Wednesday, March 06, 2013


So I didn't finish all of my goals. I got pretty close though. The DIY project I wanted to complete was reupholstering my grandma's little rocking chair that she gave me awhile back. The fabric was all faded and I wanted new, cute fabric. I'll admit this project was an EPIC fail. I worked on it with my very patient friend Eric who actually volunteered to help me with this so I don't feel too bad about it. I do feel bad that it is currently sitting in his bedroom somewhere in Sandy still looking like this. The fabric I chose was going to be too thin and stretchy and then I just haven't found fabric I've liked since. I still don't know what I'm going to do about this chair. I might pay a professional. Eric said he's cool with that.

Onto the personal shopper. I may not have done what I intended to by going to Nordstrom and getting someone to bring me clothes and tell me what would look good on me, but I did try thanks to my cousin Liz who told me about it. I loved it. I only bought one of the gazillion items in there, but it was worth it -- mostly because the whole process is entirely free. Shipping, styling, everything. You pay for what you keep. I'm totally doing this again.

On a related note, I acted myself as a personal shopper for my friend Pete. He came to me with a $400  budget and absolutely no ideas. So I got to dress him however I wanted. I think we came out with two sweaters, three dress shirts, a pair of jeans, two trousers, a belt, two pairs of shoes and maybe something else. It was way fun. And he did look good. He has a weird, puffy beard now though. Don't know why. If you see him know I had nothing to do with that decision.

I think the point of the goals was to stretch myself, try things I've never done before, and get myself to get some things done.

Although these weren't goals I wrote down, these were some things I've always wanted to do but never did:
I did a three day smoothie cleanse. It was hard, but I liked it.
I got a letter from the Governor for being good.
I went snowshoeing 

So I  would say it was a good year for getting things done and trying things new. With that, I think it's time to say farewell to the blog. I know, I know, you don't really care :)

I loved this blog for the longest time. Some day I need to complete my goal of having the whole thing printed because there is some good stuff in here. It's served as a journal in a sense and I would hate for these memories and pictures to be lost. But I think it's the end of a blog era for me (and for most people). So thanks for sticking around, thanks for commenting. You can find me on Facebook -- until that gets old too.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Goal #21: Birthdays!

Birthday gifts are fun, but birthday dates are more fun! I hope...because that's what all my nieces and my nephew got this year.I first started doing this because I have four nieces in the same family and I feel like they do things together a lot and don't get at lot of individual attention. So I decided to take them each out on an outing.

This took all year to do for all five of the kiddos. The fun thing about this idea is that it's also fun for me, because I get to go do fun stuff.

First was Chloe. We went to the Clark Planetarium at the Gateway to see a wacky 3D movie about bugs in space or something. I don't quite remember, it was a long time ago -- like February. After that we came back to my house and made dinner for her family who came to pick her up about an hour later.

I'm not sure what we're baking here...but they were licking up frosting or something. I had this big idea about having grilled cheese sandwiches but I remember Chloe telling me that's what she had for lunch...or dinner or something. Anyway, we had ice cream too which usually makes up for anything she's not that thrilled with.

Next was Sadie. We went to Desert Star Playhouse in Murray. I went here on a date about a month before this and thought my nieces would love this. So I took Sadie to see The Princess Bridesmaid. There was a pirate, there was a princess, and a lot of singing and dancing. Sadie, as usual challenged the dialogue and logic of the screenplay. She also had a root beer float which she was stoked about. I don't know what she's holding in this -- a water bottle? Anyway. After it was over she wasn't ready to go home so we went to Target which she was super thrilled about. She wanted to buy a bunch of stuff. We bought a broom for my house.

When we got back to her house she literally started to ball her eyes out and then she went on some sort of speech strike. Carter kept asking if she had fun and she nodded. He asked her about the play but tears were the only response that came. I think she was upset the evening was over. My mom said the next morning she asked her how it was and she refused to answer. Weird. I think she wants to come live with me.

Next is Tessa who turned 3 this year. I was honest at This is the Place and said she was 3 years-old which is the turning point when it comes to paid admission. If I was smart I would have realized her birthday was two days away.

She's holding crackers in this picture. I learned if Tessa has crackers in hand she's a happy camper.

We went to Baby Animal Days so she could pet the baby animals. It was adorable and she loved it. She also loved her little admission bracelet they made her wear. Tessa also didn't want to go home when this was over so we went back to my house. She said she was hungry so I gave her some popcorn and juice. Then she wanted to hear a story. So I read her a couple stories.

Tessa is really good to have around because she has an amazing sense of what I'm forgetting. I need that in my life.

Next is Piper. Her birthday date came about a month after her actual birthday. Because the Desert Start Theatre was a crying success for Sadie, I figured Piper would like it too. Plus, the production was Wickeder. More princesses. What little girl doesn't love that?

I told them in advance it was her birthday so they could announce it at their little intermission entertainment portion of the program. They got her name wrong and called her Tiper at first, but that was expected. They were also confused as to why she was with her aunt on her birthday and not her parents. I left it alone to avoid an explanation in front of an audience that really doesn't care.

Piper was also super excited about getting a rootbeer float. She sat on my lap for half of the production. Not because she couldn't see (we were on the front table), I think she just likes me a lot.

On the way home I asked her what she thought of Wickeder and she said, "it was like the Wizard of Oz, but different-er." She's funny.

Last but not least we have Jack. I probably see Jack a lot more than the girls but I rarely take him out by himself, so we had a good time. I had a hard time trying to decide what we should do, but Lisa suggested the Natural History Museum.  I had been there a few times and I think it's an awesome museum. If you haven't gone yet, make sure to go. It's even fun without kids with you.

I looked up their programs online and every other Saturday is the bug brigade where kids straight out of your science nerd stereotype show them beetles and black widows and tell them all about their eating habits, daily rituals and quirks.

Jack is holding a madagascar beetle here. He also held a stink bug. They wouldn't let the kids hold the spiders. I don't blame them. If they handed me a spider and it started to move I would jump and squeal. We went into the bug room twice because Jack wanted to hold the beetle again.

The rest of the museum has some cool stuff. Here Jack is making a mountain so the water can't pass through.

I bought Jack a little wind up fly that he played with the whole way home. He had no problem with me taking him home, but he did want me to spend the night at his house. And be his mom.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Goal #9: Sickos

Back when I lived on Capitol Hill I had this girl that I visit taught. Kind of. I'm a terrible visiting teacher when it comes to visiting them, giving a lesson, coming regularly, etc. But I heard she was sick and so I decided to make her a get well package. She was so appreciative of it I decided I needed to do it again.

My old roommate Mandi mentioned on FB or something that she had a terrible sinus infection. Maybe it was her blog. Anyway, I was sad she was sick but happy that I could make her a get well package.

In this bag is a box of Thai Kitchen garlic soup, a couple clementines, Grandma Durham's netti pot, some clam chowder (not awesome for sinus infections, but tasty because I made it -- in the sour cream container), the orange juice concentrate she left at my house and some zinc tablets. She also stopped by later and I gave her my humidifier so she could breathe at night. The next day, I can't say she was all better but she did call me a "healer" and a "magician".

About a month earlier my friend Jon was sick and I made him a similar get well package. I gave him the netti pot, some Vicks Kleenex, some garlic bread (always makes my colds feel better) and some zinc tablets. I don't think he got the hang of the netti pot. It takes practice. But it is nice once you get the hang of it.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Goal #28: Cousins

I honestly wasn't sure if this one would happen. But I'm so glad it did! I was able to get all but one of my Durham cousins away for the night up in Midway. First of all it's amazing that we all live in the same general area. Even Leslie who's lived Back East for awhile. The only cuz we missed was Amy (Nielsen) Roberts who lives in Washington. And she was missed.

I wanted to do this because I remember coming to a Durham Christmas party two years ago feeling like I didn't want to be there, but so happy I did because my family and my cute cousins make me happy. I think I actually wrote about it. Yes, yes I did.

We decided to stay up at Zermatt in Midway. It was only one night, but it was a blast. All eight of us (Amy, Monica, Lindsay, Sara, Liz, (me), Lisa and Leslie met up at Zermatt. Earlier that day Monica, Sara, Liz, Lisa and I did some shopping at the outlets in Park City and got some soup and salad at Red Rock. That was fun.

Before we went to dinner we served as Amy's focus group and helped her decide which products we thought Deseret Book should put on their shelves. Then we all piled in one car and went to the Snake Creek Grill. I think we all got something different. I had the salmon and it was delicious. We decided to go there in honor of Grandma Durham who loved it. It is tasty.

Some of us went to the hot tub (which was crazy crowded) and then we all stayed up until about 1 AM. There was no lack of conversation, stories and laughter. It was a blast. I hope we do it again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Goal #20: Blog

Technically, my goal was to make a book of my blog from the beginning. I totally didn't do that. The thought exhausted me and I saw dollar signs everywhere which overwhelmed me. So I simplified the task. Remember, I'm being flexible with myself? That's how you stay sane, people.

Many of you few readers who are still with me know my Grandma Durham died in October. And most of you readers know I've chronicled my visits with her the past few years. I decided to make this goal more meaningful and make a book from my blog about my time with Grandma.

So I went to and I uploaded all my blog posts about Grandma. And in the back I put my talk that I gave at her funeral. My sister took some pictures which I ripped off to round out some of the blank pages. I think it turned out to be a 34 page book. I was able to include comments on my posts from all my family and friends so that was nice. I think it's more meaningful this way anyway. A book of my entire blog would be huge. Book arrives December 4th. I think it will be nice to have all those memories about Grandma in one place. I'm satisfied with this goal.

12 Goals to go! Do you think I can do it? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Goal #5: Squares

Finally! I started this rag quilt project a couple months ago. I know what took me so long to start it (I’m indecisive) but I don’t know what took me so long to finish it. It’s a fairly simple process.

It's also a messy process: it made the inside of my house look like a snow globe that hadn’t been picked up for hours.

When I was picking out the fabric I realized I was on a wild animal kick with the bunnies and birds and foxes and horses. And then mushrooms.

A big thanks goes to Lisa for showing me how to do it and letting me use her rotary cutter and her apartment building’s washing machine so mine wouldn’t get clogged up with all the stuff that comes off when you wash it. And thanks to my Aunt Susan who posted somewhere about Pink Chalk Fabrics which is finally what motivated me to buy fabric to get the whole thing started.

I had several people ask me "Who are you making if for?"! I felt kind of selfish every time I answered.

Did you know that making a quilt is more expensive than buying a quilt? Well, it is. And it takes about 100x as long to do it. BUT it is satisfying. And I like doing projects and working with my hands. 

The last time I made a quilt it was an easy fleece quilt where you cut fringe and tie the ends together. That one now hangs out in my car trunk in case of a disaster. I knitted an afghan before that. THAT took a long time. And that was also expensive, but I still have it and use it a lot.

This is the most imperfect quilt I’ve ever made (if you look closely those squares are NOT all the same size and it doesn’t line up and it doesn’t fold perfectly because the final project is not a perfectly framed rectangle. But it’s cute and it’s warm. And I bet Lucy is sleeping on it right now because I forgot to shut my bedroom door when I left the house.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Goal #26: Escala

A few of my goals have been tweaked if you haven't noticed. You gotta be flexible with reality. The reality with taking some friends to San Diego was that none of my friends could a) afford to go to b) get time off to go.

I fall in the first category. Now that I have house payments and utility payments, etc. I am poorer than I used to be. Luckily I had ten years worth of Delta skymiles to cash in when I felt like I could really use a vacation. And luckily, my parents let me infiltrate their stay in San Diego. I actually came just as my dad was leaving so I got a day with him and my mom and the rest of the day with just my mom. I'm friendly with my parents and so we're going to count them as friends. What? Shut up.

I stayed for four nights. I went on a couple bike rides with my dad, I went shopping in La Jolla with my mom, visited the San Diego Mission, we drove to the LDS temple, we ate french toast, we ate tamales, we ate dumplings. And made cookies. And watched two episodes of Call the Midwife, Bernie and the third presidential debate. And I went to the pool a couple times. I read (still working on goal #3). It was raining when I flew in, it was moderate weather for the next few days and then very warm my last day. All in all, it was delightful. Here are some pics. I tried to choose ones you haven't already seen on Facebook and Instagram: