29 July 2010

Sweet Suite Lovin'

As I am finishing up work at BYU (last day is August 13, graduation day for Scott!), I have thought a lot about what I have gained from my experiences here. Maybe one of the best benefits of working at BYU has been the ability to take classes for free. And by far, the most fun I've had in any class at BYU, is learning from BYU's Office of Information Technology.

I first registered for these classes because my supervisor wanted to improve the look and function of the employer side website. For this task I took most of the Adobe Suite classes - Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash (that workshop may have been too short), and Captivate (wasn't for the website but that would be cool). I had so much fun practicing the skills that I learned that I may have gone a bit overboard. I created stick figures, blog background, graduation announcements, and thought about website ideas.

Then right before I was planning my last day, the announcement came out that another Dreamweaver class was being offered. I hadn't taken this before, because I know HTML and didn't think it would be necessary to creat the webpage. But now that the UCS webpage is live, and I have to turn it over to students to update when I leave, I wanted to see if Dreamweaver would be helpful for them to maintenance the site. The UCS website is currently maintained with Druple content management, but I prefer even then to use the full PHP to edit.

My verdict - Dreamweaver rocks my socks off! I am having so much fun learning all of the gadgets for adding code to a website. This is just an example from what we were learning to create today.

haha! I totally just realized I wrote "Hi! I'm Emily" instead of Elizabeth... good thing this is a class"

But in the end, I'm not sure that it's worth me putting all the website pages into Dreamweaver. Whether the website content is in Dreamweaver or Druple, the student who's helping maintain the website will still need to understand HTML if they want to do anything different to the website besides editing text. So we'll just keep it backed up the way it is.

That doesn't mean that it was a waste of a class. NOT AT ALL! I am anxious to put together a website with my ideas, and to keep playing with the widgets. Call me a geek, that's fine! I'll even buy myself a pocket protector, as long as I can still play with the sweet Suite tools Adobe has to offer!

28 July 2010

Journal Entry

The best part about writing a personal blog is that I can choose when to write! No need to write every day because of the pressure to make your readers happy. If I don't feel like I've done anything noteworthy to share, then no need to blog. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to write. Writing is such a great release for me and an opportunity to express my creative side. But writing a blog post, just because I haven't written in a day or two, seems a little bit like my elementary school journals.

I'm sure you have one of those diaries! My journal from third through fourth grade is filled with dates and one line statements, "Nothing happened today." I remember looking back at this journal when I was in middle school, and being very upset. I'm sure SOMETHING happened that day. What was I studying in school? Who did I sit next to in the lunchroom or play with on the playground? What did I do with my brothers? Looking back on those journals, I miss seeing the value of a simple day.

So here's what we've been up to lately:
Scott submitted his primary applications to a selected group of Osteopathic Medical schools. His personal statement turned out way better than the many drafts before. I was extra excited to see that a new osteopathic medical school is opening it's doors in Oregon, where my parents are considering moving and where Scott has family! We added that to the group for application.

Everyone has asked if I have registered for classes yet for the MBA program I am starting at the University of Massachusetts. I am so excited about the program and was dissapointed not to receive my login access to register for classes. So I called the office today to see if they had received all of my official documents. I am SO glad I called, because all of my documents had arrived but they hadn't been connected to my profile because they were under my maiden name. The woman was so nice to help me and I should be able to register in a week!

Other than that, Scott and I have just been enjoying the summer of softball games, baby showers, wedding receptions, and just hanging out with family and friends. We are planning a BBQ bash for Scott's graduation in August. Check out the sweet invite I made in the Adobe Creative Suite. Now I just need to print.

23 July 2010

Favorite Summer Recipes 2010

Scott said he took a personality test the other day, and it asked him if he liked to try new entrees when he visited a restaurant. He said yes, and when he told me this I was a little confused. "Uh, where did you get that idea?" We were sitting in Kneaders eating our ever favorite Turkey Bacon Avacado on Foccacia (I mean, really?! Nothing beats this sandwhich. If there isn't a Kneaders wherever we go to medical school, I may need to start a franchise with someone elses' money.). We don't order anything else at Kneaders, though supposidly Scott has thought about what he would buy if he had endless supplies of cash to try everything on the menu. I reminded him that when we go to Subway we order the same thing every time. When we go to mexican restaurants it's usually the same deal, with little variation. Typically we test until we find a menu item we love, and then we don't deviate!

Keeping that in mind, our summer lovin' for dinner recipes pretty much includes the following recipes weekly:

Lemon Pepper Orzo from Jandee Jones at Little Piggy Food Blog
Homemade Pizza from Annie at Annie's Eats
Cheese Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce, a recipe I learned from Erik Burmudez
Tomato Basil Fritata
Tacos (I prefer salsa chicken tacos, but Scott likes the beefy kind)
Yummy Blueberry Pancakes

Lately when I've made these recipes, I receive a gasp of pure enjoyment from Scott, like his food life could not be any better. This is especially the case with lemon pepper orzo. Maybe someday we'll go around to restaurants with the purpose of trying all new things, but for now I'm going to stick with what I know wont fail to please.

22 July 2010

Word of the Day: Catalpa

Remember when I asked if anyone knew what this tree was called?

Wow! I can't believe I just blogged about that at the end of June. Summer is really flying by!

Well, yesterday the Springville Museum of Art had a Member Day event with speakers and snacks. One of the speakers was a Master Gardener who volunteers to train the museum's scuplture garden. SO gorgeous! I need to find a good picture to show you. Well, thank you Facebook for having so many pictures of SMA, including this one of the garden.

Ok, so the Master Gardener woman (P.S. totally want to be one of those when I grow up) talked about the various grasses and shade plants. She shared stories about the espalier apple trees growing along the walls. And when she was done her with presentation she asked for any questions. My hand shot up. "What are those cute little trees in the front called with the gigantic leaves?" She thought for a bit... "Oh! You mean the Keebler trees?" My initial thought was, that can't possibly be the name! Though it's exactly what I picture when I see them. "They're called Catalpa trees," she said.

She talked about how these particular Catalpa trees in the front of SMA had a major pruning session this winter. I guess it's supposed to happen every year to keep it down to it's cutesy size, but this year was the first in a long time and it was so drastic that everyone was shocked. But today it's a gigantic puff of large leaves, so it couldn't have been all that bad.

So there you have it, folks! My future Master Garden will feature a Catalpa. You're welcome to visit it, when I'm that accomplished. Thank heavens for Master Gardner knowledge!

20 July 2010

All The Single Ladies

Well, all the lady readers any way. Married or Single. This post isn't really for men.

So I've told you before that I am a part of this marketing thing called BzzAgent. They send me free things to try or coupons for discounted new products and I tell my friends what I think about it. The company exists to create word of mouth marketing, which is priceless in the marketing world. But positive word of mouth is difficult to obtain organically. You almost just have to hope that your product will be caught on by cool people and then spread like wild fire. So BzzAgent tries to reproduce, except they take the good and the bad word of mouth marketing because it has to be real and organic.

Well BzzAgent sent me a bra. Yes, this is where the men really stop reading. Barely There Comfort bra Custom Flex Fit. They advertise as having smart sizes that shape to fit you. Their special sizing chart shows you which size to buy based on personal band and cup. Me? ... Well lets just say that the bra Barely There sent me to try fits pretty well but a size smaller wouldn't have been bad either. There size chart isn't off, I just overestimated my assets.

So I just got my package today, and when I opened it up there were coupons inside for you. Buy one bra, and they will send you another one free and a T-Shirt. Don't ask me what the t-shirt looks like. I have no idea. Didn't get one of those. THEN I look at the expiration date for the offer - July 22, 2010. Uh, yeah. Thursday! Why didn't they send me the package earlier?

So if you happen to buy a Barely There bra in the next two days at any store where sold, let me know and I will send you a card. You can mail in the card by August 5 for the freebies. I myself have a Kohls gift card, that I might just need to use to get another Barely There. This time I'm thinking Cottony Wirefree.

Social Media Addictions

"Is that a farm?" The other day, I noticed that one of the student employees in my office had a cartoon up on her computer screen. "Actually," she clarified, "It's the frontier." It reminded me a lot of those tamagotchi key chains I got for Christmas once when I was a kid. She explained that she got hooked after a friend recommended she start on Facebook. She'll keep it open all day and every once and awhile in the breaks from work tasks she'll work on "the neighbors farm" or "feed the animals." Her current goal in the game is to get married. Haha!

While she was explaining this concept of second life type games on Facebook, this employee pointed out another student in our office who is part of the Mafia Wars on the social site. He said he isn't very active on the mafia, but plays the game when he gets bored on Facebook.

I had no idea these games even existed! It's no wonder people are spending exponential amounts of time on Facebook. You have to feed your tamagotchi and make sure it doesn't get thrown in the river. Here I am barely even updating my page, while everyone else is using their social networks to get further along in the Frontier.

Any other games I should try to avoid?

19 July 2010

Très Chic Diapers

I must be in the mood for posting YouTube videos lately. Either that or YouTube is just what occupies our office air space during the slow moments of summer days.

Seen this yet?

Letting your kid run around in just a diaper is now more than acceptable, it's fashionable. Pampers is going designer and Huggies is offering the jeans model for those babies who care to look like number one when going number two. TMI, if you ask me. :) But from a economics and business perspective, a very smart move for diapers. I've heard they can't keep these diapers in stock at stores!

17 July 2010

SMA Quilt Show 2010

The 37th Annual Quilt Show is now on display at the Springville Museum of Art. I was at the museum for my volunteer internship Wednesday night when the Quilt Show official opened with the awards reception.

I was so impressed with the amazing sewing talent of Utah, that I had to show off some of the award winning quilts.

I loved the texture on this quilt. I think it won a blue ribbon for Best Embroidery or something similar. I no speak Quilter. Lets just say I would wrap myself in this quilt any day.

At the end of the hallway there (see white ribbon) is the quilt awarded Best of Show. Though I giggle inside thinking about poodles and Sue Silvester, the quilt actually references the more holy work of the MoTab. Supposidly this quilt took the creator three years to piece together! This makes sense to me though, because when you get close up the flowers are created from diagnals in various hues to add shading. Again, please no technical deductions for not knowing the actual terms of sewing.

There are some fun quilts in the show including the halloween quilt that was cute but not an award winner, and the everything's better covered in chocolate quilt that was also not adorned with a ribbon. I also like that Africa quilt in the corner near the Best of Show.

The show will be open from July 14 - September 1, 2010. If you come on a Wednesday during that time, you could probably see me too!

16 July 2010

Never Before has BYU Been SO Hilarious

I'm anxious to post pictures of the Quilt Show going on right now at the Springville Museum of Art. Such talented sewers! You'll be impressed, even if you're not familiar with quilting.

But I had to post this first. I guess there's a media group in the Harold B. Lee Library on campus at BYU that just came out with this commercial to show in the library. I have to say, it's genius! I haven't seen such a good mock-up since the original.

14 July 2010

A Student Again

Guess who was just accepted to the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts?!

That's right, it's Me!

BYU-Idaho Graduation 2005

Scott will be graduating in August and dethroned from the status of student. I will take the title for the second time starting this fall. September 7 to be exact. This time I will be studying towards an MBA though the UMass online program. I am very, VERY excited!!

13 July 2010

Business Venture

Scott keeps asking me when am I going to post these business cards that I designed.

Imagine rounded edges instead of blue or square edges (Front and Back of card)

He was shocked that I drew the posh woman and her purse. I'm shy about it because I am in no way a professionally trained designer.

This is actually for a website I'm contemplating. I still need to work out the kinks, and there are OH so many. (Christie are you thinking of Special Bear Agent Oso right now?) Let's just say if I can muster enough courage to start this, it could become the Nordstroms of blogger premade background shops.

08 July 2010

Application to Schools - Take 2

Scott is in the process of filing out the primary application for osteopathic medical schools, as a second year applicant. He is determined to stand out from the crowd of applicants and show his commitment to the medical field.

The first draft of his personal statement was good, but not great. So Scott talked with his brother Steve (whose personal statement was the sole topic of his interview for dental school) for inspiration. He also had conversations with his parents and mine. And today when Scott finished all of his homework, he began the process of beginning an entirely new draft.

When Scott called me back from my work desk to ask me how the introduction sounded, all I could think of was this scene from this last season of The Office.

It was a good start hon, but you need to taste a rainbow and add Christian Slater.

07 July 2010

Hello Denver!

Scott and I had a wonderful trip to Denver. We left on Thursday around noon and took I-70 from Spanish Fork, through the canyons and mountains down to Denver. It was a beautiful ride, though winding, with red rock all around the river and suspended highways.

We even stopped along the way in Palisade, CO which is famous for their fruit, and grabbed a bag of cherries. Mmm! The town had a very quiet, “Andy Griffith” kind of feel to it. As we drove through Palisade trying to find a gas station to fuel up, we ate our cherries and spit the seeds out the car windows.

Picture of Castle Rock, CO

On Friday morning, we took a tour of Parker where Rocky Vista University is located. The town is SO quaint. Though the Denver skyscrapers are a stone’s throw away, the rolling hills and manicured lawns of Parker have a very rural and inviting feel. Scott had arranged for a tour of RVU with the school’s recruiter. So at 10:00 Am, we had a tour of the whole building including: the first year large auditorium, the second year medium auditorium (both equipped with quiet rooms for students with babies), the lecture lab equipped with hologram surgery hardware, the anatomy lab with cadavers (I skipped out on that part), the manipulation lab (where the students learn osteopathic manual manipulation methods), and the library. Oh… the school has a cafeteria too, but for the moment that just means four refrigerators, four microwaves, and long tables for eating. They are planning on having a full buffet eventually. We were very impressed with the school and Parker. It is for sure a place where we could see ourselves for the medical school years.

I didn’t really organize a plan past Friday, except to watch the fireworks on Saturday night. So when we woke up the next day I had to rummage through the local paper and scour internet sites to find things to entertain us until that evening’s events. We drove around Parker looking at condos for sale, visited Castle Rock and Lone Tree (everything in Colorado, Denver area, is surprisingly close though the map may appear to show distance). We walked through a small farmers market, where Scott tried what he claims is the best tasting meat of his life! Then we spent most of the afternoon watching a little league baseball tournament next to the field where the firework concert was going to be.

After four hours of little league and sitting on a blanket in the middle of a field, the concert began and we found ourselves sitting like outcasts in the middle of a town party. Though, I did have my BYU shirt on and got a couple shouts of “Go Cougs!” So after six hours of sitting on a blanket in the middle of a field, with two hours of concert, and two hours more until it was dark enough for a firework display, we decided to skip out on the rest of the concert all together. Mostly we succumbed to the idea of bottomless fries!

That’s right! We left a brass band extravaganza for Red Robin burgers! OH! It was SO yummy. Definitely the best decision I had made that day was to leave the mosquito infested area to eat a guacamole bacon burger. After we ate dinner, we went along the rolling hills of Parker and found a Best Buy that had a parking lot perfect for firework gazing. It was extra perfect because there was a car in the parking lot next to us that had an extra sensitive alarm system. This made for a fun game of “Which firework will set off the car next.” The best ones were the red, white, and blue spread that made no noise until after a good ten seconds, when it exploded the sound barrier. Anything smaller than that would usually only evoke a double beep from the car.

Throughout the whole trip, I kept asking Scott to take pictures. It was NOT an easy task. The most difficult coaxing had to come with the Red Robin bird picture. He was so nervous about it, he had to ask the waiter if it was “cool” to take a picture in front of the bird. I’m sure the waiter was thinking, “maybe not cool, but you’re welcome to do it.” But there was one picture that Scott begged me to take. I guess beg is not the right word. I had no choice. As we drove home from the Parker Fireworks, with aftershocks flaring up in every culdesac, Scott saw the Bronco Football Training Camp along our route and pulled over for me to take a picture of him… in the dark… in front of this sign! Gotta love him!

All in all I would call this a successful trip, minus the whole part about us driving home on I-80, adding another 100 miles to our exhausting drive home. But that’s another story.

02 July 2010

Celebrating Fireworks

Our trip to Denver so far has been a success! I'll wait to tell you about it when I can post with pictures. We plan to stay for fireworks tomorrow in Parker, where Rocky Vista University is located and a sponsor for the fireworks display this year. Then on Sunday we will be driving back to Provo, hopefully at a decent pace. We'll see how traffic is this holiday weekend.

If you don't have the opportunity to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, I just got word that HouseParty is streaming live from their website, the firework display of Irvington, New York. Here's information from their press release:

"'With so many communities cutting out their annual July 4th fireworks display because of budget issues, House Party wanted to offer party hosts around the country the opportunity to still include fireworks into their Independence Day festivities.'

The display will be available at www.ustream.tv/channel/irvington-fireworks at 9:15 p.m. EST and beyond.

WHO: House Party (www.houseparty.com)

WHAT: Livestream to Irvington, NY Fireworks Display

WHERE: http://bit.ly/aHHBhn

WHEN: Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 9:15 p.m. EST and beyond"

I hope your BBQs are all successful and you enjoy this long weekend!