Thursday, July 28, 2011

Unexpected Moments of Joy

Picture taken in Crescent City, CA. 

I love those moments or events that are so unexpected yet end up bringing much joy and peace to our lives. Often times, those moments can seem insignificant and can be so easily missed. I live for those unexpected joys and hope that my many faults don't cause me to miss too many of them.

It is pleasing to God whenever thou rejoicest or laughest from the bottom of thy heart. 
--Martin Luther

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today Was A Good Day For Random News Articles

Sometimes the news is so entertaining. Below are two of my favorite stories from today.

Russia Decided Beer Counts As Alcohol - Won't be much partying in the streets over this.

Waiting In Line Pays $3 an Hour in China - Trying to decide if I could handle this job. Probably not, not even with the kindle on my phone. Though if the price was right....Could you handle standing in lines all day?

Hi Mom!

I just saw this picture on my computer and had to post it. Isn't my mom so pretty? I love her. I live near her and yet I still feel like I miss her all the time.

My sister Laura took this picture so credit goes to her.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Beef With Harry Potter Fans

At first I thought them crazy. Pyscho. Nothing is good enough for that type of devotion. Then I started to watch the movies, eventually seeing movie 4 or 5 in the theater, and began to sort of understand their devotion. By the end of this last movie, I almost completely understood their devotion. I was head over heels in love too.

But one thing I don't understand is their inability to comprehend that not everybody has read the books yet. I almost had to avoid getting onto social media after the movie came out for fear of having the movie ruined for me. It wouldn't have been that hard to avoid with any other movie. "Spoiler" is used for a reason. But in the Harry Potter world, there is no way to spoil the movie because they think everybody has read all the books, multiple times.

But now my complaint is wasted because there will be no more Harry Potter movies, and because of that, I am sad. I will miss Harry Potter. Maybe I will have to read the books now.

P.S. I am glad I haven't read the books yet because I like when a movie shocks and surprises me and this last Harry Potter movie did just that. I am the type that prefers reading the book after seeing the movie. Though the book usually is better. That I will admit.

Still don't understand the Twilight craze though. And not sure I am willing to give that one a try. 

My Summer Favorites So Far


Am in the middle of but am already obsessed with it. To bad I left it at work today. I was so excited to read more of it.

Couldn't recommend this book enough. I adored it. I highly recommend it. Does have a bit of language in it, but not enough to bother me. The quality of the book more than made up for it.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2! Need I say more.

X-Men First Class - Amazing movie. I have always love this series but feel they excelled with this movie.

I have seen this movie many many times. Watched it again fourth of July weekend. Such a good time to watch it despite that it doesn't have to do with American History. This will always be a favorite of mine.

Favorite Moments with Hubby:

- Introducing him to the amazingness that is Santa Barbara. 
- Tubing with friend. 
- Short Bike Ride and lemonade stand stop. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kim Chee Cucumbers

I love Korean food and I especially love Kim Chee*. I don't eat it often though because it stinks to high heaven and Jon might never kiss me if I smelled like Kimchi* all the time. But its so good! I wish he would just fall in love with it so we could sit around all day eating smelly cabbage. Anyways, real Kimchee* is not easy to make but cucumber Kimchi is simple so I decided to give it a whirl while in Utah. Usually my aunt whips it up but I decided it was time I learn so I could haunt my husband with it all the days of our lives. The instructions were easy to follow and I think I should have followed them rather than listen to the well meaning people trying to help me. Between the 3 of us, the proportions got all skewed. 

Hint for future Kimchi makers: if your cucumbers ever look like that after you mix the salt in, you probably used way to much salt. In fact, it's pretty simple! Don't use the full amount of salt if you use half the amount of cucumbers. No amount of water will wash enough of that salt away. Beat your head against a wall if you ever mess this up.

Despite the overly salty taste, they were still very delicious. I think it's about time I try to hunt down a Kimchee mix at one of the local international stores. I need to try my hand at it again.

P.S. Thanks Dad for introducing me to the world of Kimchi so many years ago. I may be the only one in the family that followed you down this path, but I am your favorite daughter for a reason :).

*I googled Kim Chee to see if the spelling on the packet was correct. And of course it was. The reason I was so confused was that there are a million ways to spell Kim Chee. So I decided to use a few of the version. You can thank me later for this spelling lesson. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Must Try: Bruges Waffles & Frites

If you love fries and are as obsessed with them as I am, you have to try Bruges Waffles & Frites. Our friends though so highly of this place that we randomly decided to stop there one evening on our vacation. Glad we did. Best fries and fry sauces ever. Fry sauce is a Utah thing so you wont see many restaurants outside of Utah trying to master it, but I wish they would. Bruges Waffles and Fritas has roughly 10-12 fry sauces you can choose from. We tried the Samurai and the Andalouse sauces. They were both very good but I wish we had chosen the Samurai and a curry one, because the Andalouse tasted too much like the Samurai. Their waffles were pretty good but I think my heart was in the fries, not the waffles. They are also very well known for the Machine Gun Sandwich, which includes a lamb sausage and fries on a baguette. It looked good and we regretted not trying it. Maybe next time! If you are ever in Salt Lake and need a meal or even just a snack, you should stop at Bruges Waffles and Fritas. You probably wont regret it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Non-Profit Organization : Operation Shower

I thought I would highlight a group whose activities I have been following for a while. Operation Shower is a nonprofit group whose mission is to throw baby showers for military wives whose husbands are deployed and who more than likely have no family in the area. Woman who may not have a baby shower if not for Operation Shower. Click here for more on their mission.

No one enters civil service jobs to make loads of money, especially those who decide to sacrifice much and serve our country. If these woman aren't in need of money, they are definitely in need of all the support, friendship, and love they can get. I don't know how I would make it if my husband was gone for months on end, especially being pregnant. I love the idea of Operation Shower and think they do an excellent job.

As you can see from the pictures above they don't mess around and throw the best possible baby showers they can. And they are able to succeed through the generous donations of individuals and companies (small and large). And these donations aren't just monetary, but also include time, talent, and goods. They have several areas in which they accept volunteers and have made it effortless for you to donate. Plus, for all you woman who, like me, love to shop for baby items, they have set up their own Amazon Wish List. Just click and buy and the items will be sent directly to them. How easy is that?

I hope you will at least check them out.

And if you have any nonprofit organizations you would like to tell me about, please share.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How good is Free-Range Meat?

I don't cook much these days, but will start again once we move out of my hubby's parents home. Thus, I haven't kept up on food related issues as much as I should. But I plan to catch up and have some books on my Amazon wish list to help in that pursuit.

And because of my lack of resources and knowledge, I almost feel like I shouldn't blog about the issue of free-range meat quite yet but I've decided to anyways as I found this article to be interesting.

All I tend to hear is how great free-range meat is to buy if one can afford it. And I know people that do purchase it. Some people purchase free-range meat because of it's supposed health benefits compared to animals raised in confinement. Some purchase it for ethical reasons and others because they feel it is better quality meat and has a better taste. Whatever the reason for people purchasing it, I respect their decision. As I also respect those that decline to eat meat altogether. I for one, eat meat and don't go out of my way to buy free-range meat.

I have heard all the pro free-range arguments there are, but I haven't quite felt like I believe them a hundred percent. Again, I haven't studied it enough and feel that I should study both sides of the issue before I begin to make a decision. And as everything that is backed up by statistics, how do I know whose statistics are more accurate?

With that said, I do find the article interesting. I have found many social issues, especially related to health, can become very one sided (Lyme disease for example) and to enveloped in self-interest and social norms (or fads depending on how you look at it). So I am glad to hear somebody has come out with different findings and questions regarding the actual health benefit of free-range meat. Data that goes unquestioned isn't necessarily good data so even if his facts aren't correct (I don't know if they are or aren't), it's good that the Dr. reported his findings. And his argument sounds kind of believable to me in a common sense sort of way.

What do you think about free-range meat? What do you think about James McWilliams' article and Dr. Peter Davies' findings?