Striving

June 22, 2010

These are just some thoughts I had as I was driving yesterday.

I want to be the person who:

  • always puts the grocery cart away in the cart return.
  • changes the trash can liner instead of throwing trash into an already full bin.
  • returns a borrowed car to the owner with a full tank.
  • replaces the toilet paper if I use the last of a roll.
  • remembers to bring water for everyone on an outing.
  • leaves the kitchen cleaner than how I found it.
  • keeps the car clutter-free.

I am not by any means perfect at doing all of these things, but the doing of these things seems to reflect an orderly and responsible lifestyle. What do you guys think? Are there any items you would add?

How Many Mormons Read PW?

June 17, 2010

A blog about cooking, photography, family, gardening, and cowboys? With minimal swearing and innuendos? I’d say PW’s Site is a Mormon magnet for sure. Here’s some evidence. Her latest question for her KitchenAid Giveaway was If you could meet and have dinner with one man throughout the history of mankind, whom would it be? 5,171 people said “Jesus,” 104 people said “Joseph Smith,” and 17 people said “Gordon B. Hinckley.”

I think the 142 people for “George Clooney” reeks suspiciously of Relief Society too.

How to Create a Brick Entryway

June 12, 2010

My brother-in-law Nate and his wife Anna are the biggest home improvement and DIY project experts I’ve ever met. They’ve been working hard on finishing up their house to which they’ve added on more than twice the space it used to have. They entryway/stairway area has been really beat up for a while, so they fixed it up. Nate rebuilt the steps: half of them leading downstairs to where my mother-in-law Marti lives, and half of them leading upstairs to where Nate’s family lives. To make them prettier, they decided to line all the steps with brick. They have a lot of cool and unique ideas like that which gives their home a kind of rustic/resort-y feel. Plus, with their talent, they’re able to save a lot of money.

I’d never seen anyone lay brick before so I took some pictures.

Those little white plus-sign-shaped things are spacers to keep the bricks evenly spaced while the thinset dries. Anna had to use a lot of skill with those because none of the bricks are perfectly even or level to begin with.

It took some planning to figure out where to use the red bricks and where to use the black bricks. Nate was in the yard using a tile saw to cut the bricks down to size.

Josh helping out by applying thinset. I helped out by staying out of the way. I didn’t do a very good job of that.

Bricklaying into a corner. (The front door and sidelights are new too… Nate and Anna finished them themselves.)

Applying the first layer of grout.

They’re not quite finished yet, but they look really good, don’t you think?

The Hat

June 1, 2010

This picture is for anyone who was interested in seeing how the hat I was working on turned out. Pretty cute, but we haven’t had a chance to try it out in public because we went to Arizona immediately upon completion, where she kept melting into a puddle of sweat. Hopefully her head won’t grow too much by autumn.

Photoshop Savvy (Not Really)

May 31, 2010

So most of you probably know about Photoshop, which is a really awesome program, and it would be even more awesome if I actually knew how to use it.

I was so excited to have it on our computer. I had visions of happily whipping up tons of beautiful, professional-looking photographs for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I found out that just because you have the software doesn’t mean you automatically know how to work it. I usually end up randomly clicking on a bunch of different things and making the photograph look way worse than if I’d just left it alone in the first place.

My husband knows how to use it. He took a college course on it. He has tried to patiently explain to me how to use its most basic functions. But all the information just seems to go in one ear and out the other.

Does anybody out there relate to this? Or am I just incredibly slow?

Fortunately, our hero, the Pioneer Woman, has already thought of a solution for those of us who are Photoshop-challenged. Enter Pioneer Woman’s Action Sets 1 and 2.

All you have to do is download them, open up your photograph in Photoshop, and click on the action you want.

To test it out, I used this picture of my baby girl:

This is the straight-out-of-camera shot, or the SOOC. (Hehe I am so cool because I just said SOOC.)

Then, with just the click of a button, you can do all these other things to it:

boost

warmer

vintage

seventies

sepia tone

b&w beauty

quick edge burn

fresh and colorful

old west

lovely and ethereal

colorized

Seriously you guys, it’s really easy and really fun. There are even more actions than the ones I showed you but those were the ones I liked with this photo. I highly recommend downloading it if you’re like me and don’t feel like putting in the time required for a real Photoshop education right now.

The Pioneer Woman does it again. Darn her. And bless her.

Feelin’ Pretty Domestic Today

May 17, 2010

Today I made…

…Everything Bars (with oats, chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, dates, and walnuts)…

P90X Island Pork Tenderloin Salad (best P90X meal I’ve made so far, I think,)…

…and this baby hat (well, it’s almost done. Made up the pattern myself.)

The end.

Gardenin’

May 14, 2010

I’ve decided to start a garden this year. It will be my first time ever.

I figure, since I spend approximately one-third of my waking moments thinking about (the eating of) fresh vegetables, and since we’re spending the summer at my mother-in-law’s house in the country where there’s tons of land, there’s never been a better time to start.

How hard can it be? (I keep telling myself.)

The first step, after deciding on the location of the garden, was to till the land. Josh called a good friend of ours to see if we could borrow his tiller, which I supposed was one of those little fork-looking things.

Until Josh asked his brother if we could borrow his truck to go get it.

This is my three-year-old nephew-in-law demonstrating how to use the thing.

This is Josh and my sister-in-law assessing the land situation.

Take note of the solid weed covering. Yeah, a little fork wouldn’t have cut it.

And now here some oh-so-exciting pictures of me tilling the ground for the first time (what a milestone! haha.):

It’s like a lawn mower, except a lot heavier.

By the second time around, it was starting to get dark.

And here’s the after picture!

This must be my most exciting post yet.

Unfortunately, it rained/snowed/hailed for the next two days so we haven’t been able to get any planting done yet.

Periodic garden updates to come!

The Latest Buzz

May 13, 2010

Josh and I have moved to the country for the summer. I mean the country country. Where I wake up to cows mooing and there isn’t a Wal-Mart to be found. We did it for his summer job, painting houses and stuff.

I do love it here. So far we’ve gone four-wheeling, hot dog roasting, and on a date to the local movie theater, which only plays two shows at a time and doesn’t accept credit cards.

On our drive home one day we decided to play “how many pickup trucks can you find.” In a mere three blocks we saw forty-one. Forty-one! That’s, like, more than twice the number of houses here. Josh says that having a truck is like proof of your manhood or something. But I think he’s just trying to get me to agree to let him get one.

So in the next few months you’ll likely see a lot of posts reflecting a city girl’s perspective on the country. Not that I’d describe myself as metropolitan or anything, but I do know that Levi’s aren’t the only brand of jeans out there.

For starters, if you’ve ever lived in the country, you probably know about this summer time problem:

No, I’m not talking about the pretty scenery. I’m talking about the little black spots on the windowsill.

Here’s a closer look:

OK you guys, I’m telling you, flies out here are not normal.

Here’s why:

  • They’re enormous.
  • They’re not afraid of humans– they’ll land on you just as frequently as on the kitchen faucet.
  • More proof that they’re not afraid of you: you can swat at them all you want; they’ll stay put.
  • They fly more slowly (probably because of their added bulk.)
  • Oh, and they multiply unnaturally quickly. Like some kind of copy-and-paste program gone wrong.

I have this problem though. More specifically, a phobia. I hate bugs. Not in an I-hate-bugs-and-so-I-love-to-kill-them way. It’s more like an I-think-they’re-so-gross-I’ll-start-spasming-if-one-of-them-touches-me kind of way. Which means I can’t kill these dang flies. That would require making contact with them. And cleaning up their… (shudder)… little corpses. Which requires even more contact.

It’s such a pity. I mean, look at them. They’re like sitting ducks. I really should kill them.

And I really should kill these two.

Wishes

May 7, 2010

A while back on one of PW‘s Kitchenaid giveaways, she asked what we would wish for if we could have anything in the world in the blink of an eye.

I actually had to sit there for a minute and no matter how hard I thought I couldn’t think of anything. I realized I’m just so happy with everything I have. I’m madly in love with my husband and daughter, I have an awesome family and in-laws, all of whom I have great relationships with. We make enough money to cover all our bills. We have food and a place to live. We have great friends. We have lots of ambitions. Really, we have everything we need.

So that’s pretty much what I wrote in her comment box. I said that I couldn’t really think of anything to wish for, but I have always wanted a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. (heh heh.)

I didn’t win. Again.

But it did help me realize how blessed I am.

Hi, I’m Sayaka and I live in a trailer. And I love my life.

Wordsy Wednesday: Babies

April 28, 2010

I have babies on my mind. I just had a baby. A bunch of my friends just had babies, or are about to. My sister is about to have a baby. So it’s only fitting that today’s Wordsy Wednesday is about babies.

Baby animals, anyway. It’s kind of fun how baby animals are called something unique from their parents, don’t you think? Since there are so many commonly known ones, I really had to dig deep to find you guys some challenges for the “hard” category (evil laughter.) I gave you the animal, so you have to tell me what the baby is called. Example: Dog=pup.

Here we go:

Easy

  1. Pig
  2. Duck
  3. Bear
  4. Sheep
  5. Goat
  6. Cat
  7. Deer
  8. Lion

Medium

  1. Swan
  2. Alligator
  3. Goose
  4. Buffalo
  5. Kangaroo
  6. Frog
  7. Monkey
  8. Guinea pig

Hard

  1. Oyster
  2. Cockroach
  3. Jellyfish
  4. Ferret
  5. Hawk
  6. Llama
  7. Eel
  8. Turkey

Ready for the answers?

Easy

  1. Pig=piglet
  2. Duck=duckling
  3. Bear=cub
  4. Sheep=lamb
  5. Goat=kid
  6. Cat=kitten
  7. Deer=fawn
  8. Lion=cub

Medium

  1. Swan=cygnet
  2. Alligator=hatchling
  3. Goose=gosling
  4. Buffalo=calf
  5. Kangaroo=joey
  6. Frog=tadpole (or polliwog, I guess)
  7. Monkey=infant
  8. Guinea pig=pup

Hard

  1. Oyster=spat
  2. Cockroach=nymph
  3. Jellyfish=ephyna
  4. Ferret=kit
  5. Hawk=eyas
  6. Llama=cria
  7. Eel=elver
  8. Turkey=poult

How’d you do? I hope that provided some brain-stretching for you today. (Although if this is finals week for you, you probably didn’t need it. Sorry.)

Happy Wednesday!


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