26 April 2011

Packing and Re-packing.

We're less than a week out from the big trip now. I have been buying little things here and there that I feel I am going to need like sunglasses, sunscreen, tanning lotion (an oxymoron I know), nail polish because it is now a staple of my wardrobe. Now I have been going through my closet and trying to rediscover clothes that I haven't seen in a while that will make me look cute in pictures. I haven't found any just in case you were wondering. I am one of those people that wants to be prepared for anything, at anytime. It bugs my husband because I have an endless supply of "bottomless pits" or purses as they are known to women that I have everything that combines to be me in the bottom. I am having a mild anxiety attack because with the new restrictions on baggage weight and knowing that I am going to be bringing home goodies I don't want to leave anything for TSA to take home. What are some essential things you take with you when you travel?
25 April 2011

The Deep South

I watched Sweet Home Alabama yesterday in hopes of getting myself acquainted and prepared to be in the south next week. Reese and I have a special bond I have dreamed of having her perfect hair for most of my life to no avail of course. But on to the news yes, we are going to be in cotton country this time next week. I am taking a computer in hopes that I can update every night and show y'all how beautiful it is there. I am determined to eat my weight in everything southern and not gain a pound due to all of the walking we will be doing we will see how that actually works. My husband being a Carolina boy himself has outlined a awesome trip for us and I can't wait to see some of these things in person like....
Middleton Plantation Cypress Gardens and I can't wait to wake up to this every morning! and I can't forget the real reason we are going back there... It's not for the history, To celebrate my graduation, or to just get away. We are going for Dukes, Plain and Simple.
I have heard so much about this place that I promised we could eat there at least once during our trip. I even said that I would forgo my "I will not eat anywhere that thrives on sneeze guards" to go there. Its a buffet and apparently a little piece of heaven that T doesn't get to experience anymore. Ever. Cuz we live in Utah and Utah doesn't have proper Bar-B-Q even our chips say BBQ. Goodness.
29 March 2011

Baffeled

Hello All, I would like to welcome you to the 'those who don't understand Utah weather anonymous' group. Today we will discuss the damaging effects that changing weather has on all of our fragile psyches. I will start my name is Sara and I am confused by Utah weather. I just get up the gumption to blog about the coming of spring and then it snows. I feel a little betrayed by the weather. That's all. Now onto more important things- Have you ever completely surprised yourself ? I just did, I almost gave myself a slight heart attack. To explain my shock, the hubs and I decided to start a garden. we had to plant the seeds inside so that they could get their bearings before we transplant them outside. We planted them about two weeks ago and religiously watered them. For two weeks I saw nothing then yesterday Boom. a sprig of green in three of the four planters. I lost control when I saw them and did a rain dance or green thumb dance in celebration that my black thumb curse had actually ceased to work on these plants. In other news though I have turned in my final two projects for this semester! When I complete my English course I will be a college graduate. Not The Graduate. Don't get confused I don't usually like middle aged anything including cheese and meat products. T and I are three weeks from a long needed graduation vacation. We're headed to the south where portions are huge and summers are warm. I plan on watching Sweet Home Alabama to get myself ready for all of the southern hospitality. That and eating cheese biscuits lots and lots of cheese biscuits. Get ready to start seeing a slightly pudgier Sara in the upcoming weeks. Now all I can think of are cheese biscuits. Watering mouth. I'll leave you be and go get some of those cheese biscuits.
19 March 2011

Spring has sprung-

It's been warm outside most of the week and in the set of directions that came with me at birth its noted that if the temperature hits over 50 degrees for more than three consecutive days my body will forever more think that its spring, even if on the fourth day there is a blizzard. You can find me outside in some yoga capris now instead of my good old BYU sweats that have been banned from coming outside the house because they have been so well loved that my family doesn't want to see them anymore -that's another story for another time- But in all actuality Spring is here and I am now in transform mode. My house goes through moods just like I do- go figure. This week it has been in the I don't give a care mood. Just take a look at the buffet in our entryway. (I trust you understand that I show you this in confidence and I don't want you to go and spread the word that my house is a gigantic trash pile right now. Thanks.) So that being said- I went shopping on Saturday as sort of a break from the mounds of homework that I seem to accrue during the semester no matter how hard I try not to. I bought some great things for spring decorating and I am so excited to show them to you and first thing is to get my house cleaned- Spring cleaned to be exact, that means the oven, windows and fridge that I so lovingly put off cleaning will actually be my undoing over the next week or so. Second make it have some personality. I always like when a space shows its character and the character of the people that live there, and until I have a house load of kids I can usually keep things in their place long enough for people to notice. I did finish my first set of no sew curtains about a week ago to put in our office/ library. They turned out great and I love that there isn't wavy stitching to detract from the cute fabric. Again, I will have to post after the spring cleaning has happened. Do you ever feel like you watch certain movies during certain seasons? I recently noticed that I do in Fall I love to watch movies like When Harry Met Sally and seasons of Gilmore Girls but in the Spring I fall in love with 10 Things I Hate About You and You've Got Mail. I don't know what it is about them but they like certain spices get me geared up for the new season. In fact I am going to go and put in one of these favorites right now because I need a pick me up. Today was one of those days, that all in all was not bad but certain events made it feel like it would never end. I'll share one, not because you really want to know but because I can and will whine to all of you without any noticeable eye rolling. To begin we are renovating our basement-it's a lot of work- So the hubs and I decided to divide and concur. I went to one of those big hardware stores that have overtaken mom and pop shops to get supplies while the hubs stayed back and did everything from framing to some landscaping. Why I went alone I have no idea I think it was a mini inner feminist that says I can do anything myself without help and don't say otherwise (don't take that the wrong way, I can do quite a bit myself but sometimes my inner amazonian feels like she needs to tackle a bear thirty seven times her size) but I digress. I went to a gigantic store to get 37 sheets of blue insulation, 5 tubes of liquid nails, and 8 2x4's. To say it straight I had to switch carts three times because of the gigantic load I had, was never asked if I needed help, began to cry three times because a 2x4 had hit me in the head- neck- face- smashed fingers- loosened a tooth ( you get the idea). I was going to check out and almost ran over a child. By the time I got my cart to the counter a Good Samaritan asked if I could use a 10% off coupon that he was going to use for a 17.00 light fixture. I not thinking said sure I would split the difference in the money I saved with him. I did save quite a bit but once I got home I realized that I had actually bought his light fixture and saved about 15.00. He helped me put my gigantic purchase into my car but I couldn't help but laugh when I got home that the good Samaritan got a free light, at least I don't feel obligated to send him cookies. Did I mention while putting my booty into my car I got slapped in the face 15 times by blue styrofoam? I did its not as fun as it sounds. By the time I got home I was fuming, I irrationally yelled at the hubs for making me go alone and then sat in the bathroom and cried because I was a wimp and got a headache from styrofaom- It was definitely a Dr. Pepper day to say the least and I did get two giant DP's to comfort my ego. Did the day get better you ask- why yes it did, I learned that I had over purchased said styrofoam by about $100.00 so we were able to take that back and when I thought I hadn't been noticed by anyone who actually worked at the big chain establishment I was greeted by the Customer Service clerk who said, "Didn't you buy these this morning?" Me, "Yep, I was the one" Clerk, "Ha, yeah I just saw a giant cart of blue styrofoam" Me, "Hopefully the child I almost ran over recovered from her near death experience. I was also the girl that was chasing the foam all over the parking lot because it flew off of the cart." Clerk, "yeah I saw that, it explains why that one over there is so dirty." Then I gave him a dirty look and he quickly handed me my change because he could tell I wasn't pleased with the whole ordeal. That's my end to the story- It was traumatic and to sum it up Lowes made me feel low. ha- But the hubs and his dad were able to get all of it up and ready to drywall so it wasn't for naught! Now I am going to gorge myself on what's left of my humongous Dr. Pepper and 10 Things I Hate About You because I can justify doing so- because its spring. As Always, S-
16 March 2011

I need a break

Hello all- Let me first answer questions- 1. Yes it has been quite a while 2. No we have not be off gallivanting 3. Yes I have missed you Its been crazy the past month we have had so many things happen that sometimes I think trials come in hoards instead of one at a time. Fortunately for my sanity it should all be coming to an end so so so soon! But enough with life at the brown home its time to get down to business. I am writing as a relief from writing- I know it sounds weird but I'll explain. I am taking my final English class over the internet right now and I have to write a swamp full of papers, literally I hate figured out that I hate writing when I don't get to choose what I write about. Have you ever felt that way when people tell you what to do? I do quite constantly actually especially when I get asked to shut a door all the way. Who is my hubs to tell me that its letting the cold in... Just kidding a little but maybe just a little. I have through this course though found out that I take for granted how I love talking to you- the few of you that read I like hearing your opinions to my ramblings so keep them coming I need them so that I don't end up at a funny farm talking about the essential elements of rhetorical theory. Now its back to the writing of rhetoric. Ew
16 February 2011

Gasp... Coach we aren't in high school anymore!

Last night I found out three fundamental truths. 1. I am officially old (and loving it) 2. I am no longer in high school 3. High school never actually changes How did I realize these truths you may ask, I went to a high school basketball game. T and I went to support some of his students and obviously have an enlightening moment. First I sat in the stands. I have never before sat in the stands at a high school basketball game, I was always cheering in the student section. I looked around me and I was surrounded by excited parents and PTA members. I quickly realized that I was old now, I will now sit at games and get comfortable, I will constantly think about telling the high school students in front of me to take their annoying flirtations somewhere else because I am trying to watch the game and I so don't care about who poked who first. Second, I am no longer in high school. Whew... glad I finally realized that aren't ya. What I mean is I realized that I am a completely different person than those students in the gym last night. I think rationally most of the time and I know that doughnuts are really never your friend and they will catch up with you eventually. I also realized after the doughnut affirmation that I will never be the "high school skinny" version of myself that I have heard from the local weight loss guru, and I am okay with that- I think. Third, everything changes but high school. I have never been so taken back into the past as when I walked in that school and past the Booster moms taking tickets. Even though it was a different school, different kids and teachers I felt like I was sixteen again going to cheer on a team that for all intensive purposes would not win the game. I think that is why some people never really leave high school, its a constant there will always be teachers that care and over flowing teen drama. It was nice to have a blast from the past and then get catapulted into reality when I went home with my husband and watched HGTV. It's funny how life and priorities change when you leave high school in fact I would have made my high school self sick if she knew how many times I have gone to class in sweats with my hair in a pony tail and then wore basically the same outfit the next day. So to end have a nice day adults because that's what you are. Be proud of it- As always, -S
01 February 2011

Hello all!

It's already one of those weeks for me. The weeks where the house stays a mess, the hubs has to forage outside for food and a shower seems like a distant escape. It all started yesterday at lunch when we came home to feed these two hooligans and found that this little monster had cut open her tail. It was gross so I wont show you pictures because you would regret eating lunch and people should never regret eating in my opinion. I post a picture of her cute little bandage though ( if she lets me). Right after we found her tail was cut I had to take her to the vet to get it cleaned and wrapped. Unfortunately on the way home we had to turn around because the cute pink bandage they put on had fallen off- imagine my face right at that moment. We then got it re-bandaged after almost having to hog tie her to the ground. Once we got home I remembered we had nothing for dinner, three minutes later the hubs came home and was starved. He looked at my face and called for Chinese that is less that 1/4 of a mile from our house to deliver. Even though its been two days so far I have high hopes for improvement either that or our house will get enveloped into a sink hole that was never discovered and you will see us homeless on the news. On the upside of things its February 1st and I have some great projects to share with you for your valentines day decorating. I promise I will post them in the coming days so y'all can spruce up your abode but for now I have a whiny puppy to take care of. As always, -S
26 January 2011

Have you ever...

Have you ever just had one of those days. When you plan on being really productive getting the house cleaned, dinner on the table, laundry done and maybe watching a movie but then realize that just wan't going to happen. To top things off on a day like today its hard for someone to critique you or analyze something that you have done in a negative way. Today is one of those days for me. How have I handled it so far you ask, horribly. I have been grouchy, slouchy and all other words that produce an ugg feeling. How has my husband been near angelic- offering to do any and all things to make my day better. After seeing this I decided I was going to take the criticisms apologize for anything that I might have done wrong and try to do better in the days to come. I feel like I handled everything well I didn't jump and scream its a no good very bad day but then why do I still feel so horrible about the critique?

Amazing Noodles and Chicken.

A few days ago I was trying to save myself as much time as possible so that I could do really important things like watch The Real Housewives of whatever city is on right now and maybe a little bit of laundry but only maybe let's not get too crazy. So I made a dish that I have made before and was a big hit. What I had forgotten was how big of a hit it actually was. I made Really Good Noodles and Chicken from Your Homebased Mom and she in turn got it from Nurse Heidi at Food For Thought. I made enough for six people planning on having the left overs for the hubs and I to take for lunch the next day. Once it hit the table it was gone within 15 minutes. I only got one picture on my poor Iphone before it was gone. Six servings of creamy, lemony, noodley goodness inhaled not because we were so hungry we were ravenous but because it is actually one of the best things we have ever eaten. Below is the recipe that will change your life and ruin your lunch plans forever.
“Really Good” Noodles and Chicken
Nurse Heidi
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1 T. fresh rosemary, minced 1 lemon, zested and juiced 3 T. honey 8 ounces thin spaghetti (I prefer Barilla Plus) 2 T. butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup real bacon bits 1/2 cup cream 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese 3 roma tomatoes, seeds and core removed, diced 2 T. capers (optional)
Start a pot of water boiling to cook the pasta. Spray your BBQ grill rack with nonstick spray and fire it up. Sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary on each chicken breast and grill for 7-8 minutes on the first side. In a small bowl, mix 2 T. of freshly squeezed lemon juice and the honey together, then brush it on the tops of the chicken breasts before flipping them over. Brush the underside as well, and grill for a few more minutes until they are cooked through (actual cooking time will depend on how thick the breast is, and you could certainly pound them thinner to start with to make it go faster). Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Toss your noodles into the boiling salted water if you haven’t already. Once they are nearly done cooking, begin making the sauce. It comes together quickly. In a large skillet, melt 2 T. butter then add the garlic. Saute and stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the bacon bits and cook for another minute. Stir in the remaining lemon juice and all of the zest, then the cream. Stir in the cooked and drained noodles, adding a tablespoon or two of the pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Slice the chicken breasts thinly. Stir in the roma tomatoes and Parmesan cheese (and capers if you so desire – I’m the only one that likes them around here, so I tossed a few on my own plate), and serve immediately with a portion of chicken breast strips on top of the pile of pasta.
**Now just a note, this recipe is amazing already as I stated but I have made it in a pinch when I hadn't had time to go to the store so I will let you into some of my shortcuts in case you are ever in a pinch and still want to make this dish.
1.In place of the Fresh tomatoes you can drain a can of petite diced tomatoes
2.You can use dried rosemary instead of fresh, just add a little bit at a time because dried herbs tend to go a lot farther than fresh so taste as you add.
3. Our family eats as much whole wheat as possible so feel free to use whole wheat pasta if you would like.
4. When I made this I thought I had honey but I didn't ( I have no idea where it went but its gone) instead I used Agave. Its a natural sweetener that is a lot like honey but sweeter so again with this taste as you go so you don't feed your family something Buddy the Elf would be proud of.
Happy Eating!
As Always,
-S
25 January 2011

I kind of look like a Hobbit, and that's okay.

I left the house today in cute little flats... You see I had a gift card to JC Penny and they had almost everything at 80% off. So I splurged and got 4 pairs of shoes that all are very cute but really need to broken in. So, since Utah has been unnaturally warm this week I decided why not do it now. Obviously the state of Utah heard me and called in a nice little snow shower today. May I mention when I went home for lunch my car had an inch of snow on it and my cute little flats were immediately swallowed up in the white powdery stuff. Please don't misunderstand me I love snow. Snow and I have a very special relationship, in fact snow has made an appearance in 90% of the top moments of my life including but not limited to; My first kiss with my husband, our wedding, and the one and only time my house was totally and completely clean. That being said snow and cute snake skin flats don't mix I mean I am not a reptile connoisseur but I haven't seen any snakes donning parkas and braving the cold this winter, so I headed home my little piggies shivering all the way. I took the trash that I had set out last night and threw it away and ran inside my house for some comfort. Now of course I should have found some practical shoes with good treads so that I would minimize my falling potential from 100% possibility to 85% but I have on the only pair of jeans that are clean and they are my cute flat jeans and just a little to short for any sturdy shoes that I own. It's weird I know but pant length is a huge part of my life I chalk it up to years of being unable to find anything long enough for my legs ( but I digress). I fed our two giants and then sat down for a quick The Real Housewives of NY episode and before I knew it I needed to get back to work. realizing that I had been foolish and not washed my jeans the night before like I thought I should. I quickly tried on a pair of boots hoping beyond hope that they would look okay. Unfortunately, Noah would have been proud with my preparedness, they looked awful. Scrambling and feeling a time crunch I found the one pair of warm shoes that I own. My furry and fluffy slippers. You see I did something to every single one of my toes on my right foot about a month ago and couldn't wear an actual shoe for thirty days because of the pain. My mom was really nice and bought me some cute furry slippers that were just big enough to fit the enormous piggy's and the slippers quickly became my favorite. I try not to dress like I rolled out of bed and go anywhere so these slippers really don't make much of an outdoor appearance. Today of course they did. I never really looked at my feet until I was walking into my office and realized that I look like I have hobbit feet. Little furry brown feet that are not hidden very well under cute flat wearing pants. Moral to the story when your subconscious suggests you do laundry the night before what inevitably will be a snowstorm so that you don't have to walk around with furry feet. Do it, it will save you some all be it small bits of embarrassment. As always, -S
24 January 2011

Call me Vila... Sara Vila.

Have you ever had a conversation with Bob Vila. I have... well only in my head (that's another story all together) but the other day I was admiring my new faucet and accessories thinking, "Oh you look far better than your predecessor and work better too." as that thought was running through my mind I shoved about 6 lemons worth of lemon rind into the black hole that I like to call my disposal. I turned on my trusty faucet and flipped the switch just like Dr. Frankenstein but instead of my disposal roaring to life as it has for the past year and a half it muttered, grumbled, gargled and then stopped. Stopped dead in its tracks I mean. Ah, I thought poor thing is tired and over worked so I sat there turned off the switch and let it take a little nap ( about 3.5 seconds because I'm really not that patient). I threw the switch again and nothing not one ummph or harumph to be heard. Just then I heard my inner Bob Vila tell me clear out the lemons. So I did. I mean Bob is always right ya know. I cleared out the sheared lemons and flipped the switch. Nothing. Bob suggested flipping the breaker. Nothing. I skulked into the family room where T was diligently playing a game on NCAA. I told him that the never ending black hold had died. He retorted, "What did you do to make it die." "Nothing" "Really," he said "you didn't do anything to it?" "No... Nothing that I can think of." So he came to check it out and didn't have any more success than Bob and I had previously. Then T started harumphing and looking into the cost of buying a new one when Bob suggested I push the little red button on the bottom of the disposal. I did and it worked. An hours worth of looking, worrying and harumphing was over and only because I watched Home Improvement shows as part of my Saturday morning alternative cartoons. So I started dancing and singing - I fixed the faucet and you couldn't do it- in T's general vicinity and I'm not proud of rubbing his nose in it but its not often my own personal Bob Vila makes me more handy than my handy man. As I was dancing and singing (all of which rivaled Winona Ryder in the crucible) my husband kindly looked at me and stated, " Aren't you the one that broke it? So in essence you aren't really that handy." I stopped and skulked back to the kitchen. Defeated. Why did I tell you this stunning story of the rise and fall of Sara Vila? Because I wanted to. I thought some of you may empathize and share a story to make me feel just a little bit better.
23 January 2011

Frame Re-Do

As I sit here chatting with you I have a pot on the stove simmering away and smelling amazing.
I will let you know that usually my family is only fed because of great recipes that find on great blogs like yours. My husband severely thanks you, that's one reason that I started this endeavor to pay it forward in a sense why not open up every amazing recipe that we have so that we all can be desperately happy. I like sharing and hope you will too because T can't go hungry.

But on to funner things than my rambling mind. This Friday I started a project you see at the end of December a really good friend of mine had one of the cutest babies I have ever seen. I thought that I would make her a little coming home present. I found one that I thought was perfect and made it my own. It will end up being a frame of her daughters name with some other cute things but that will be in a later post. I set out to find the perfect frame and honestly I never found it but I did run into a perfect frame project. It turned out pretty cute if you ask me but why am I telling you check it out for yourself!
All you need is a frame either unfinished or one that you have sanded down and a paint color that you adore. I happen to love vintage white and chocolate brown together. Don't forget some sand paper and a paint brush or the whole process will be far more difficult than it needs to be ( it would involve your hands and a driveway which can be hard to come by).
First paint the frame about three coats and make sure that its completely dry or this won't work really well. Then sand down some of the edges just in a random way nothing to contrived here people just make it fun. After you sand and blow the dust off take a sponge or a paper towel and put your secondary color over your sanding marks. Now this step doesn't have to be pretty and it may make a little mess but once you have the sanding marks covered go back and take off the excess paint with a wet paper towel. It might take a little elbow grease but I have found that this is the easiest way to do this.

Now all you have to do is let it dry and clean up your mess. Before you know it you will have a mildly antique frame and by antique I mean you made it in about three minutes! Here is how mine turned out and as I sit here looking at it I have decided I need more of these in my life. Maybe on my really fake faux mantle.
Now back to my simmering dinner... and maybe an episode or two of Swamp People!
18 January 2011

Thinking 'bout things Tuesday!

I hate change, I despise it and reject it in all forms. I know this loathing of change is ridiculous but I can't help it. I love the mundane of life, getting up at the same time everyday going to work, school, and doing all of the tasks that accompany them. Why did I get on this rant all of the sudden? I realized that I am actually graduating from college. After four long years I am completing my run as an undergraduate and I'm not sure I like it. What I mean to say is... I love that I am graduating, I will finally have something (a pretty pretty diploma) to show for all of my time spent in various classrooms around campus. That being said I am a huge scaredy cat when I start thinking of things and changes to come. I equate the feeling to going up a steady slope on a roller coaster and then getting to the pinnacle where the car begins to waiver ever so slightly making your toes curl and your stomach decide to join the witness protection program because it thinks you're trying to kill it. This feeling although invigorating hits at all the worst moments like today in the car when I was driving past my old dorm and slap the realization that change was coming hit me in the stomach. Memories flooded me from freshman year and I was back in another time. Despite how scary change may be I think I am coming to terms that change will never change it will always come when you are most comfortable with your surroundings. I have always gotten over the initial feeling of change and I have in most cases breezed though it with flying colors but I often forget that everything no matter what happens will turn out for the best. Does this ever happen to you? Leave a comment and let me know what big changes are coming up in your life and if you are excited for them or not! As always, -S
Hey y'all I am Sara otherwise known as the Desperately Happy Housewife. When I am not working I am busy crafting, blogging and re-decorating my house. I channel Lucille Ball and Lauren Graham on a daily basis to get me through the "Oh my gosh I just sewed my finger" moments that often happen. I hope you stay a while and get a chance to see what makes me desperately happy.

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