you can see the water sculpture, one of the most popular features of the museum for children to see.

If you're in the area, you really should stop by and see some of this work. The high school show ends March 26, 2010. A great opportunity to see this show, is for another exhibition's reception. The Hard Times Exhibition is having a reception, with refreshments no less, on March 24, 2010 at 6:00 PM. Here is a description of the show as on the SMA website "Sixteen artists were asked to respond to our country’s worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, with the result being an exhibition that both stuns and challenges the viewer."

Admission is FREE, there will be free food and entertainment, you'll get to see the High School show before it closes, and see the opening of the Hard Times Exhibition. How can it get any better?

18 March 2010

Watching BYU v Florida on Campus

I have back dated this post, as it is actually April and I forgot to post these pictures previously. And that is the beauty of Blogspot - I can select the date and time for future or past to post.

On March 18, 2010 a large portion of the BYU campus population was crammed into the Wilkinson Student Center to watch the BYU v Florida March Madness basketball game on big screen TVs. I was working in my office just across from the food court at the time. My normal stare session with my computer was being interrupted by spurts of applause or booing, which pretty much synced with changes on my Yahoo.com scoreboard internet tab. Upon seeing this spectacle, I had to post pictures of how dedicated True Blue BYU fans are.

What's Your Game House Party

Scott and I are gamers! We LOVE to have game nights at our house or anyone's house for that matter. We can be a little competitive, and after game of Blokus Scott may need to sleep on the couch. But other than that we are fairly good gaming company.

So I am fairly excited to announce that HouseParty.com has announced the application to host a Bicycle Playing Cards Game Party.

The suggested game day is May 8 and I couldn't find a deadline to apply. I almost applied as soon as I got the email announcement that the application was ready. EXCEPT, that we are still waiting to hear back about where we are going to medical school or further medical school preparations. So we may be moving in May. In fact, my parents are planning to fly down the same day as Party Time to either help us move or just have fun if we aren't moving. Dad needs to take some vacation days before he goes on permanent vacation from SEARHC. Also, I'm a wee bit nervous about applying to a House Party, after the last time when I wasn't accepted for my beloved bacon party because I had already thrown a party the month before.
But I'm going to keep watch for the parties surrounding this gamer party, and if there are no other bacon parties in sight and we have slim chances of moving, know that I will be having a game night in May, hopefully sponsored by HouseParty!

17 March 2010

March Madness and Mid-Terms

As mid-terms are closing up here at BYU (Scott has one more test to go!), we are also making time to fill out our March Madness brackets. Scott of course is making a little more time to analyze the situation than the rest of us.

I made two brackets - one for Scott's family challenge where it's based on which mascot would win in a battle, and one bracket for work that I had Scott help me put together. We'll see which one does better. Scott actually specifically said that in the family challenge only wives and daughters were allowed to choose by uniform color or mascot. I usually don't do that, but I felt like I needed to take advantage of that rule SOMETIME. Plus I really haven't been paying attention, even though it has been non-stop on our home tv for the past three weeks.

Well one of my higher ed co-workers recently sent me this article for how to chose your bracket winners. It is interesting to see the outcome of schools that perform the best academically and how that correlates to sports. Take a look!

If you were wondering, below are some profiles for my final four mascot battle-

16 March 2010

The Theater is Perfect For Eavesdropping

If you're looking for a good place to nonchalantly eavesdrop on other people's conversations, the theater is perfect. In order to effectively eavesdrop on a dinner conversation in a restaurant, you would have to ignore your food or your date conversation. But when you sit down in your seat to watch a play, you just sit down in your seat, look at the performance bill, and wait for the lights to go down. Perfect situation for listening to your seat neighbors!

Scott is in a theater and media arts class in order to fulfil a GE for graduation. This is something that I often tease him for because he is not exactly the theater-going type, though I have forced him to come with me on more than one occasion because I am a huge fan of arts and culture. Well for his theater class he needed to attend a performance of BYU's production of Blood Wedding by Frederico Garcia Lorca . We went last Thursday and prepared ourselves for the amphitheater experience, as it was obvious from the stage set-up that we would be up close and personal with the actors, musicians, and dancers. As I was quietly sitting in my seat reading about the dramatic slow-motion knife fight that should occur mid-play, a chatting trio sat behind us.

They were talking about how they had come to Blood Wedding to watch one of the performers, the "flautist" actually. Then they mentioned how they were so excited to make faces at her all night, and that she would probably be laughing so hard that she wouldn't be able to perform. A sarcastic, "Yeesss!" came to mind - sarcastic because I'm not a fan of sitting in front of or behind obnoxious audience members. The worst though, is a teenager who thinks it funny to clap at odd times and intervals or make rude comments about performers to his neighbor. Too many Fine Arts Camp memories I guess...

Anyway, the play started and indeed the girls from behind were trying to make the flautist laugh. Even better, they were laughing during the most awkward silent moments of the play - like when the bride ran off on the day of her wedding with her former lover on horseback. Of course, since there wasn't a horse on campus, it was just the bride and her former lover at the top of the stage fake riding a horse into the distance (pictured below from the front, instead of from the side as we saw it). While I knew exactly what they were miming, even Scott said their stage galloping/gyrating was an awkward movement to observe.

Another piece of silence that was interrupted by laughing, and this time an additional snort of laughter, was the slow-motion knife fight. The bridegroom, having been abandoned by his bride for her former lover, chased them both down through the wilderness. When he found them bridegroom and former/present lover both drew their knives, and with Spanish tango flare, both abruptly raised their arms high above their heads with palm upwards. Laughter from the back trio.... the duelers stared at each other for quite some time before starting the choreographed movements of the fight. I almost thought they were going to laugh themselves, because they did look like they were holding back some emotion. Finally the girls realized that their laughter was breaking the dramatic silence, and the fight continued on... slowly... and both the bridegroom and lover died.

The play was very interesting and I think well acted, though I probably could have done without the snorting laughter from the audience. The contemporary dance seemed a little much for me too, but I think the script actually called for it. The message of the play was intriguing. Scott thought the moral was especially poignant for BYU students who get married too quickly without knowing what they are getting into. Obviously we aren't considering our one year of dating in the "too quick" category. Gotta love the theater!

12 March 2010

Weekend Food for Thought

First I have some brain food for you. It's not exactly intellectual stimulus... more like the articles I read today and could not stop talking about with coworkers. Pick and choose to your curiosity:

A main reason why we have serial killers in abundance today - A horrifying porn industry
(CBS article, completely clean, though the story is sad and probably not for the nightmare-proned)

A battle between rights and relationships - Cancelling Prom

A gastronomic oddity - Mommy Milk Cheese

You're welcome to post comments with your response to these articles, but please be considerate. We are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs. Crazy current events, though! Did I mention that the weather has been quite abnormal here and well... everywhere! And what's with these massive earthquakes?! We are most definitely living in unusual times.

And now... weekend edibles for your delight. When I saw this recipe come up on my blog reader today, I knew that it had to be Saturday after-dinner snack/Sunday morning breakfast. Cinnamon Chip Bundt Cake posted on The Idea Room blog. It looks so scrumptious, and is made with Hershey's cinnamon chips. Mmmm, can't wait for dessert for breakfast.

10 March 2010

My Bestie's Baby

Does that title sound odd to anyone else?

Well it's only the truth. My best friend Maura went to the hospital yesterday in Salt Lake City and little boy Lansford was born that afternoon(no official name yet has been announced). At birth he was 6 lbs 15 oz and 20 inces long. Both mama and baby are doing great from what I hear from Cole.

I know I probably should be waiting for Maura and Cole to blog themselves about this wonderous occasion, but I'm just so excited for them and their miracle! I can't wait to see more pictures and meet the little man in person!

Here's a picture of Maura and I at her baby shower in January

And this is a picture that Anne Bukey took of Baby Boy Lansford yesterday!

Isn't he just the cutest with his little GQ pose!

08 March 2010

Lazy Man's Enchiladas and Cinnamon Chips

I love Mexican food. I could eat it all the time and be completely happy. I especially love green sauce enchiladas. My first enchilada love was my sister-in-law Annie's enchiladas, made with a cream cheese chicken filling in the center and a sprinkle of pecans on top. It reminded me so much of Chicken Roll-up goodness, mexi-style! Then I was introduced to Erik Bermudez's cheesy enchiladas with green sauce. Oooh yummy! But corn tortillas take a lot of work to be edible. So Scott and I resorted to flour tortillas with chicken and cheese filling and a chicken/green chili sauce.

But let's just say that I am too lazy for those too. So I've come up with an easy alternative and the dessert practically makes itself. I call it Lazy Man's Enchiladas.

You will need these ingredients for the enchiladas:
7 flour tortillas
1 chicken breast, cooked and cute into cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 sm container of sour cream
1 can of green enchilada sauce or green salsa
Cheese (I like cheddar and monterrey jack, but you can use your preference. I like a lot of cheese)

Step 1: Stack up your tortillas on a cutting board and trim off the edges so you are left with square tortilla and fry-chip looking ends. Then, cut your square in half lengthwise and make rectangle tortilla strips. It makes it easier when layer, and gives you little chips for your dessert ingredients.

Step 2: Mix all wet ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

Step 3: Take your pyrex type baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray, and put a little bit of sauce at the bottom. Then layer tortilla strips, cheese, chicken, and a cover with a layer of sauce. This will make about four layers. Cover the top with your remaining sauce and cheese.

Step 4: Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Take a power nap. This is the Lazy Man's version after all!

Once the thirty minutes are up, you can take off the tin foil and let the cheese crisp up for a few minutes in the oven.

Serve with beans and rice.

Then digest... another nap may help. You never know. After you're done digesting, it may be time for dessert. This is Scott's favorite part about this meal, the cinnamon chips.

You will need:
The leftover trimmed edges of your tortillas
1/2 c sugar mixed with cinnamon

Step 1: Spread butter on the remaining tortilla strips. You could probably melt and spread with a brush, but being lazy... I just spread a small amount of softened butter on with a knife.

Step 2: Place the strips on a large baking sheet lined with tin foil.

Step 3: Sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon sugar on each strip.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes, or until your tortilla strips are slightly brown at the edges.

Serve immediately! These don't last long. These taste especially good with a lazy man's chocolate mousse (chocolate pudding mixed with Cool Whip).


P.S. Sorry no pictures! We have bad lighting in our basement apartment.
P.S.S. I wanted to write lightening just for you, Christie. Darn typos!

05 March 2010

Duck Migration from Botany Pond

Yesterday I woke up, got ready for work, and when I walked outside I found that I didn't need a heavy coat. So I left it on the coat rack. The Matrix quoted a pleasant 45 degrees as I drove to BYU. Ten degrees warmer and the Sitkans would be wearing shorts! I walked in a little late to work, with others who had left their winter coats behind, and thought to myself, "Spring has sprung! Time to shed some layers! Good bye little pile of snow. You are the last of your kind, and we don't want you any more." There was one pile of melting snow outside the Wilkinson Center.

Lately, the ducks have been migrating up from Botany Pond at the South of campus where they normally live. I'm not sure why the make the trek all the way up to the Wilkinson Center. Is it because we have better grass? Or more likely it's because we smell better.

They are led north for the warmer weather by a courageous leader... at least that is the role I imagine he assumed after being shot in the neck with a dart. He keeps that red tag and protruding needle as a sign to all the other ducks that he is the alpha duck, the protector of females and babies. He seriously leads the way into new territory or herds the other ducks from behind. It's funny to watch. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of him, but as I've discovered, ducks are not posers, especially the alpha duck.

Well, afternoon rolls around and my student workers that came for the four hour shift to end the work day walk in wet, with specks of snow in their hair. NOOOOOOO! Why does winter have to ruin my day?! I don't even have a coat to wear home Slash the distance to my car and car to apartment. The snow is really coming down. My windsheild wipers had to do double time on the drive home yesterday and the drive back to BYU today.

The ducks didn't seem to mind too much though.

03 March 2010

And then there were three...

Well I thought I would give you another update on the world of Medical School Applications. What was a longer list of schools we were waiting to hear back from, is now a list of three, and really we're thinking probably only two (Tufts is extremely competitive). Schools left are, in no particular order:

School of Medicine - Tufts University
School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona - A.T. Still University
College of Osteopathic Medicine - Rocky Vista University

Secondary applications have been submitted for all three, and in an attempt to sweeten the pot, so to speak, we sent them an update with Scott's new and improved GPA and his expectations for grades by April graduation.

Then comes the difficult part - making Plan B. For awhile Scott had been thinking that going out and getting experience would be most beneficial for improving his chances for admittance. But in calling medical schools he was not accepted to, we've discovered that allopathic medical schools care most about academic performance, and that Scott is actually above average when it comes to experience. That was a little disappointing, because obviously we would love to spend more time with hands-on learning experience and money making then back in the library with the books.

So now Scott is applying to a Post-Bac Pre-Med program at UC Davis, in the hopes that he can improve his GPA and chances for reapplication to specific schools. The program is one year, the summer spent preparing students to retake the MCAT and the academic year spent taking first year medical school classes to improve the students academic record and prepare them for medical school studies. In order to get into this program at UC-D though, you need to be a minority. While we've received written verification that Scott is considered a minority, we still have to convince UC-D. And no, Scott, making your salutation, "Capt." on the application, probably won't help.

Scott has written some really interesting essays for the UC-Davis Post Bac Application to convince the committee that he should be considered for the program as a deserving student. In fact, one of the essays made me teary-eyed. It's a moving account of how Scott understands the need for more medical professionals in the Sacramento area. You'll have to see if you can convince him to blog about it.

Anyway, fingers crossed and prayers sent that good things will happen.