Monday, March 31, 2008

The great home debate

To buy? Build? Or rent forever?

That is the question.

And after the snow that blew in this week, I am MORE than ready to dive into summer.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cookies!



Jason and I have made a habit/tradition of watching Food Network on Sunday nights. We're big fans of Iron Chef America and Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Oftentimes when I watch all the yummy dishes being made, it makes me want to hit the kitchen. Usually I resist the urge because it's late, but tonight I gave in and made my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I thought I had posted this recipe earlier, but I searched for it and couldn't find it, so here it is!

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup real butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together

Add:
3 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I usually just add the whole bag)
1 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup coconut (optional)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes

10 loves: The picture version

3.30.08

1.
I LOVE my husband. Yesterday and Friday I was assigned to work the Utah Valley Spring Home Expo all by my lonesomeness from 11 to 8 both days. Count it folks, that's 18 hours total on my feet pushing magazines and subscriptions on strangers. Out of the goodness of his heart, Jason kept me company on Friday after he got off work until it was over and on Saturday from about 2 to 8. And not only that, he brought me food and helped me talk to the expo-goers.


2. My new lamps!! The booth next to mine at the expo did a drawing for lamps, and Jason won! They are pretty, don't you think?




3. The onset of spring... which means cabin time is coming soon!! I'm hoping I can go up there a lot this summer, it's such a beautiful place -- and so much fun! (see, this is me looking at the beautiful surroundings at my cabin and throwing my hands up in joy)


4. My dad. 34 years ago on March 16 he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful that at age 15 he was able to recognize the spirit and make a decision that has shaped his whole life and made it possible for me to be born into the gospel. This is us celebrating his baptism anniversary at Olive Garden.

5. Disneyland. Now I know you all know this, but I just wanted to reiterate my love for the Magic Kingdom. Now that we have blackout dates on our season pass (we have to pay $40 admission) we probably won't go again until the fall when the blackout days cease.


6. The wonderful family I married in to. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful in-laws and two (soon to be three!!) beautiful nieces.


7. Ibuprofen for the temporary relief from my headaches. It doesn't completely get rid of them, but it sure helps.

8. The Beatles. I've been listening to them in my car for the past week and they just make me happy.



9. My young women. There's only four of them, but they're fantastic. We just had a planning meeting and planned out our activities for the next 3 months. One of our activities is going to be going up to the temple and taking pictures of them individually and as a group ... I can't wait to put my photo skills to work on these beautiful ladies!

10. Each and every one of you who read my blog. Thank you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Utah Valley Spring Home Expo

Photo by me

Today I'll be spending the day at the Utah Valley Spring Home Expo at the Mckay Events Center at UVSC (soon to be UVU!) I'll also be there all day tomorrow. So if any of you miss me, I'll be manning the Utah Valley Magazine booth, come visit and buy a subscription!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Daisy Ann Cake with Lemon Curd


Photo and cake by me

This recipe came from a Williams-Sonoma cake pan Jason and I received for our wedding from Ashley and her mother. I've only made this cake once, but it was delicious and I want to make it again. It's the perfect cake to welcome spring!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
16 Tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup lemon curd
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped to medium-firm peaks
12 rasberries or 6 strawberries hulled and halved lengthwise
1/4 to 1/2 cup blueberries
Confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the Daisy Ann Cake Pan (if you do not have the Daisy Ann Cake Pan, a regular one should work just fine) Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speak to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Put the lemon curd in a bowl. Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir the whipped cream into the curd until no white streaks remain. Spread the lemon curd mixture in the well of the cake. Place 1 raspberry or 1 strawberry half, cut side down on top of the curd in each flute. Mound the blueberries in the center of the lemon curd. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar. Serves 12 to 16.

American Idol


Does anyone here watch American Idol? I do... I've been a loyal fan since Season One.(Except of course when I didn't watch at all during Season Six, but like a prodigal child I have returned!) And I'm excited for tonight's elimination. My top three are David A., David C. and Brook White and my bottom three are Chikezie, Jason and Ramiele (in fact, I like them so little I'm not even going to bother checking how to spell their names.)

For amazing recaps, visit HERE

Who do you like?
Who don't you like?

Come on, let's get a rousing conversation going here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beautiful Weather

We have been having beautiful weather here lately! Today was in the 60s and I even had to turn my AC on in my car. Of course, I also had to turn my heater and heated seats on this morning... but that's Utah for you! I hope every else had a great day as well. In closing, here's a picture of us at Matt's wedding.

Monday, March 24, 2008

10 loves


Photo by me! Happy Spring!

1. Fresh fruit. Lately I've been eating fruit for breakfast, and it's been the perfect way to start my day.
2. Being a Mia Maid adviser and being able to go to Young Women's.
3. Mac makeup. This is the only brand of makeup I use because it lasts forever and is amazing.
4. Being inspired by other wedding photographers.
5. Watching my March Madness bracket, even though many of my picks did not win.
6. Reading other people's blogs. One of my latest favorites is The Coterie. Heather, the creative gal who writes the blog was in one of my BYU wards.
7. My new Easter dress from Ann Taylor.
8. Going to my cabin with my family, that's what we did this weekend and it was a blast.
9. Playing Settlers of Catan. Or any other game, but Settlers is my current favorite.
10. Brainstorming my new photography Web site ... it's in the works and it's going to be amazing!

One non-love: Headaches. I've had a throbbing one since Thursday, and Advil only provides very temporary relief. If anyone knows how to remedy my pain, please let me know.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Finally!

First off, sorry about the lack of post yesterday, hopefully this post will make up for that. I was finally able to finish editing Rachael and Steve's bridal pictures, and then I discovered this neat little trick. I've seen a similar format on other blogs and wanted to do something like this because I want to showcase a lot of photos without taking up a lot of screen space. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this!
video

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What's Cookin'?

I'm of the mindset that the best recipes are those passed on by friends and family members, because you know they've been tried, tested and given a stamp of approval by people you trust (hopefully). So with this idea in mind, I started a group blog with some of my friends and we've been posting recipes that can often be found on our dinner table.

Check it out HERE.

If anyone else would like to join the blog and share your own yummy recipes, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll add you, thanks!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My favorite teacher ever


So I've been having MAJOR issues with my computer. Apparently I only have 12 percent memory left on my computer, which is bad. It won't even let me edit photos. Apparently my "scratch disks" are full. Whatever that means. As you can imagine, this has caused me some drama as I'm supposed to have Rachael's photos edited. Grr. Anyway, I stumbled across this picture today and it brought me much joy so I decided to share it with you all. Enjoy.

(for those who did not attend Orem High School, this is my favorite teacher ever, Mr. Downs. He is the honors/ap English teacher, baseball coach and drivers ed teacher.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Look what I can do!


I'm in charge of my friend Rachael's bridal shower next month, and I decided I wanted to make snazzy invitations, so I jumped onto Adobe Photoshope Elements and in a few minutes I had transformed this picture (from her bridals) into a lovely invitation! All the nitty gritty details will go be on the back. Cute hu?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another sneak peak . . .


So I'm having computer issues and can't edit any more photos until I figure something out, but here's another picture from Rachael's bridals. Her flowers were done by my friend Brittanie who is interning at my office, cute hu?

Also, the cupcakes ... amazing. Try them today.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Yummy Cupcakes

I've been searching for the perfect basic chocolate cupcake recipe, and I think I found it! These yummy gems and cooking in the oven as I type, and if they taste half as good as the batter did, these are going to be real winners.

Here's the recipe thanks to Chockylit:

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes
14 regular cupcakes / 375 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine
6. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
7. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sneak Peak


Here's a sneak peak at Rachael's bridals taken today ... more coming soon!

Friday, March 14, 2008

10 loves

3.14.07

1. Yellow Laffy Taffy, and the jokes to go with it! Question: If your dog kisses you, what do you call it? Answer: A pooch smooch! (I know, you're all dying of laughter now hu?)
2. My wedding ring, which I've been wearing for a year as of March 12.
3. Bringing Jason lunch in the middle of the day so we can flirt out in the parking lot of his office.
4. When grey skies turn sunny even though weather.com predicted all-day rain.
5. When I receive an e-mail on my work account that isn't spam. It hasn't happened yet today, but my fingers are still crossed. (For those who are curious, I've received more than 20 spam messages today.)
6. Decorating my dream home in my mind.
7. Re-discovering gift cards in my purse. Banana Republic, Barnes and Nobel and Olive Garden -- here I come!
8. Talking with Brittanie at work about over-zealous public relations people.
9. Water. It's my favorite beverage.
10. This funny blog I found: http://quotation-marks.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Matt + Jana: the wedding

My brother-in-law Matt and his beautiful bride Jana officially tied the knot this past Monday. With such a stunning couple, I couldn't help but take pictures. Mind you, I was just a casual observer who happened to have a camera in tow, so these pictures are mostly taken from my seat at the ceremony and while the official photographer Julie did her thing. Without further delay, here they are, the new Mr. and Mrs. Evans:







For more images, visit my photography Web site: http://www.jessiealexisphotography.com/

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All about us


My mom tagged me with this cute survey, here it goes!
How long have your been together? We've been a couple for a year and 8 months, but we've known each other since Winter of 2005.

How long did you date? We dated a total of 10 months before we were married.

Who eats more? In one sitting, Jason. In total ... probably me, I'm constantly eating.

Who said I love you first? Jason

Who is taller? Jason

Who sings better? Jason

Who is smarter? We're both pretty darn smart, but Jason seems to know everything.

Who does the laundry? Both usually. Jason will throw everything into the washing machine, and I'll usually end up finishing what he started.

Who does the dishes? Both.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me

Who pays the bills? Most of our bills are automatically deducted from our bank account, but it's usually Jason who pays the others.

Who mows the lawn? Our landlord.

Who cooks the dinner? I do, I love cooking.

Who is more stubborn? We both can be pretty stubborn and pretty flexible. It depends on how much we care about an issue.

Who kissed who first? The first time we dated, he kissed me first. The second time we dated, I kissed him first.

Who asked who out? Jason asked me out first, three times in one weekend, and I turned him down each time.

Who proposed? Jason

Who is more sensitive? Me

Who has more friends? Um, both of us?

Who has more siblings? Including step siblings, Jason has more.

Who are you tagging? Brittany A., Rissa G. and anyone else who wants to do it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The answers

Here's the answers to the movie trivia blog post.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2. Only You

3. Almost Famous

4. Stardust

5. Moonstruck

6. Stranger Than Fiction

7. Gattica

8. Notting Hill

9. It Could Happen to You

10. Shakespeare in Love

11. Perfect Score

12. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken

13. Rumor Has It

14. Princess Bride

15. Beauty and the Beast


And thank you all for your concern and well wishes. No appendix burstage yet, but still pain and nausea. We'll see what happens. Currently, Jason and I are stuck in an airport waiting for a flight home and my laptop battery is about to die. I wish my charger cord was not packed away in my checked luggage, or else I would have some beautiful photos to share with you all from the amazing wedding we attended last night. Hopefully I'll have those ready to go by tomorrow, and I promise, you don't want to miss these!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A letter

Dear Appendix,

Why do you trouble me so? I have never done anything to offend you. Why can't you just lay low and do your job, nothing? Why must you flare up at the most inopportune time. You know I'm supposed to be en-route to Arizona for the wedding of this beautiful couple:


Instead I'm lying in bed trying not to laugh, cough, move or breath so you won't hurt me. Yesterday I went into the doctor to have you examined. I laid on a scary, noisy bed while they tried to get good images of you. Too bad I'm so small that all my organs mesh together, so they had to pump me full of contrasting liquid through an IV (which left a nasty bruise) and through an enema. The results? Inconclusive. It's too early to tell. So now all I can do is monitor the pain you cause me and when it gets unbearable, I'm supposed to go into the ER and have you removed. To monitor this pain, I'm not allowed to use my trusty friend Advil. Or any other pain reliever. Really Appendix, this is not nice of you at all. Please don't worsen or burst until I get home from Arizona on Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Your unhappy host.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Trivia Time!

I saw this on my friend Betsy's blog, and figured since I have a lot of downtime right now (more on that later) now would be a good time to share/play this fun game with all of you. The rules are simple:

1. Pick fifteen of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
5. No Googling or using IMDB search functions. THIS MEANS YOU!
6. Leave your answer(s) in the comments.

1. "
We are David and Ruth Laskin. Which one do you want to be? I prefer to be Ruth, but I'm flexible."
Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Solved by: Betsy

2.
"I can't believe you're gonna let a few little letters of the alphabet keep us apart. It is a detail! Just - look, just call me Damon, okay? It'll be like a nickname."
Movie: Only You
Solved by: Betsy

3.
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."

4. "
But of course! Nothing says "romance" like a kidnapped injured woman! I'm not going anywhere with you!"
Movie: Stardust
Solved by: Betsy

5.
"Do you love him, Loretta? "

"No. "

"Good. When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can."
Movie: Moonstruck
Solved by: Betsy

6.
"The only way to find out what story you're in is to determine what stories you're not in. Odd as it may seem, I've just ruled out half of Greek literature, seven fairy tales, ten Chinese fables, and determined conclusively that you are not King Hamlet, Scout Finch, Miss Marple, Frankenstein's Monster, or a golem. Hmm? Aren't you relieved to know you're not a golem?"

"Yes. I am relieved to know that I am not a golem. "

"Good. Do you have magical powers?"
Movie: Stranger Than Fiction
Solved by: Betsy

7. "You are the authority on what is not possible, aren't you Irene? They've got you looking for any flaw, that after a while that's all you see. For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible."

8. "It was sort of sweet actually - I mean, I know she's an actress and all that, so she can deliver a line - but she said that she might be as famous as can be - but also... that she was just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."
Movie: Notting Hill
Solved by: Betsy

9. "
It's like we're on two different channels now. I'm CNN and she's the Home Shopping Network."

10. "I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No... not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that... over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable - like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love - like there has never been in a play."
Movie: Shakespeare In Love
Solved By: Rissa

11. "Ok, I'll go first. I'm here to make new friends. Oh, and for the wine."

12. "Sonora, you have to be extremely careful with your appearance. I mean, having no natural beauty of your own you really need to help yourself."
Movie: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
Solved By: Gina and Audrey

13. "I didn't come here to tell you that I can't live without you. I can live without you. I just don't want to."

14. "Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped."
Movie: Princess Bride
Solved by: Betsy

15. "Here, picture this... a rustic hunting lodge... my latest kill roasting on the fire... and my little wife, massaging my feet... while the little ones play on the floor with the dogs... we'll have six or seven."
Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Solved by: Elizabeth Wilson

Thursday, March 6, 2008

10 loves


Photo by me
1. Fresh Flowers.
2.
Cranberry Walnut bread from Flour Girls and Dough Boys.
3.
Listening to David Archuleta sing.
4.
Having a car that actually runs! Thanks honey for replacing my battery.
5.
My TV addictions . . . LOST, American Idol, Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill.
6.
When people comment on my blog (hint hint . . .)
7.
That I get to see my in-laws for the second weekend in a row, I'm counting down the hours!
8.
Reading Betsy's wonderful American Idol recaps after every show.
9.
My new haircut, hopefully I get some really good pictures of it this weekend.
10.
Coming home from work and putting on my cozy socks and pajama pants immediately.

Not too shabby . . .

85 words




How fast are you?

Mark + Careen: engaged



First of all, I can't tell you how much fun I had with this couple yesterday. Careen and I were roommates (along with Rachael) before I got married, but we've remained pretty close. She's marrying this awesome guy who very obviously adores her. Head on over to my photo Web site to check out the rest of this shoot.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Built to Spill

For Valentines Day, I got Jason tickets to see his favorite band (Built to Spill) in concert at the Depot. So this past Wednesday, we headed up to Salt Lake City ... here's our adventure in pictures:
We went to Applebees for dinner. It was delish, but our favorite moment was when the server refilled Jason's Sprite with water. It was funny, but I guess you had to be there.

These are our tickets.

See? Top left on the sign it says "Built to Spill."

I have to admit, I have looked better in pictures. But ce'st la vie! (That's life.) What I don't have pictures of is us getting pulled over for expired registration. Not our fault people, we sent it all in and they sent it back saying we still needed an emissions test on a zero emissions car. Tell me how that makes sense . . .

In other news, I'm doing an engagement photo shoot this evening, so watch for those coming soon!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Extra extra . . . read all about it!

It's here folks! The newest Utah Valley Magazine has officially hit the shelves! This magazines features Pleasant Grove's Todd Herzog who outwitted and outlasted his fellow Survivor contestants and took home a million dollars. It also features 50 fabulous Utah Valley residents, each amazing in their own way - including Nicole Hill who runs the darling blog A Little Sussy and everyone's favorite Orem High School teacher Kerry Downs. Another amazing feature is the indoor/outdoor living section, with amazing home decorating and gardening tips. So if you're in the Utah Valley area, I highly recommend you run out to the nearest grocery store or book store and pick yourself up a copy. You won't regret it, I promise. If you don't live in/near Utah Valley, visit here to subscribe today!

Gone


See this? This is my hair. Notice, it's no longer on my head.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Disneyland







We're back! And like always, we had a blast at the Magic Kingdom. There were two conventions in town, so it was a lot more crowded than we were used to, but we had a lot of fun just being with Jason's family. We rode the canoes for the first time, which was a lot of hard work, but also quite fun.

As for my "big" announcement, no, I'm not pregnant. Nor did Jason and I buy a house. When I start to think about it, it's not really all that big of an annoucement, but it feels big to me. It's hard to see in these pictures, but my hair is a good 5-6 inches shorter than it was a few days ago. The reason why this is such a "big" thing for me is I have had the same hair cut/style since the 5th or 6th grade. I figured it was about time for a change. I also have bangs, which you can sort of see in these pictures. The humidity in California made it hard to keep my hair from going all frizzy, so that's why it's not so cute in these pictures. I promise it's super cute in real life.