Friday, June 27, 2008

Cookie time

My friends Hallie and Brinklie came over yesterday to help me make some chocolate chip cookies. We pulled some chairs right up to the counter so they could be in on all of the cookie-making action. They were so excited when I let them each crack their own egg (most of it made it into the bowl!) and let them use the hand mixer. Thanks for your help girls!

The best part-- licking the beaters!

Our final product!

I've been told I make a mean chocolate chip cookie. I credit my mom's recipe and the fact that I make my cookies large so they have some "gurth" to them and stay chewy. Also, I've learned that using Crisco instead of butter keeps them softer. If you're looking for a good recipe, try this one and let me know if you like them as much as I do! I think the recipe is actually pretty basic, but I have noticed this one calls for more vanilla than most.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Crisco
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream sugars and shortening. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Next, add flour, soda, and salt. Finally, add the chocolate chips. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Bake cookies at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Take cookies out of oven and let cool slightly (the cookies will firm up after sitting for a few minutes). Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Take me out to the ball game...

On Sunday Sean and I got to go to the Phillies game. Sean and Rob have what they call the "Top Dawg" contest in the office each month where the top three sales reps for the month get to go do something cool of their choosing. Well this month was the Phillies game, and lucky me, I got to go too (without having to knock a single door!). They played the Angels and it was an exciting game even though the Phillies lost by one run. We scored great seats and got to sit in the shade.
The Phillies fans were awesome. There's just something special about going to a baseball game in the East-- you've got ultra-passionate fans all around you who yell in their heavy accents and it just feels right! Sean pointed out that he has never seen so many fans wearing actual team merchandise.

Of course we had to do some fine dining at the ball park-- nachos, a hot dog, chicken strips and water ice. They really should just pass out Tums with your food. What is water ice you ask? Note: pronounced 'wuh-tuh ice' by the natives. Well, it's kind of like a frozen icee. We tried cherry at the game, and though it was better than the lemon I'd previously tried, my heart still belongs to shaved ice (which sadly does not exist out here). Mind you, that doesn't mean we didn't finish the entire pint!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jackson Hole and a trip down candy memory lane

So while home, my mom and I took a trip over to Jackson Hole. It had been a few years since I'd been and we both wanted to go. The great thing about Idaho Falls is that it is so close to so many awesome places like Jackson. The drive alone was worth it because it was so dang pretty. Here's a shot of the Tetons:

Everything was so green and the wildflowers were out in full force. It was a perfect day-- 75 degrees, bright sunshine, not too crowded since it was a weekday, etc. After grabbing some lunch, we did a little shopping. There is one place I always insist on visiting in Jackson:

I even love the name of this place. It's a candy heaven! You walk inside and your inner child comes to life!

No, this is not your average candy store. Yes, they have Jelly Bellies and salt-water taffy, but they also have fudge and chocolates and hard to find candy from your childhood! One example-- Zotz!

Possibly my favorite candy as a child and dang hard to find now-a-days. After we were married I found out that Sean also loves Zotz. It was just one more sign that I knew we were meant for eachother (another one being he loved the same cartoon with the bear stuffing paper in a geyser and doing the "bump bump" dance-- just pretend you know what I'm talking about!)

I had a lot of favorite candies when I was a kid. Some are still around, others are pretty hard to find: Zotz, Bonkers, Big League Chew, War Heads, Bubble Tape, Ring Pops, etc.

Anyone share the love of Zotz or have any childhood favorites they would like to share?

Butch's wedding!

I realize I've been slacking on the posting, but for good reason! I was in Idaho Falls for my little brother's wedding. He and Megan tied the knot last Saturday! Here's a picture of the happy couple:

Megan looked amazing and the ceremony and reception were really nice. I always judge a reception by the food, and they had it covered! They had a chocolate fountain, bacon-wrapped steak kabobs, etc. I enjoyed the little vacation (funny thinking of a trip to Idaho Falls as a vacation!) and seeing many friends and family. I'm excited for Megan to be joining our family. She's a great girl and I think Thomas totally scored! Congrats to both of you!

I flew into Salt Lake last Wednesday and got to spend the day celebrating my niece's birthday and checking out my sister and her husband's sweet new pad. I spent the night at my house in good old Pleasant Grove and when I layed on the bed I about cried because it was so comfortable! Anyone who has done the whole sales thing knows the mattresses you suffer through during the summer leave a lot to be desired! It felt good to be home, even though it was only for a few hours.

My sister and I drove up to Idaho Falls the next day and went to a cute little bridal shower for Megan. We met her sister, mom and grandmother and they were all great! I also scored an awesome bracelet by winning one of the games. Megan's sister makes jewelry and even sells it online. When I get the site I'll be sure to post it because she seems to have mad skills.

The rest of the trip was so nice. It was fun being in Idaho Falls and seeing Sean's family (and playing the rabid rabbit game on the Wii with my nieces!). We love leaving for the summer to experience new places and people, but like the saying goes, there's no place like home.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Big Apple

This past weekend we had the opportunity to go to New York City! We’re lucky it’s a short 1.5 hour trip from Philadelphia. We went with a few of our friends from the office and had a great day. I can’t believe how much we fit into one day! We started out by exploring Times Square. Here’s a picture of Sean in the giant Toys R Us with the big Lego Empire State Building.

Personally, I loved the Barbie section. From Times Square we walked to Central Park and on the way stopped for lunch at the famous Carnegie Deli where the sandwiches are ENORMOUS! We split a “Woody Allen” and as you can tell from the picture, it’s a good thing we each didn’t order our own. You know it is a serious sandwich when it takes a skewer (not a toothpick) to hold it together. It was tasty!

Central Park was a lot of fun because there were some baseball games going on that we watched for awhile and it was a really nice day.

Next, we rode the Statten Island Ferry and saw the Statue of Liberty and had an awesome view of the NYC skyline.

From there we made a stop by Wall Street so we could take a picture with the bull. Yes, we are five years old, and yes, we were laughing our heads off!

Our final stop was Ground Zero. It’s amazing to me that even after all of these years they are still clearing away debris and the foundations of the buildings. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to actually witness the buildings coming down.

I also picked myself up a nice giraffe-print Prada knockoff. Sean successfully bartered the price down to half, so I think he was proud!

All in all it was an awesome day. We’re going back in July to see Wicked, so I’m sure we’ll try to squeeze in a few more sights while we’re there. And of course, there must be time for a trip to H&M… we have them here too, but the ones in New York are the very best!

Monday, June 2, 2008

U bound!

Congrats to Sean for being accepted to the University of Utah’s law school! I’ve been waiting to let him make a post, but he just hasn’t had time and gave me the green light to do it instead. His acceptance letter said this was the most competitive entering class the U has ever had, which makes me even more proud of him. We are beyond excited! He’d narrowed his top choices down to Utah and DePaul (in Chicago). He’d been accepted and offered two scholarships to DePaul, and we’d actually already paid for his seat deposit there since it took Utah forever to make it through their applications (apparently admissions at the U were up a lot this year). We are so happy to be staying in our home and excited for this new chapter in life to begin.

It’s nice to actually have a plan in place now. I feel like we’ve been living by the seat of our pants ever since we’ve been married-- never knowing where we were going to be next and moving every summer. We’ve both loved that lifestyle, seeing all sorts of new places and meeting new people, but I think both of us are ready to stay put for awhile and give up some of the madness. We talked about how we’d be fine moving to Chicago (especially since we’ve already lived there and we really do love it) but how much we would miss some of the things from home—skiing/snowboarding, family close by, my job, American Fork Canyon, Sean’s dirt bike, friends, our ward etc. We’ll just have to take a trip to Chicago every once in awhile—if only to stuff our faces with Lou Malnatis pizza!

Anyway, congrats Sean! You’re going to make one awesome patent attorney!