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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Have a
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Dear Trick-or-Treaters,

Seeing as how you only rang our doorbell 3 times last year, and I had even been coerced into buying the good stuff (chocolate) by my husband (instead of handing out the leftover Tootsie Pops from the year before), I'm not too concerned that we'll be missing too many of you tonight. I know it looks like we're home (that's the idea), but we'll do right by you next year. We are counting on you to be lazy - cutting through the planter beds, rather than using the sidewalk - so, we put in a stepping stone just for you - USE IT. I really like the bushes just the way they are. And, oh yeah... please don't get upset and leave a trick for us... otherwise, next year I'll be handing out unwrapped candy corn and pennies for UNICEF.

Happy Haunting and BE SAFE!
The Spriks

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's a...

We're completely over the moon!

OF COURSE we already have some ideas for names
(As Brian would say, "There's a spreadsheet..."),
And we're definitely on the lookout for a few more...
Our plan is to go to the hospital with some names in mind
(to see what will best suit the baby),
but it'll be a surprise to all of you until the happy day arrives.

Accepting any and all name ideas in the comments below...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And we're off...


...to attend the wedding festivities in Phoenix for these two!

We're excited for them,
and happy to be a part of their big day.

Welcome to the family, Emily!

Tune in tomorrow for the big announcement!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet, sweet goodness!

I haven't been hit by too many cravings yet in my pregnancy... but there have been a few - chips & queso, Taco Bell, frosted circus animal cookies, french fries - I'm the poster-child for healthiness.

This morning, I have an overwhelming urge for Sweet Cereal Mix. It's all I can think about... and I'm frustrated that there's nothing I'm going to do about it, because we'll be out of town this weekend (and I really need to fit into that airline seat!).

It's one of those goodies that I only make this time of year (well, usually only at Christmastime, but I think I'm going to have to stretch it a little this year into November and January, too). My mom first started making it a few years ago, and it's quickly become a family favorite.

If you make this, I promise you will love it... and you'll have a hard time staying out of it - it's just that good!

Sweet Cereal Mix

INGREDIENTS
Candy thermometer
4 c. Special K
5 c. Corn Chex
4 c. Cheerios
4 c. Rice Krispies
2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3/4 c. light Karo Syrup
Dash of salt
1 c. heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS
  1. Measure out cereals, and combine in one large bowl. (Separate into 2 bowls, if you don't have one that can accommodate the cereals.)
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt sugar, butter, Karo Syrup, and salt together.
  3. Bring melted mixture to a boil, and add whipping cream. (Add slowly while boiling - don't let it stop boiling.)
  4. Cook to soft ball stage - 230 degrees.
  5. Pour mixture over your cereals, and stir together to combine.
  6. Spread on a cookie sheet to cool.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

TIPS
  • Buy enough ingredients to make at least two batches... maybe not all at once, but enough to do it again, because you will want to!
  • Generic cereals work fine for this recipe, when you can't find the name brands on sale.
  • After you've established that you and your family love this, make sure you can find a good hiding place for your second batch - this stuff is addictive! (But, it IS good for you, because your cereals are all fortified with vitamins and minerals... just pretend there's no butter, sugar, or cream in it. ;)

"...and it smells like Phyllis!"

One more... I can't resist!
Here's the third deleted scene from "Crime Aid".

I hate it when people mess with my office chair, too.

In the spirit of the season...

Brian insisted that we post this on the blog... he sits on the right, I'm a bit more in the center. But, it's funny, nonetheless!

(I flat out stole this from Mindi.)

"I hope you like fox meat."

Here's a mini-Office fix for ya...

LOVED Jim's "uh-oh" when the Wild Card date is announced... because he knows it's only going to go downhill from there!

Deleted Scene #2 from "Crime Aid":

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Blogoversary!

HAPPY 2nd BLOGOVERSARY,
Sprik Space!

It all began two years ago, with these two posts (1 & 2), and an initial mission to keep our faraway family and friends updated on our little lives. Hopefully, we've accomplished that to some extent (plus included copious amounts of internet randomness)... but rest assured, there will be much more to report on in the coming months. :)

Blogging is and has been a blast for me so far... I've learned so much - I've reconnected with old friends and made new imaginary ones, too. It's a wonderful community to be a part of - I'm inspired, amused, informed, and uplifted on a daily basis.

If I were really on the ball... I'd be announcing some unbelievable giveaway like Tiburon. But, life's a little hectic right now. Maybe I'll get my act together in time for my 500th post in a few weeks... but, don't hold your breath. (I like to under-promise and over-deliver. ;)

Thanks for being a part of my little online world, and for making it so much fun!

"My friends, it's on!"

I'd rather decide who gets my vote this way...



MUCH more entertaining!

(As seen on Pop Watch.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Sustenance

"I do believe the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be. If we approach adversities wisely our hardest times can be of greatest growth that in time can lead to greatest happiness."

- Joseph B. Wirthlin

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Banner Basics

Check out this super-easy Halloween Banner from Allsorts... another project for the files for next year!

The tutorial at Allsorts has templates for every letter of the alphabet - so you could make a banner for any occasion (and print the letters on colored paper)...

(As seen on On That Note, who saw it on Allsorts.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ric Rac Pumpkins

How simple and adorable are these pumpkins?
Definitely on my project list for next year... and maybe I'll buy some Funkins on clearance in a week or so to do it. The real pumpkins we buy around here rot way too quickly!

(As seen on Made with Love and Glue..., and there's a tutorial at Eddie Ross.)

"C.R.I.M.E.-A.I.D.: Crime Reduces Innocence Makes Everyone Angry, I Declare"

Ooohhh... they set up all kinds of juicy story lines for us, tonight!

Here's your Two-Minute Replay from tonight's "Crime-Aid" episode:


The first of likely three deleted scenes to be released... Michael really likes his pizza:


Here's another deleted scene from last week's "Baby Shower" episode.
Dwight should work for Consumer Reports... or a sports bra company:


Em,
Your full "Crime-Aid" episode can be found here. But you don't need this link anymore... now that you've got the TV plugged in and everything, right?? ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Because he's out of town and it's funny...

He's off cavorting in the streets of Manhattan and having a delicious steak an over-priced sushi dinner while his wife eats leftovers, so I thought I'd share some family news.

Brian's apparently suffering from Couvade Syndrome...

So far, during "our" 19-week pregnancy:
Aimee: + 4 pounds
Brian: + 6 pounds (estimated)
Way to go, Sweetie! I couldn't be more proud! ;)

The genius that is Fey

30 Rock... another one of those hysterical shows on television, that I sincerely hope you watch... and love... as much as I do.

The official season premiere is a week from tonight, on October 30th, but you can watch the episode here, in its entirety.



You're welcome. ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ummm... YUM!

Almost nothing better than chocolate right now...

Especially if it's FREE!

Go here now.

UPDATE: For some reason, their site is down... bummer for you! (I already requested my FREE 8-piece box o' truffles. ;) Keep trying!

UPDATE #2: As of late Thursday afternoon, their site is working again... order away!! :)

What's it going to be??

Today, I'm officially 19 weeks pregnant! :)

In just 1 short week, we get to find out whether Sprik Sprout is a boy or a girl!
(And Brian will be able to stop questioning me whenever I use a gender-specific pronoun, as if there's something I'm not telling him... I just don't like calling the baby "IT". And he'll be relieved of my incessant "What do you think it's going to be - a boy or a girl??" questions.)

I've been pretty sick through the beginning of this pregnancy, but things are starting to pick up, and I'm so looking forward to feeling better. This whole experience has been such a blessing, I really can't complain!

We'll find out very late in the day next Wednesday, and then we'll be prepping for an earlier than crack-'o-dawn flight to Phoenix for my little brother's wedding. So, after we've had a chance to tell our families next Thursday, we'll break the news here on Sprik Space (hopefully later that day).

Feel free to place your bets in the comments below, and in the poll on the right sidebar.
We.can't.wait!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lazy Lasagna

This was Sunday Dinner at the Spriks' this past week... and Monday Dinner, too. And if I could always get my way, it would be Tuesday Dinner as well. (It really is that yummy, I promise!) Yeah, sometimes I push my luck too far on a boy that doesn't do leftovers.
Lazy Lasagna
(adapted from Kraft Foods)

1 jar (26-32 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 lb. ground beef or italian sausage, browned
1 container (15-24 oz.) ricotta or cottage cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups rotini pasta, cooked

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix spaghetti sauce and meat; set aside.
  3. Mix ricotta/cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese in separate bowl.
  4. Spray 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  5. Spread half of the sauce mixture into prepared pan; cover with layers of pasta and half of the cheese mixture.
  6. Top with layers of remaining sauce and cheese mixtures; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  7. Cover with foil.
  8. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven; let stand 5-10 minutes. before cutting to serve.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Paper genius

I don't know why I've never thought of or seen this before... paper templates for sale on Etsy.

Visit littlebrownpen's shop for some of the cutest, simple designs ever to be printed by YOU a limitless number of times, on your own paper.

For a small, one-time $4, she'll send you PDF files in the design you choose for folded notecards (2/page), flat notecards (4/page), gift tags (10/page), and an envelope, that you can print as many times and whenever you'd like.

She's got seasonal designs, too... perfect for your family's annual Christmas letter.

At Emily's request...

Here are the links you were looking for... full episodes of "The Office" from this season:
  1. "Weight Loss" - go here.
  2. "Business Ethics" - go here.
  3. "Baby Shower" - go here.
Also, they've posted another deleted scene from last week's "Baby Shower" episode... it's just so beautiful - go here.

And Em, just for the record... I would say that this 30-minute segment of pure hilarity every Thursday night, is most definitely plug-in-the-television worthy. ;)

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Sustenance

"Hope is a gift of the spirit...
a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and with all commandments we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope."

- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Growing up, I performed my own circumcision."

It's Friday... so you know what that means!

Is it just me, or is "The Office" getting better and better?!?

I LOVED the first 1:50 of the show last night... "Newborns are slippery."



Here's your Two-Minute Replay:



So far, they've posted only one deleted scene:

"If I had to answer for everything that guy did..."

These were posted by NBC after my post last week, but they're so good, I had to be sure to put them here for you.

This is one of the best deleted scenes ever...  I'm.not.kidding.  
Meet Ryan 2.0:



And Meredith's looking for dirt:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm preventing dementia

Did you know that surfing the internet is good for your brain? Yeah, I didn't either... but it's my new excuse for all the time I spend at the computer.

According to BBC News, a UCLA team found that searching the internet helps boost brain power. The more time you spend online, the more active your brain stays, the more you stave off Alzheimer's and other effects of the brain slowing down with age.

Happy surfing!!

Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

Check out this uber-easy ribbon wreath the folks at CasaSugar worked up for Halloween.

I can see all kinds of other possibilities for various holidays or special occasions...

"Dennis Quaid is here!"

HILARIOUS clip from a recent Ellen show. You will laugh out loud... I promise! Watch it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Goodness gracious

Mindi's got another giveaway going on...

There's a purse, a turkey seasonal, and a dining gift card... the generosity never ends!

Also be sure to check the other giveaways happening right now in the blogging universe (see my left sidebar).

Don't miss out!

In the closet

Today I get to finish cleaning out my closet... since 90% of what's in there doesn't fit me right now. Along with all other types of housework, this has to be my least favorite chore! But, I've been spilling out into two other bedroom closets for awhile now, so drastic action must be taken!

I'd put it off for another day, but I promised Brian that it would be at least one thing I'd take care of this week... and the bedroom looks like a tornado hit it right now. This interferes with my usual activity of eating bonbons and watching soap operas taking it easy and trying not to vomit... so we'll see how long I last!

If he's lucky, he'll come home tonight to a clean and sparse closet... and if I'm really ambitious, some of these delicious goodies (with regular flour and a real egg, of course). If they turn out, I'll have to post my modified recipe.

Wish me luck, because I'm going to need it!

(And if you see any more posts from me today, I obviously had a really hard time staying motivated am a closet-cleaning powerhouse! ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Only 3 more weeks...


Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A S#@$ About The Election

I'm feeling a bit apathetic today... unless I vote blue, my vote doesn't really count in my state anyhow.

Honestly, I don't care that much for either candidate. I'm so tired of all the negative campaigning, the lack of answers, and the political rhetoric... it's sad that I really only watch the debates for the comedy factor (so that I can follow the jokes on SNL.) I don't know how you feel about it, but it's been a really long 2.5 years!

I'm also pretty sure that the State Board of Elections has misspelled our names and registered us in the wrong county. That's going to make November 4th a little tough for the Spricks Sprinks S-P-R-I-K-S!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Travel widow

Brian gets to travel frequently for his job.

This week, he's off to Sin City for the Annual DMA Conference. He'll work hard, but get to play hard too. Monday night, he's "on the list" for an exclusive party hosted by one of their partners... last year's guests were the Foo Fighters.
(Yes, I'm jealous!)

He's going to have a horrible time, I'm sure.

Sunday Sustenance

"Faith is not
only a feeling,
it's a decision."

- Neil L. Anderson

Friday, October 10, 2008

Saddest.Day.Ever

My favorite cookie of all time... the bag I could eat in one sitting... is no more. {sniff}

Mother's Cookies is closing its doors
as of today and filing for bankruptcy.

So that means, no more Circus Animal Cookies for me... at least after I run out of the supply I'm running to the store to buy right now!

P.S. If you see some at your local store... and you really, really love me... feel free to send them my way. I would never be unhappy getting a care package! ;)

UPDATE - I did find some last night... but it's been awhile since I bought them - they can be found with the Archway cookies. Can't.wait.to.bust.that.bag.open!

Shhh... it's a secret!

It's no secret how much I love my local Target store... and it's great having 6 locations within 15 miles of my house. (Especially when you're on the hunt for one particular item!) When I was working, Target was one of my favorite stops during my lunch hour... and as my bank account can attest, I probably went about twice per week. (Yikes!)

Five Quick Shopping Tips

Tip #1:
NEVER ever wear a red shirt while shopping at Target... you will always be mistaken for a sales associate.

Tip #2: If your visit allows, be sure to browse the interior endcaps (along back walls, or inner aisles) at Target... this is where you will find all of their clearance merchandise, usually still in excellent condition. Per Blissfully Domestic, there is a schedule as to when Target marks down certain merchandise:
  • Monday: Electronics, Kids clothing and Stationery
  • Tuesday: Domestics, Food Items, Pets, Women’s Clothing
  • Wednesday: Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden, Mens Clothing, Toys
  • Thursday: Books, Decor, Housewares, Lingerie, Luggage, Music and Movies, Sporting Goods, Shoes
  • Friday: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware and Jewelry
Tip #3: If the clearance price ends in a ‘4′ (i.e. $1.94), then it is at its lowest price!

Tip #4: The first week an item is on clearance, it's usually just 30% off. The second week, it's 50% off. If you think you can wait three weeks (and it will still be there), it'll be 75% off. Rarely, and usually only with holiday/seasonal items, you'll see clearance at up to 90% off.

Tip #5: Don't sweat keeping the receipt for your purchases, if you always pay electronically (with a debit/credit card). When you have to make a return, just present the card you made the purchase with, and their computers will locate the sale for you. (So handy if you're a decide-and-return-it-later shopper like me!) Just make sure you make that return within 90 days of purchase.

Happy Shopping!!

"You are a thief of joy"

Last night's episode of The Office, "Business Ethics", was CRAZY GOOD!

Did you miss it, or just want to rehash it? Here's the Two-Minute Replay:


Here's the lone deleted scene they've released...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mahvelous medallions

La-La-LOVED this idea for inexpensive, custom wall art out of ceiling medallions.

Just paint them in varying shades to match your decor, and mount them to your wall. Ceiling medallions can be easily found at your local home improvement store, or even online, for about $20-30 each.





(As seen on CasaSugar.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pumpkin politics

Find the pattern to carve your favorite here.
Or, you could carve your least favorite
and smash them in the driveway... just an idea.

Oh, cuteness

Look at all that hair!
(And, she's not quite 6 months old.)


We're excited to see our little niece in person in just a few weeks.

Read more of Maddy's adventures on my sister's blog.

You say "Paw-key-stawn", I say "Pack-i-stan"

The differences in pronunciation were sure annoying weren't they??

Obama seems awfully gray all of a sudden... me thinks it's a la salon or perhaps skipping a treatment or two. I suppose gray hair = experience?

If we were drinkers, we could have played a raucous drinking game based just on McCain's use of "my friends" last night. He needs a new term of endearment... he wore that one out.

All in all, we couldn't watch the whole thing... put both of us to sleep.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Chicken Packets

Sometimes trying new recipes at our house is a little hairy. (Brian's not "picky", he's "particular". ;) This is a delicious dish we've had four times now, and I think I'm finally convinced he really likes it... so it's staying in the repertoire.
Chicken Packets

2 breasts of chicken - diced and cooked
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (I usually buy the 1/3 less fat kind.)
2 tubes crescent roll dough (I usually buy the reduced fat version.)
Spices to season the cream cheese mixture (I typically use basil, chives, minced onion, and a little garlic.)
Seasoned dry bread crumbs
4 tsp. melted butter
1 can cream of chicken soup (optional)
Milk (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Unroll one tube of crescent rolls. Each tube will contain 4 rectangles of dough with a diagonal perforation. Press along diagonal perforation to seal together and arrange on baking sheet.
  3. Mix chicken, cream cheese and spices together in a bowl.
  4. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture onto each crescent roll rectangle, leaving some room on the edges so you can seal the packets.
  5. Open the second tube of crescent rolls, and lay those 4 rectangles over the chicken mixture. Press along the edges to seal the packets.
  6. Brush melted butter over the top of each packet, and sprinkle bread crumbs on the top.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Serve with a gravy made from thinned out cream of chicken soup (with milk), if you want.
This recipe makes 4 large packets - with a side and veggie, 1 packet per person is plenty for dinner. If your family won't consume all 4 in one sitting, freeze the extras before baking (then thaw and bake as normal).

Monday, October 06, 2008

You reap what you SEW

Recently, I've been considering revisiting an old nemesis of mine...
the SEWING MACHINE.

When I was a teenager, I distinctly recall a very painful summer where my mom attempted to teach me to sew. There were lots of tantrums and tears, and my mother patiently (or maybe there was sufficient yelling?) put up with it all. In the end, I think I ended up with a skirt... but I don't think I wore it very much.

In high school, I did take a Home Ec class for a semester. During the sewing portion, we busied ourselves with making thread webs around the desks and chairs and breaking all of the sewing machine needles in the room so we wouldn't have to work on our pillows. Our teacher was in her 60s and easily flustered.

In the end, I decided that sewing just wasn't my thing... it was too hard for me to wrap my head around reading patterns, and working with fabric inside out. Straight lines I could do, but anything else frustrated me too much.

Now I'm older, more patient, and more creative... and I've been dreaming lately about all of the things I could make by simply sewing straight lines (like these or those - I'll save so much $, mending, or even new curtains for the family room). Who knows - maybe I'll even do something crazy like attempt sewing with patterns again.

And, my husband has agreed that a sewing machine, in theory, is a great idea... but will I use it? Not only will the machine be a little bit of an investment, but I'll need some basic supplies, too. I have so many projects I want to complete before the baby comes. (I know my life doesn't end at that moment, but the copious amounts of free time I have now, will.)

So, what do you think??
Am I crazy, or will this just gather dust in the basement with the elliptical trainer?

A better option for November

Have you heard the news yet?

Go HERE to see the news coverage of this very exciting event!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday Sustenance

“But whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first. You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.”
- Barbara Bush

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hilarious!

Just in case you didn't see this on Dooce yet...

"Turn up your volume and wait for her to smack the pole."



I know you love me even more now for showing that to you!

Latest favorite

Lately, I can't get enough of Joshua Radin!

His latest album, "Simple Times", was released in stores earlier this week, but has been on iTunes for awhile now. According to my iTunes, I've played his new album a couple dozen times - it's that good, I promise! (And he's mellow enough, I bet older generations would enjoy him, too.)

If you remember, I featured another song of his, "Sky", here on Sprik Space back in June.

Yeah, he's pretty much awesome.

Check out his performance of "Today" on a recent episode of Ellen:

Free roughage

I sure do love me a good salad bar... especially the all-you-can-eat variety.

Brian is convinced that every time I eat there, I get sick (likely from the amounts of salad I eat in one sitting)... but I'm sick nearly all the time right now, anyway, so what's the difference?

Go HERE for a buy-one-get-one-free coupon (lunch or dinner) for your local Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes restaurant. Hurry fast, because it's only good Monday through Thursday (10/6-9)!

A cheap night at Sweet Tomatoes is definitely marked on my meal plan next week!

Tip jar

Today's a big day... guaranteed to be full of drama, both in Washington and on Wall Street. Still not quite sure how I feel about the whole thing.

Dave Ramsey had a good idea - it's too bad there isn't enough time to convince Congress to implement it.

Last night's debate bored me a little, but I was pleasantly surprised by Palin holding her own... at least for the most part.

(Thanks, Mindi, for the pic.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

"Can I send them a dead deer?"

Thursday is Must-See TV Night... has been for years (remember the Cosbys?).

And tonight we'll only get 1 hour (and not even the best hour) of watchable TV before EVERY station broadcasts the VP Debate.

Whose asinine idea was this? Don't they realize that the really good TV only started up a week ago? Why can't the debate be held on Friday... so that those people who want to watch it can stay home and do so?

My predictions for tonight?
  • Biden will play nice, and Palin won't actually be "tested" during the debate (because I would so love for her to prove she's able to do this job). OR
  • Biden will come out throwing punches, and Palin will get flustered and begin with circular answers (a la Miss South Carolina... see the 2nd clip on my brother's blog here).
Sadly, I just don't see it going well for Palin.
But, since the debate is all that will be on our TV, I suppose I'll just have to watch this scene over and over again to tide me over until next week:


Yeah, it was kinda corny, and not as romantic as I would have expected... but it was perfect, nonetheless.

For your viewing pleasure I've embedded the three deleted scenes from last week's episode of The Office. All of them, gems... it's too bad they didn't make it into the final cut of the show.

First, Dwight's dream vacation explained here:



Second, classic Dwight on Jim action:



Third, a memo from Jan:



And finally, a PREVIEW of next week's sure-to-be-hilarious episode:



I wish it was next Thursday already...

Do as I'm Doing...

Follow, follow me!

So, I've added the latest and greatest Blogger widget on my left sidebar (just under my chat balloon), and would love to see your lovely face there. Just click where it says "FOLLOW THIS BLOG" and you'll become part of my inner circle... which I know is where you all aspire to be. (Right.)

If you follow me, I will follow you...

Raina - I see you! At least I'm guessing that you are my first follower... :) How the heck are you?? Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Re-capping my journey to the Promised Land

(Just kidding...)

It was wonderful!
It was glorious!
It was f
ull of fun!
It was
EXHAUSTING!

And now, I'm officially pooped! I must have been running on complete adrenaline all last week, because even though I was suffering from a sinus infection, I just kept going and going...

For four straight days, when I wasn't dragging my mom to every store or shopping destination I knew along the Wasatch Front, I had yummy lunch and/or dinner dates booked with old and new friends. I also got to visit with aunts, uncles, and cousins on the Buchmiller side of the family.

Mom and I were able to meet the world-famous Tiburon for lunch one day... so much fun! (And I have to admit, I was a wee-bit nervous... as if I was meeting someone I knew online... from back in the day.) Apparently, I was smart not to come empty-handed - I brought a small box of Frango Mints for each of my "dates"... packs better than flowers!

The next day I got to hang out with my old pal, Karen, for several hours... eating yummy breadsticks at Pizza Factory and getting all kinds of decorating inspiration from her beautiful home.

Later that evening, I met up with an old work buddy, Teresa at Brick Oven (yep, I can't get enough carbs these days! and I did always combine them with a salad ;) and saw the latest addition to her family of boys - Jaxon.

Thursday night was a barrel of laughs and mommy advice from Kelly and Erin at Rumbi. I seriously can't remember the last time I laughed that hard for so long! And I got to meet their new (and completely opposite) little ones, Emery and Jack.

Besides finding all sorts of goodies to bring home with me, I had so much success with MOTHER! She agreed to pose for a quick pic at Gardner Village - and I only had to ask once - there was no begging! (I know, AMAZING.) We also had a lovely time dress shopping with Grandma - both ladies found not one, but two dresses each at great sale prices (and it wasn't nearly as painful as they made it out to be).

The only downside of the trip was what was left at the car rental counter for me to drive... it was a minivan or this pimped out beauty. I was not at all pleased - didn't want the increased gas mileage, or the appearance of a mob member (I know... I do live in Chicago), and I didn't appreciate the filthy interior. At one point, after some mild morning sickness dry heaving, my mom asks to make sure I've brought a barf bag with me... I did... it's called this rental car. :) And, I'd like to bear my testimony that it helps to complain at the rental car return... I got a free day's rental out of the experience!

So, I've returned home with lots of birthday, holiday, and baby goodies and the essentials, like blueberry pancake mixes from Lehi Mills. But most of all, I have lots of fun memories!

The best part of my week was coming home to this:

Brian baked me a LAYERED German Chocolate Cake... all by himself... and it was such a sweet surprise! (I don't even bother with layered cakes!) The house was all clean, the mail was sorted, there were PRESENTS, and the Tivo was still full with all of my favorite shows.

What a wonderful homecoming!

Magnetize me

All last week in Utah, everywhere we went there were magnet boards for sale. They're obviously very trendy there, and since I hate a cluttered fridge front too, I must have one. (Plus, it'll likely be years before they make it out to Illinois - what a trendsetter I'll be!)

I held off from buying one - I was so strong! ... mostly because I couldn't justify the $50 sale price, plus the cost of shipping it home. I knew this had to be something I could come up with myself.

And sure enough, through the magical power of the internets, I've found a super-easy and inexpensive tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets, even I can follow! GO HERE.

Now I have even more of a reason to make the bubble magnets I blogged about in April. And I'll definitely have to make some of these a la Martha, (but as magnets) in a few months.

This is going to look great in my dining room mud room...

Another birthday...

Happy Birthday,
Mom Sprik!


We love you,
and hope
you have a lovely day!
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