Sunday, January 29, 2012


I'm PINNING! Kind of like WINNING, but better :)

I found this amazing date's for a year idea on pinterest, originally pinned from here.


What a great idea! I wanted to create my own version of this to give to my husband on his birthday. It worked out great since he has a January birthday. You create a different date for each month, I looked at our cities events calendar to get ideas of sporting events and free concerts going on each month, then thought up a creative date that me and husband haven't done before or at least haven't done for a while. It will be great to look forward to a different fun date each month, and it won't break the bank either. Husband decided to wait to open the date cards each month, then we will put it on the calendar so we are sure to actually go on the date!

I used things I already had lying around the house to save money; envelopes, stationary cards, tape and scissors. I also re-used a box I had from Christmas to store them. It might not be as cute as Shannon's version, and I am no scrapbook extraordinaire like her, but it's the date's themselves that really count! 

January date envelop 

July - a bike ride to a free concert at pioneer park and dinner at tasty thai on the way

date envelopes

date box

I'll update on the dates as we go on them. We already went on our January date. An IMAX movie and dinner out on the way. Tommy and I are movie junkies, but don't tend to actually go out to the movies very often, we usually watch them in the comfort of our own home. It's always nice to get out and see one on the big screen!

Thanks Shannon for the wonderful idea!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

cake and presents

What is better than cake and presents? My husband just had his 29th birthday, getting up there! The big 3-0 next year. 

I love surprises, always have and always hope to be surprised (although I typically ruin surprises for myself). My husband on the other hand, is not so thrilled with surprises. I once threw him a surprise going away party with our friends in Athens, GA before he was headed back home to Australia for summer, and he was not amused. He was of course a good sport and went along with it, but I now know not to plan any more surprise parties for husband ; )

I did still want to surprise him when he woke up on his birthday with his big gift. We had been talking about getting a big flat screen t.v. since we moved into our new place. Our little 22" wasn't cutting it and we love to watch movies. We spent lots of time looking at t.v.'s at Best Buy (Tommy's favorite place), and narrowed it down to a few we liked. I went back and got one while he was off training in LA, stored it at a friends house, and woke up before he did on his bday to get the t.v. all set up. I wish I had some photos of me trying to haul it in the house, not an easy task! 

the big t.v. all set up ready for the surprise
He was surprised! I tried to get a video of him coming into the room and seeing the t.v. but he walked right in front of the video and all you can see is his shirt (oh well).

Now for cake! My mom always made us this delicious pizza cake for our birthday's growing up, and Tommy requested it. It was my first time making it and was fairly easy (this coming from a girl who is not a very good cook). 

desert pizza cake
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour

2 cups mini marsh mellows
1 cup chocolate chips
M&M (or your favorite candy to top it off)

Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C
In a bowl, combine sugars, butters, vanilla and eggs (mix well)
Spoon the flour and gradually stir into the wet ingredients until a dough forms
Press dough into a round 12 or 14 inch pizza pan (I used square because I didn't have round)
Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown
Take out and sprinkle with toppings, bake another 10 minutes or until marsh mellows begin to puff up and brown. 
Let cool and enjoy! 

(disclaimer-this is not a healthy cake recipe, but who are we kidding, aren't you supposed to indulge on your birthday, your husbands birthday, your friends birthdays...)

We braved the snow (it doesn't faze anyone here in SLC) and had a delicious birthday dinner at Vinto's. They have amazing wood fired pizza's, then enjoyed some wine and pizza cake back at home with some friends. Perfect end to a successful birthday!

snow on our way to tommy's birthday dinner with friends

Sunday, January 22, 2012

learning to use my camera

My birthday wish last year (in May 2011) was to get a fancy camera. I chose the Nikon D5100, for no other reason than I had to choose one really. I heard all the arguments about whether Nikon or Canon was better, and I personally liked the feel of the Nikon better than Canon (totally a personal preference).

i got my nikon as an early birthday present in my easter basket

It took a good 8 months before I finally got around to taking a class to learn how to properly use my fancy camera. If anyone in the SLC area is looking to learn how to use their DSLR camera, look into Pictureline. They offer very affordable classes and even give you a $20 gift card at the end of the class that you can use toward purchasing merchandise in the store! 

They taught the simple concepts that most consumers don't really "get" when they buy a DSLR. I now understand that ISO changes the sensor sensitivity to light, the lower the number, the more light is needed. I learned in a low light situation you actually need to turn your flash down (opposite than what you might think) and in bright light you turn your flash up. I learned that all those blurry photos I was getting was caused by my shutter speed being too slow. And that changing your WB (white balance) can make those funky orange, or way too blue colors go away.

Here are some examples of how changing your white balance and ISO can totally change the color and feel of a photo. My husband will probably not appreciate me putting these up... sorry!

before i changed the white balance from auto to incandescent

after i fixed the white balance and turned my ISO up

the winter wonderland we woke up to-a bit blue because my white balance was still set on incandescent 

after changing my white balance to an outdoor setting and turing my ISO down since the light was brighter outside
It is all about learning your camera's settings and then practice, practice, practice... I'm looking forward to eventually being able to pick up my camera and automatically choose a setting based on the situation.

It was my husbands birthday yesterday, so I have been busy trying to surprise him with his BIG present this year and making my mom's delicious pizza cake recipe we got every year on our birthday growing up. Ill share what the BIG surprise was next, as well as the amazing pizza cake recipe!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

don't bother me, i'm pinning!

Pinterest is to me like cyclingnews is to my husband... when work is slow, I pin, when nothing is on TV, I pin, every time I open my computer... I pin! As I type this, my husband is on and I am switching back and forth between this post and pinterest... ha! 

I created some amazing painted mugs I found on pinterest, originally pinned from here

I went to Michaels and bought some Pebeo Porcelaine 150 outliner in black. I used some coffee mugs I already had at home that were plane white and kind of boring. 

My white mugs and Pebeo Porcelaine outliner with a stencil I attempted to make.

I thought it might be easier to make a stencil out of some card stock I had, but it turned out to be easier to just free hand it and accept the beautiful imperfections.

After letting the paint dry for 24 hours and a 30-45 minute bake in the oven at 350 F, my mugs were done! I used two different patterns to spice it up a bit, and I have two more mugs to paint still! (warning: the paint should not be used on surfaces that you will eat food off of or drink out of, only paint the outside).

Next up: my adventures in photography class! I am taking a class at pictureline, a local camera store that offers classes to people like me who can't figure out these fancy cameras. Hopefully ill learn how to better use my Nikon and post some better photos in the future.

Monday, January 16, 2012

a home for my scarves

I love scarves, I have quite the collection and I think it is still growing. I found a way to organize them on pinterest that is so simple yet genius... one of those, why didn't I think of that kind of ideas!

Friday, January 13, 2012

adventures in knitting (my failed attempt)

One week and I am still blogging away, hooray! Is anyone actually reading this? If so, great and thank you! If not, well, that's OK... I am not looking for a flock of followers, rather just a way to inspire myself to feel inspired. Are you inspired yet? What inspires you to be a doer and not just a "pinner"?
I added some of my oh so favorite blogs, so maybe you will also find some inspiration in the blogosphere world.
If you haven't noticed yet; I can't spell, my grammar is atrocious, I make up words and I am perfectly ok with my imperfections. Hopefully my loyal readers don't mind, and if my imperfect grammar and spelling drives you crazy, you can correct me all you want, I need an English lesson every now and then.
I am going to tackle another pin today, which I will share tomorrow. In the mean time I am sharing a photo of the stocking I tried to knit for my husband...

I got distracted by the "bad luck comes in three's" kind of weeks and my amazing mom came to the rescue so it would actually be done before Christmas, thanks mom! Maybe ill tackle another adventure in knitting soon (and actually finish it)... hmmm, what to knit next? Maybe ill turn into one of those crazy ladies who knits something for everything... need a sweater for your bike husband?
 photo courtesy of

Then again... maybe not so much.

Some photos of the finished stocking(s) and my quick trip back home for Christmas with the family.

Reading, The Night Before Christmas with Omi

Mine and Tommy's first tree!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

top five restaurants in slc

Tommy and I love to eat out. We quickly established our most loved SLC affordable eateries, take our word for it, your taste buds will thank you.

Cafe Trio- This was the first restaurant I chowed down at in SLC (great recommendation from our neighbors). Amazing fresh Italian food with an open friendly atmosphere, right by the 9th and 9th area.

AMAZING rosemary flat bread at Trio

Rosemary Flatbread at Cafe Trio
photo courtesy of

Moochies- A true "dive" with AMAZING philly cheese steaks. Tommy and I took his sister, Lisa here to enjoy a traditional American feast. Try the Philly chicken cheese, an amazing light twist on the cheese steak. Claim to fame- Guy Fieri visited while filming "diners, drive-ins and dives" (his picture and signature is on the wall)!!

Tasty Thai- Affordable, traditional Thai. Don't let the simple decor fool you, this place is divine! The sweet sticky rice with mango's is amazing!

crunchy tilapia at tasty thai

photo courtesy of

The Pie- truly delicious pizza, if you like pizza, don't miss out on The Pie. Dine in and take out, with several locations. The BBQ chicken pizza is delicious, but you won't need to eat for days. 

Red Iguana-  Their mole sauces make me happy. Ask to try them all, they will bring out a sample and they are even good to dip your chips in... I think ill go back here this week!

Delicious mole sauces!

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

pining to create more of my pins

I recently took down our Christmas decorations (always a sad day). I made a wreath using garland and a hanger to make our door more festive for Christmas and when I took it down I was feeling the door was a bit bare... so I took an idea I got from pinterest and created a year round wreath using burlap. 

I also used a hanger that I shaped into a wreath shape and found a strand of burlap at Michaels. It was nice since I didn't have to cut the burlap or hanger down to size. 

I scrunched up the burlap and strung it on to the hanger until I got a full effect. 

 The burlap wreath would be cute with a red ribbon at Christmas too, or you can switch up the color depending on the mood or season. Now I have two wreaths I can choose from during the holidays and one I can keep up all year!

Have you stopped pressing the "pin this" button long enough to actually create any of your pins? I want to hear about your wonderful creations! This blog post from the wonderful younghouselove blog helped inspire me to get off my lazy arse and actually do, rather than just dream of doing one day, maybe, if I get around to it... Thanks yhl and Bower Power for having a part in my new resurgence to be a doer!

Monday, January 9, 2012

my love of all things paper

I love to draw and I love to write letters (even though I don't do it enough), so I decided why not make my own stationary?! I started toying around with ideas, designs and sketches a while back and learned how to add pops of color with a couple different programs, most of them were done using GIMP on my MAC (i love my mac!). My mom asked if I would help her with the invitations to my brothers rehersal dinner for his wedding, and I created some invites. From there, the ideas kept coming and I kept creating. I have added a few samples of my work, they can be made into letter heads, invitations, stationary of all sorts really. If you have any questions, or would like a custom design, don't hesitate to ask! Also, visit my etsy shop to view more creations as I come up with them.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A diy hair flower comes to life!

One of my best friends is getting married this July. She is one of those super organized, gets everything done way ahead of time kind of people (I envy her for that). I planned my wedding in a matter of months... crazy I know! I made a hair flower pin for my wedding (see below) and she asked if I would make one for her. I felt like I should get it done early, keeping in fashion with her on top of the ball attitude. I knew I could whip up a similar one to what I made for myself, but I wanted to challenge myself a bit and make something a bit more complicated, that would be unique to her. I started looking online for some inspiration and that's where Pinterest came in! Yay for Pinterest! I looked at the lovely bride-to-be's Pinterest page and found a flower she pinned that I thought I could tackle...

The flower I made for my wedding

The inspiration I found on Pinterest, pinned from Project Wedding 

My materials:

  • sheer shinny ribbon that I already had at home
  • alligator clip from Michaels
  • feathers, still attached to the base (also found at Michaels)
  • small styrofoam ball (cut in half)
  • flat head pins (found in the jewelry aisle)
  • faux pearl double sided beads (found in the floral aisle)
  • crystal beads I already had at home
  • krazy glue and needle and thread to attach everything together

I tried to follow the steps from the Project Wedding sight (except I was ambitious and made my own flower out of ribbon instead of buying one). I cut petal shapes out of the ribbon, layered them, and sewed them together with the feathers on the back once I had the look I wanted. Once I had my initial flower shape, I placed a bead on each flat head pin and used some krazy glue I had on hand to glue and stick the pins into the styrofoam ball. I also cut the faux pearl beads down and glued some into the styrofoam ball to add some more depth. 

I got the amount of "bling" I wanted, then glued the styrofoam onto the flower, and glued the alligator clip onto the back. And TA-DA! The beautiful finished product. 

Now go out and create! Don't hesitate to ask if you need more details.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our life around the world...

I mentioned in my first post that Tommy and I have travelled the world. We are fortunate enough to be only twenty something and have lived on three different continents. I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from the places I have called home, and adventures we have embarked on. 

I now have a fancy camera, a Nikon 5100 and am determined to learn how to properly use it. I actually just signed up for a photography class this month, so stay tuned for some good photos ahead! These photos do not reflect the photographer that I hope to some day be, but will give you an idea of the journey my life has taken me on.

The Southeast... One of our trips to Hilton Head, S.C., where I grew up going to the beach with my family.

Melbourne, Australia. I fell in love with this city from the minute I arrived.

Phillip Island, Australia... Where Tommy and I got engaged!

Sunshine Coast, Australia... A tropical paradise. 

Brugge, Belgium (we called Belgium home for 6 months).


Mount Rainer, Washington.

Washington State (our home for one year).

Vancouver, B.C. (one of our adventures).

Utah (the place we currently call home).

Life is and adventure and I am so lucky to get to travel the world with my best friend.

Stay tuned for some more adventures in "pinning". I have some projects in the works, a DIY hair piece for one of my best friends upcoming weddings, a DIY wreath that can be used for any season and trying to organize a closet full of scarves (I have SO many scarves)...