Monday, September 29, 2008

A series of unrelated sentences (and the pictures that love them)

On Friday, sweet Mr. Blog felt so bad about my long day in downtown LA, that he took me out for a romantic dinner that evening; how lovely.
On Saturday, we went to a Tiki party where our 57 year old host wore a coconut bra and grass skirt (no photos are available); he (yes "he") also served all the freshly grilled lobster tail I could eat. On Sunday, Britney #2 came to visit and we had our hearts broken by this beautiful coat that we can't afford; I eased the pain with the free Champagne they were serving at the store. My prizes from my first blog game are ready to mail.Have a good week friends!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The good, the bad and some uglies

The good: My Beavers won! (picture of Jacquizz Rodgers from
The bad: My Trojans lost! (picture of Jacquizz Rodgers from
The uglies:
1) My order arrived (which was for all my pictures from 2007 in collage form) and it was completely wrong. The collages they mailed me included pictures in incorrect orientations (vertical ones were printed horizontally, etc) and they were not the specific layouts I ordered.

Boy, I got UGLY (don't worry, it was in the privacy of my own home and no one got hurt =P). I was so annoyed because it took me forever to create the 45 collages I ordered (Snapfish's software does not allow for specific placement of each photo in the collage so you have to select all the photos you want included and the system randomly generates a collage for you; if you're unhappy with the size/layout you must deselect all the photos and reselect them in a different order and click generate again... it's very time consuming when you have a specific layout in your head that you're trying to create).

I channeled my anger into an eloquent, slightly lengthy complaint to customer service detailing my specific problem with the order only to find out that the customer complaint form only takes 240 characters (my complaint was 3500+). My only choices on the form were to ask for a refund or a reprint; GRRR! I didn't want either! I wanted the collages I ordered, in the correct layout with the correct photo orientation! I grudgingly filled out the form, thanking goodness that I had this blog as a forum to complain on (sorry readers!)!!

Luckily, I called them today and talked to the nicest man in India who patiently listened to me rant on and on about how I carefully created each collage, and I was worried that if I had to re-order it would take forever and they might still mess up my order and blah blah blah. I found out that the Snapfish collage software had a bug in it. The nice man refunded my money, gave me free shipping and promised to e-mail me when the bug was fixed so that I could order my prints again. Yay.

2) I spent all day alone, in downtown LA waiting for the nice people at Audi to service Mr. Blog's car. Ugh-liness.

Luckily, the nice people at Audi drove me to the old alma mater where I went to visit the bookstore. They were having a huge sale: Free People tops (25% off), True Religion and 7 jeans (50% off), Ella Moss and C&C dresses (75% off). Oh it took all my strength not to buy anything (I just can't; my closet is ridiculous). By the way, if it seems weird to anyone that the local collage bookstore sells all these items, well... it kind of is... but then again, it's so characteristic of USC and I love it.

But I did invest in these:
Magnetic Poetry Stamp Kits!! They are brilliant! They're just like the Magnetic Poetry kits for your fridge, except that you stick these magnets to a base and they become stamps!! Each kit has over 80 words, a big metal base and a large inkpad! And the whole thing fits in a cute metal box. I am totally in love! I bought three sets (Date & Seasons, Holiday & Events and Vacation & Travel)!!
And they were half off! Hooray for the USC Bookstore.
I'm off to play with them while I watch the debate. Woot.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Tonight, 6 p.m., ESPN.
I'll be busy for the next seven hours mentally preparing for the epic showdown. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Laura's Sketch #9

I'm trying my hand at another card challenge! This one was based off Laura's sketch (#9!) from the ever creative 2 Sketches 4 You!

I was inspired by a chat I had with a few co-workers about the upcoming Presidential election (VOTE!) and by those old Verizon commercials ("can you hear me now?" seemed strangely appropriate for this card and those swirls in Laura's sketch were a bit like signal bars on a cell phone).

Here's my card (apologies for the sub-par photography; this is from my phone):This card is 4"x5", with the front a bit smaller so that the stars punched on the back show when the card is closed. The big man is an enlarged version of the little men on the background. He's made of a red transparent overlay I had laying around. The phrases are printed from Microsoft Word and all the patterned papers are from the 2008 Scrapbook Page-a-Day calendar.

Here is another shot of the front:

And a close up of the side:

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Down to business

It's that time of year again to start planning for Britney #2's birthday party (to be held in February). It's not too early to start; this is our Oscar night (see last post) and much thought will be invested in our outfits (certainly more than I spent dressing for the Emmys).

Thus, I initate Phase I: Inspiration
The Pantsuit

The Mini Dress

The Mod Dress

The Roller Girl

The Hair

The Shoes

I'm hating the pants, loving the mini's, wanting fierce hair and needing glittery shoes.

Your thoughts?

an ode to britney #2

Dear Britney #2,

Before we start planning for disco extravaganza 2009, let's pay tribute to a few of our amazing costumed galas of yore: [cue sappy music]

The Girls Next Door
American Gladiators
My Super Sweet 16

Britney #4

PS - Remember that year we didn't have a theme and how it led to all sorts of projectile fun?

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I did this weekend...

Saturday 22:30: Pick up Emmy tickets at Katana from Mr. Blog's fabulous friend

Katana has delicious cocktails, beautiful food and boasts a healthy mix of models not eating and the men who love them. It just reminds me that I'm not built for Los Angeles.

But then again, I bought new jeans for the night, so maybe I am...

Sunday 8:00: Stir in bed when Mr. Blog gets up to do work

Sunday 10:30: Stir in bed when Mr. Blog kisses me good bye before he goes off to his radio show
I know, I'm with a radio star. And he's pretty enough for TV. *gush*

Sunday 12:00: Finally wake up and get ready.

Sunday 14:30: Leave for the Emmys

Sunday 14:45: Stop for fancy pre-Emmy lunch

As we were driving to the show we realized that we were both late and hungry, so we stopped at a fine dining establishment where I'm sure all the stars eat before a major award show.

On a separate note, those new grill chicken tortilla rolls are delicious and easy to eat in a moving car while wearing couture.

Sunday 15:00: Arrive on the red carpet!
Adrian Grenier said hi to Mr. Blog on our way in! *swoon*
Sunday 16:00: Arrive inside the Nokia Theatre...
Just in time for the bars to close.

Sunday 17:00: Showtime!
We didn't sit in the same zip code as the actual stage, so all my pictures are a little blurry, but if you can guess who these stars are, I'll send you a prize! (seriously, leave me a comment!)
Sunday 20:15: Dinner at e3rd Steakhouse
This is a picture of the Alba-cado; it's an "apple” of seaweed, seasoned fresh Albacore Tuna wrapped in avocado, lightly drizzled with house Oonagi Sauce. It was so beautiful. Dinner was also beautiful (and delicious) but I was too busy eating to take pictures.
Sunday 22:00: Drinks at the Biltmore

Sunday 23:45: Watch all the Emmy Red Carpet footage to see if we were on TV
Because let's be honest, being on TV is where the real bragging rights are =P

Thank you for a wonderful weekend, Mr. Blog!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


1. Leanne Marshall's collection for fashion week: I'm loving how she makes harsh geometric shapes look soft and feminine. Also loving the fact that she's from Portland!
(see the entire collection via where these pictures came from)

2. Weekend Designer: I realize this blog has been around for a while, but I just found it yesterday, okay? =P Seriously though, this man breaks down the most beautiful designer couture into the easiest steps for the home sewer! I want to make all of these:
(follow along at the wkdesign blog)

3. Snapfish collage prints: We've all seen the collage posters that most online photo services offer, but Snapfish offers the same collage in a mini 4"x6" print (which is the perfect mini-book size). I putting most of my 2007 photo library into these collage prints and making a mini-book for my coffee table (don't worry, I didn't abandon traditional scrapbooking; all the major vacations are still on 12"x12"). All the collages above are examples! Make your own here.

[Sunday] The Emmys: I'm going. What should I wear?!

(all dresses from
(also all dresses I can't afford; these are for drooling purposes only)

[Thursday] Oregon State football: I mean Trojan football... whatever, it's my two favorite teams battling on the field. We all remember what happened 2 years ago...

A favorite professor has passed away. My thoughts are with his family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Project Cheese

What is this, you're asking? Two posts in one day?! I'm sure you are shocked (and by "you," I mean Mr. Blog, because honey, I know you're the only person who reads this and I love you for it). However, this is a long overdue post for a good friend of mine (hi, Stacie) about a little project I did this summer.

A little back story: Stacie and I had glamorous dreams of pimping a Peep, a la Pimp that Snack (we were especially inspired by these) but various other summer activities got in the way (for a quick summary, see my last post). So because I didn't have any afternoons free to make giant marshmallows with Stacie, I apparently thought it would be a better, quicker idea to make cheese (later, I found out that making cheese takes about a month, but I'd already committed by then).

Step 1: Research. I know nothing about cheesemaking (that statement is still true, even after this little "adventure"). However, this man seems to know a lot about cheesemaking, so I decided to trust him and follow his recipes (which, incidentally are also the recipes published in the rennent box).

Step 2: Gathering the ingredients. Milk, cream and yogurt were rather easy to come by, but buying rennet was a nightmare. Have you ever tried to buy rennent in Los Angeles? I live pretty much in the middle of the city where there are no farms, no farm animals and certainly no people remotely interested in anything related to farms or farm animals. I went to three different stores, made a fool of myself miming to several sales associates who spoke no English and continued acting like a fool explaining what rennent was to the three associates who did speak perfect English. Poor Mr. Blog patiently drove me to each store and help as much he could (thank you, honey!). In the end, all the "rustic" and "ethnic" grocery stores failed me and I found rennet at the fancy Pavillions across the street from my apartment. Boy, was Mr. Blog amused!

Step 3: Skipping a few steps. Dr. Fankhauser's website suggested a number of activities one should master before actually attempting to make hard cheese (such as making yogurt, cream cheese, etc.) but I thought to myself, "how hard can making cheese really be?" and ignored all the pre-requisites.

Step 4: Starting aka "I should have learned how to make yogurt"! Here are all my ingredients assembled and ready to go (cream is not really an ingredient, but I didn't have any whole milk so I made my own... that's the same thing, right?). The first step is to inoculate the milk by putting yogurt culture into it and letting it grow until the milk has enough acid in it to react with the rennet. This is the same step one masters in yogurt making. I did not master this step and the results are documented below.

Step 4.5: Starting over. Somewhere in the inoculation process I failed miserably by either putting in too much yogurt or overheating the mixture or something so my milk was over acidified and thus useless. Useless milk looks like this.

I re-did it.

Step 5: Rennent. This step was pretty uneventful. The rennet caused the milk to solidify to the point where I achieved a clean break.

Step 6: Cooking the curds. These taste surprisingly good!
Steps 7 - ??: I forgot to take pictures of this part because I was so excited that I didn't screw up but I pretty much finished cooking the curds, salted them to preserve the cheese, put them in the mold and pressed the cheese.

Here's the mold I used (this is post cheese making):

Here's the cheese after a day in the press, before refrigeration. Cute, isn't it? Here's the cheese after a week (with rind). I was suppose to wax it but I didn't have any, so I just wrapped it in plastic and let it ripen in fridge.
Then I went on vacation and came back and my cheese was ready. It had hardened into a lovely Parmesan-y type product (likely because I didn't wax it to keep the moisture in). It is a very nutty cheese, with a nice rich flavor because I put in the extra cream. It actually turned out much better than I expected and I'm happy with it.

There's still some cheese waiting for you in the fridge, Stace, if you're interested!

and I'm back...

So it's been about half a year since my last post, but I swear I've been busy since March! In the last six months I've graduated from here, spent two months here, took this during this, and went here for this (how much fun is that clicking... hmm?). As some documentation, here is me and Mr. Blog getting ready to cheer on team USA during the first day of women's gymnastics at National Indoor Stadium:
And here is me with Nastia Luikin at the airport! (note that I look horrendous after my 12 hour flight whereas she is still cute as can be)
=) Yay for summer!

Now, on to bigger and more important things, the real reason I'm back (aside from having much more time on my hands and missing this journal) is... CAARDVARKS! After ages of lurking on a number of creative blogs online, I'm finally taking the plunge and joining in the fun.

Caardvark's 32nd challenge is themed "Working for a living" and asked us to "create a new card using office supplies, a career theme, work-related elements, whatever speaks to you."

Here is my card which both uses office supplies and is themed to my career (just guess what it is...). I'm rather proud of it because everything single thing on this card came from my office. Seriously, EVERYTHING, including that scrap of patterned paper which is from my Scrapbook Page-a-Day calendar. The rest of it is a loving collage made of a file folder (which I cut down to 4"x6" and recreated the tab), a P-Touch label, legal pads, paper clips, envelops, and various print-out courtesy of the office copier (using clipart from here, here and Microsoft Word).

Note: My price of $178 is clearly a joke, as you will never find an attorney that cheap. =)