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08 February, 2012

A valentine (or three!) or.... Two nerds and a girl. :]

Good afternoon!

Today, I'm not really looking forward to all the stuff I have to get done... mainly because that is managing to find my way all the way across SA (with no idea HOW to get all the way across SA). And why am I going to do this? To go pee.

Today is my drug test. Whoo. Considering the fact that I've never even had the slightest interest in drugs, the fact that I'm required to do this for every single freaking job I get, it really is just a huge annoyance. And it's awkward. And embarrassing. And ew... gross.

Anywho, so to put that off, I've been working on... about everything else. Cleaning, working on my room, looking up a way to find my way to the library, going through blogs and craftgawker, and... whatever else I can think of.

But I ran across these...

(Found on Blog A La Cart)
I remember doing weavings when I was a kid, and I always loved doing cards that way. Just doing this on a smaller piece of paper, and do this on half. Then fold to make card. This makes me feel nostalgic and nerdy all at once. And THAT is a good combo! Also, I remember doing these when I was THREE. And I was doing them by myself by then. You can start teaching your kids paper weaving really early. Just start with pre-cut strips, and then it's all positioning and gluing/taping. And there are SO many different designs you can search for to do instead (I personally usually stuck with regular weavings, but I liked to use different size strips and interesting colour combos. It gives a really cool effect!) Remember to play as much as possible!!

(Found on Wild Olive -- I love this blog!!)
Okay, this one is a lot more girly, which isn't quite my style, but still so cute, I couldn't help it. Using clear vinyl (or clear cellophane!) paint some hearts, then cut out that and coloured paper (or fabric!) using the template on her post, then sew it together. I'm really loving how you can find hand sewn cards everywhere now. They've been made forever, but now they are getting the credit they deserve! I'm thinking using this same style with bright colour blobs, or metallic swirlys. Oh, the possibilities! Would also be an awesome idea to do with your kids! Let them finger paint! Or paint little scenes that you can match up with the bottom of the envelope! Or, or... Okay, you get the idea. But would be AWESOME for mommies!

(and, seriously, remember, follow Wild Olive! You can thank me later!)

(Found at MiniEco)
This gives me the same vibe as the first one. Nerdy pleasure mixed with the fun of my youth. I love this card. It's so chic and cool, and utterly nerd-tastic, and so easy to do! To make it even easier??? MiniEco has provided a fool-proof template on their site. (Note: It's a lot of cutting with a razor, so probably isn't the best idea for a craft with your kids...)

Now that we've all got our girly, mushy v-day phases on, I'm out!

04 February, 2012

Happy Fabulous, Full-scheduled February! (Plus a new recipe!)

Evening, all!

It has been so ridiculously busy! My ward choir is now in full swing, and it's been such a fun, frustrating, and VERY humbling experience. But I'm really loving the Regs. I think we all kinda bonded our first week together, and it's been so easy to work with everyone ever since. But hey, didn't they do that study before? People that sing together bond and cooperate better? It seems I read that somewhere on Cracked... (see? I'm not crazy. You can find the article here.) But anyway, that's the simple part of things. I'm also getting ready to jump into YSAs here in SA and start going to institute, which is going to get somewhat complicated considering I JUST GOT A JOB!! Yay!

Part of the reason I moved here is because there was so little work in Idaho, and since I've been here, I've barely even really been looking. This job came from, like everything else, church. One week, in my YSA class, I heard a lot of crying coming from the nursery and went over to offer to help out, and they ended up refusing to let me leave (the kids, anyway). But there was another woman in there who was also just helping for the day, and we got to chatting... about family, about work, about... whatever. Then, last Sunday, I ran into her again, gave her a hug, and said hi, and she goes on and tells me that she talked to her daughter about me, and that she wanted me to apply to a job. A few days later, she calls and gives me her daughter's number, the next day I went in for an interview (and to... you know... apply), and she gave me the job before I left.

Glad to know networking is alive and well. And VERY glad to know that the economy isn't totally shot.

And THEN, on top of EVERYTHING else, my totally awesome sister, Sheli, is GETTING MARRIED!! I'm thrilled! The guy, Mark, is so very nice, and honestly, he almost felt like my brother the first time I met him, he's just the kind of guy you feel comfortable being around, even when you're complete strangers. And the cherry on top is his daughter, Courtney, whom I love. And while she'll technically be my niece-through-marriage, we're just gonna call her my little sister, how's that? I'm so excited that our family is growing! And it's going to be fantastic to help plan the wedding! Yay! Chance to try all those fun crafts that only really work for weddings!! Eeeeee!

And, now that I've rambled long enough, here's my newest recipe.

I've adjusted another recipe, but my family wouldn't shut up about mine, and it used more readily available ingredients. Always a plus! Overall, it was a huge hit!

Here you go!

Cashew Chicken Wraps

This was quick, easy, and utterly delish. It was also shockingly filling. I made it about a week ago, and I'm already getting requests for it again (and, I'm totally willing!)

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • For Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • -(I used dark soy sauce, which is a little smoother in flavor and gave the chicken a great colour when it was all mixed together.)

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
  • -(original recipe called for rice vinegar, which is sweeter. I used a little less of the white vinegar and then added a tiny bit more brown sugar, along with a tiny bit of water, to make the flavor lighter. It worked perfectly well.)

  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon mince garlic WATER
  • -(I got a can of minced garlic that I just found at the dollar store, and it had the water left in. I did my best to just get some of the water out).

  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • -(optional - the original recipe called for a little bit of ground ginger, which I couldn't find. To improvise, I used a little extra soy sauce and the garlic water. But I wanted the tang you usually get with ginger, so I had the end of a lemon, so I squeezed the juice in. It added just the right amount of sour!)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (you can substitute peanut or sesame oil).
       For Cashew Chicken:
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb. total), diced

  • 8 leaves of greenleaf or iceburg lettuce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or oil of choice)

  • 1 cup onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped (because I used olive oil instead of sesame oil, I threw in some extra to the sauce to add a little nutty goodness to the sauce, too.)
  • For stir fry sauce.
  1. Mix all wet ingredients in a medium bowl and add brown sugar. Stir until dissolved.
  2. Mix in the rest of the sauce ingredients.
  3. (OPTIONAL) Saute some cashews in a small amount of oil until golden, then add the cashews and the oil to the sauce
  • For chicken:
  1. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Toss in diced chicken and brown well. I cooked mine until it had a little bit of a crisp sear. Remove from pan.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and soy sauce to the pan, and saute until onions and garlic are soft and browned. Mix in the stir fry sauce. Mix well.
  3. Add in the chicken. Mix well.
  4. Add in the cashews. Mix everything is coated in the stir fry sauce.
  5. Spoon mixture onto lettuce leaves. Go easy on this, because the cashews are very good at tearing through lettuce.
  6. If the need strikes, add hot sauce, basil, or extra cashews. We didn't even need it though. It's just that yummy.

We ate ours with some baked chips/crackers (especially good with those sesame rods!), fresh veggies, and fruit.

Enjoy! And anybody who tries it, please let me know what you think!!


17 December, 2011

Avoiding Homework... again :]

Good.... err, afternoon! :D

I'm suffering from lack of motivation. This is going to be my undoing one of these days XD


This week has, really, been pretty bland. I've been sick for just under two weeks, so I've done a... whole lot of nothing. My bedroom looks like a hurricane ran through here, and I think I'm becoming addicted to cold medicine (haha. No. I hate the stuff. Can't wait to be rid of it! My friend and I were joking about melting some Halls honey-lemon soothing drops into some tea... and I'm actually tempted to really try it. Especially because I am getting SO sick of the tea flavors I have in my house. My consumption has increased exponentially. Which is saying something, since I've always been on a very loving relationship with tea)

I guess it's good. I've been working on homework (during the week?? WHAHHHHT??) and planning for my new church calling, and planning for crafts (yes, planning. Because I need to go shopping. and I don't WANNA go shopping. Yes, I know, I didn't think I'd ever say that either. BUT, I guess I'll have to hit up Anna's sometimes this coming week. Whooo. Linens :])

BUT, I have some great ideas for making Christmas gifts now, and I'm ridiculously excited about them. Especially because for the first time in a LONG time, I have GIRLS to shop/make for, no size limit!!! While my sister's been in Texas, it's been me and my mom against my two brothers and my dad. So now that WE'RE in Texas, we have Sheli on our side again. Plus her boyfriend's daughter, Courtney, who, honestly, I kind of adore. She's 15, and one of the coolest kids I've met in a long time, so I decided I'm going to get her and her dad Christmas gifts too... somehow. Creativity to the rescue!

Maybe I'll have some success stories to share on here. Maybe I'll even have time to make a few tutorials again!.... someday XP

In the meantime, I'm trying to break into the LDS YSA group, which I'm starting to freak out about. I can't go to institute, because it's like half an hour away on the freeway, which I have STILL not braved (scoff not. I've only been here for 6 weeks... and three of those I've been sick in bed! The other three have been unpacking, which I'm STILL not done with! Plus my car sucks! And Texas drivers are crazy!! And... shut up. I'll do it someday -.0) And I don't know ANYBODY who goes. It seems all the "friends" I've made so far are adults in the choir. Lol. My people found me, but they're not going to help me out on this. I guess it's time to buck it up and get over it.

Wow, this is a lot longer than I intended. I guess I REALLY don't want to do homework.

Oh well, here's some inspiration for today! Because even with everything seemingly going wrong, everything still seems to be going right. <3

(and because the first two are some of my favorite quotes EVER)

XOXO, Emiebee

13 December, 2011

My adventures in the new life...

Hello all! Here I am... avoiding my homework that is due tomorrow night. Stupid, but with my current nasty little headache, I'm writing it off as necessary. It's been a busy few days. Sunday, it was announced in my new ward about my TWO new callings (yes, two... which they didn't seem to remember to tell ME about, but whatever), and then I was set apart for both of them afterwards. I also sang in the choir while I could barely even talk... THAT was interesting. I'm just grateful that I was able to hit (most of) the notes and I didn't start choking on the stand. :]

On top of that, I was approached by probably a dozen or so people about the choir, which I am now COMPLETELY taking over. The coolest part? The majority of them weren't people currently in the choir, their people that want to be a part of the choir but have always been too nervous/embarrassed to participate,  and SEVEN of these people told me that for some reason, my being called to the choir director gave them the courage to want to join. Even cooler than that, there are a few people that speak very little english that have always avoided the choir because the current choir only performs in english. And they're asking ME to help them to be able to participate.

Which inspired an idea...So now I'm in the process of looking for a song or two in spanish for all the spanish speakers in the ward, that I can help the current choir members to sing in a few months!! Which will be AMAZING since there's a good portion of the ward who only speaks spanish, and has everything translated for them. I think it'll be amazing for the choir music to be directed towards THEM for once. I'm ridiculously excited about it.

It's going to be crazy, very busy, and definitely going to force me out of my comfort zone, but I'm finding the faith I need to feel confident. It's definitely scary, and stressful, and I'm going to need a lot of help, but these people are really making me feel like this is what I'm meant to be doing right now. I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

And over the last few days, one quote keeps coming to mind...

Here's hoping for the best!



07 December, 2011

Diary of an exhausted girl

Well, we officially passed the one month mark since we've been living in Texas. It's been interesting, it's been fun, but it's been absolutely exhausting. My room is STILL covered in boxes and random STUFF, as is the media room, and the garage (oh yes, I'm parking my punk rocker ugly van in front of my nice, respectable little cottage home. My neighbors must be thrilled. To date, my dogs have escaped TWICE (but, the first time, I was saved by my very own KISA (knight in shining armor), a very sweet man who drove past me, then circled back and helped me catch my dogs, then helped me walk them back. That's right, officially the first (okay 3rd... My sister's boyfriend, Mark, and his daughter, Courtney were like the day before) Texan I met was extremely nice. And that's been the case all along. Granted, the drivers are all insane, but whenever you cross the pass of someone in person, there's something nice said, or a big smile exchanged with everyone. Everyone just kind of excepts people to be nice around here. I keep noticing that people look at me weird when I say excuse me in stores. It's like you can actually hear them saying "oh honey, I KNOW you didn't mean to step in front of me"... but then, that could be because pretty much immediately afterwards, they say something along those lines. But hey, if that's the kind of "you're a freak!!" behavior I get, then I'll take it!

Church has also been interesting. The ward here is a lot smaller than my old ward, and much more spread out. And a lot of people don't know each other, where my old ward, everyone knew everyone. So it's a little less intimate, but not any less comfortable and homey. I had two weeks of taking two steps before someone grabbed me to say hi and introduce themselves. And it usually goes along the lines of "I saw you last week, but you disappeared before I could come over and talk to you." Yeah, that's because someone else found me. You would be shocked how many hugs I get a week from people I don't recognize or know their names. I also get tackled constantly about my shoes. Apparently stilettos aren't a big thing in the ward. Most women I see are wearing flats. So me with my designer heels collection seem to be grabbing some attention.

I even joined the choir. It feels great. I never realized how withdrawn I had become with my music. But I guess I was just needed here, since I walked into the choir the first week, and had the entire choir (about ten people) pretty much at once jump at me and asked what I sang. When I said I could sing either, but preferred alto, they pretty much begged me to do soprano. I found out why very soon after... There is only one soprano, and she can't read music or carry a tune unless someone is singing next to her. So now, after dragging my mom in as well, we have a few sopranos. Whew.

But then, they're going to lose one as well, seeing as LAST week on my WAY to choir practice, I was snagged by a member of the bishopric and asked to be the ward music chair... which in this ward means planning all the music for Sundays, scheduling ward members to perform, planning and putting on all the special music numbers (Christmas, Easter, etc), plus leading during sacrament meeting and... yupp, directing the choir. This girl is going to get very busy. That on TOP of making a conscious effort to get involved with the Young Single Adults, for the first time... ever.  And yet, I STILL can't transfer to the ward, as, once again, I have a full time calling in my home ward. Bahahaha. I'm really not meant for a single's ward, am I? But, I am going to do my very best to attend institute and YSA activities, which I have NEVER done before. Adventure!!!

Let's see... what else? I'm looking for a job. I'm unpacking, cleaning (constantly), attempting to not kill the men in this house (for MAKING me constantly clean), doing homework, cleaning again (and again, trying not to turn to homicide when my lazy brothers tell me I'm lazy and spoiled after I finish cleaning up after them. AGAIN.), cooking, organizing, running errands, attempting to explore the area (not easy, since I'm still kinda AHHHHHH about the crazies on the freeways), preparing for Christmas and my momma's birthday, trying to settle on a design for my room, finding the time to DO that design, be crafty, excersize, swim (yay! we have a swimming pool!) and stay warm (one day: 75 degrees, the next day: 45 degrees.), stay healthy, this is the SECOND time I've been sick since we've been here. Both times it's been bad enough that I am forced to stay in bed. Sucks.  Yes), and.... I think that's it.

Alrighty, I rambled enough.

Love, your exhausted (and currently cranky) friend.

XOXO, Emiebee