Monday, December 5, 2011

Utah Food

Today I am talking about food!
I recently went to Utah for a visit to the in-laws during the Holidays and I got to go around to a couple of neat places.

The first place I went was Gossners Cheese Factory in Logan, Utah.

I didn't think to get a picture of the place but it is a big building in practically the middle of nowhere. There is ice-cream, milk, candy, and of course . . . cheese! There is also a couple of windows where you can see some employees working on packaging huge bricks of probably 150ibs of cheese. Its sort of like a a quick stop of dairy delights. And pretty amazingly cheap goods at that! Buy it from the source and of course it is better tasting and a great price. We got a few of things there which included squeaky cheese. If you don't know it by that name then you should know it by the name of cheese curds. They were orange, fabulously tasty, and squeaky when chewed.

The second place we visited that day was Pepperidge Farm in Logan, Utah.

I also neglected to get another picture while traveling, but it is a huge plain building as well. Inside is a small shop of leftovers of their products. This means that there are cookies, and goldfish, and tons of other things made by Pepperidge farm on the shelf and in the fridge that have defects like broken cookies in the bag. We got so man cookies! And sadly we left pretty much all of them in Utah when we went home (which makes me sad). Unfortunately we will have to drive back there one of these days and keep all the cookies :) These items are also at a discounted price and my favorite item was a raspberry jam sort of cookie that we got 3lbs of for about $4. A very splendid cookie.

Finally, the last note worthy place of food we went to was a Birthday dinner at The Roof Restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah.
It is a 5 star restaurant I believe, up high in the Joseph Smith Memorial building right next the LDS Temple. They take your hats and coats at the entrance and seat you in comfy chairs (reservation only). It is not a terribly big restaurant, it is pretty pricey though (about $78 for 2) but worth the bill in my opinion. It is indeed a buffet, though it is stocked with a variety of delectable foods you don't get at any other buffet. Sirloin steak, seasoned salmon, some exotic peppered and sauced chicken, other great foods, and an array of amazing desserts like cheese cake, pies, creme brulee, mouse, etc. A pianist plays through the evening by the buffet tables and will even play a requested song. And the view is absolutely stunning. This is of course due to the fact that the LDS Temple is right outside the window and is quite a sight at night with the lights on around it, christmas lights bellow in the trees, and the city all around. Bellow is a picture I took although it may not be amazing and doesn't do justice to reality, it shows what you can see.

So, these are just a few places I visited that I wanted to share. I had a great time, and think that anyone would have fun trying things out and visiting these places for themselves.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Siesta Key, Florida

I haven't died or forgotten about the blog! I just have had no clue as to what to update about, and I am even still a little unsure right now. I have found a good topic, so don't stop reading yet. I remembered a long time ago that I decided I would post things about local places and things as well as stuff about where I travel.

So, I am sharing with you the tidbit of information and views I have from Siesta Key, Florida. My husband and I went there a little while back for a few days to relax, go to the beach, and try out some fishing on the West coast of Florida. (Which is very different from the East coast.)

Siesta Key is a beautiful area with long beaches with the softest, most powdery white sand I have ever felt. The wet sand reflects the sky, the water is chill, and people walk, ride bikes, sun bathe, and run along the beach all day.

The sunsets are different too. They are strangely clear and pretty. I am used to seeing sunsets with purple and pink colors across the sky, but this is just as pretty on the beach because the sunset reflects on the beach as well.

Although we did spend some time at the beach, we also tried out some fishing. We chose a random charter on our drive to Siesta Key and made some calls to see if there were any availabilities to go out on the water.

What we found was Captain Chads charter called: Hook and Ladder Charters. It was a fantastic 4 hours! Although the water was a little bit choppy, we had a great time. While waiting on the dock for Captain Chad we saw some dolphins playing out in the water and we did a little fishing. Once on the boat we went out to a spot and didn't have much luck at first. We did see a TON of rays in the water, they were everywhere! It was very neat.

Once we moved around a bit we got some fishing done. We mostly caught catfish which I didn't know was possible in that area, and some other types. I got about 10 catfish, it was pretty neat. I also caught a huge sea trout - which tasted fantastic! (The picture my husband took was blurry as heck - the picture bellow is one that Captain Chad took)

Our last stop was a little further out where we were aiming to catch a shark. Unfortunately we did not catch any sharks. We did however fight with some gigantic sting rays! We brought one up onto the boat for pictures, it was so neat.

All in all, it was a great time for us. The area is beautiful, lost of neat things to try out, some nice shopping areas, a large variety or restaurants, and probably more than I can tell you.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Etsy Artists

What is your favorite place to buy homemade crafts and arts? Could it be Etsy? If it isn't, it should be! I haven't been on there in a while but I am repenting and have found some very neat and great things. I seem to be all about the art these days so of course I was looking up drawings and paints. There are two fantastic artists that I would love to share with you who were so kind as to let me rant about how stupendous they are.

The first artist I came upon was LouisAdroit.
Etsy Shop:

I noticed some great pieces in my search that came from the same username and checked it out. I loved all the animals I saw that had simple coloring but nice shading and illustration.
I love the Salamander picture above because it is so darn cute, and it reminds me of a time I went salamander hunting. It has great color, simple lines, and clearly shows the subjects beauty.
This shop is a home to two artists. They are working hard in school working on their business majors. They worked at Burger Kind part time before joining etsy and are now hard at work to scale the Etsy ladder.
Good luck to them both! They are already doing a pretty good job as far as I can tell, but you can always use more support.

The second artist I came upon caught my eye with color. There is something delicate but detailed to her artwork that I love to look at. Bellow is one of my favorites from her shop.
Etsy Shop:

This woman is very delicate looking, with beautiful up swept hair that kind of "becomes" a bouquet of flowers. I'm not too good at describing artwork but you can see that it is a great piece.
Misprint is a freelance graphic textile designer from Melbourne, Australia. She inspired by and loves music as well as "the intricate features in organic forms". Both are evident in the flow, feel, depth, and detail in her artwork.
She first draws her work by hand using "pencils, pen and ink" then scan it into the computer to have some more fun with it.
Misprint is blessed with a High Distinction folio grade from Monash University, worked as a textile illustrator for three years, and has traveled the world.
She now is a freelance artist and can be as creative and doodle as much as she wants to like when she was a child. Except now it is her job.
Her webpage is here: where you can view more of her work besides etsy.

It has been a pleasure to get to know more about these artists. It seems at times as if art listed online doesn't belong to someone, it is just a picture created from nothing. But, as they tell me a bit about themselves and their work there is more meaning. Art takes on a shape, it isn't just a pretty picture. Art is a unique creation brought about by a real individual even more unique than the work they create.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lime Drawing - the process

What is your favorite medium or material to work with when you create art? Is it paint, wood, charcoal, chalk, something else?

Well, my favorite thing to draw with right now is colored pencils. Prismacolor pencils to be precise. They are so great, a lot of the time they end up looking more like paint on the paper than pencils.

Recently I have been working on branching things out a bit with my art. I feel fairly competent with pencils but I really don't work very much with anything else. I also usually stick to drawing the same things all the time. So, at the urging of someone on facebook I decided that I would do series of work as well as try drawing different things. I chose to start off with edible items such as fruit.
I start off choosing an image I can work with, usually one I have taken myself. I tend to work on and off on my art so I have to work from photos, otherwise I would have still life's sitting all around the house ALL the time. After I get the picture, I do a light sketch of what I will work on. And once that is done then all there is left is to work my way through coloring it in. I don't like to work all over the paper all at once usually. I get bored pretty easy when I don't see any progress. So, will work in bits and pieces and completely finish little snippets of the drawing while mapping out other areas.
It may take forever to finish, but it is nearly always rewarding. It took roughly 7-8 hours to complete this lime drawing.

When you practice you get better. That is a fact.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fresh Baked Bread!

What does an artist do late at night when they don't feel like creating something on paper?

Well, THIS artist likes to create something of a different kind. And tonight it is fresh baked bread! This recipe is such an easy one, and it makes three loaves of tasty bread! It has been so long since I have made bread I felt like I had to.
I abbreviated the steps, so I hope that you can understand them.

1. In mixer bowl or crock pot, add 2 dry yeast packages.
2. Add 2 cups warm water. Not scalding, let dissolve for 10 minutes.
3. Add 3 more cups warm water and
4 1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP soft butter
4. Add 10 cups of flour
5. Knead bread . . . let rise in warmed oven (in greased crock pot) . . . punch
down . . . let rise again
6. Separate into 33 balls and place into bread pans . . . let rise once more.
7. Bake @ 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. When done brush top
with butter.

Here is the dough after the first time it's risen. I used a crock pot because I do not have anything else. Something that can go in the oven works great though (since putting it in a warm oven works best for Florida).

Here we go, the dough has risen twice and is set back into the warm oven to rise once more before baking. I place a towel over the loaves when I let them rise. When they have risen enough I set the oven temperature and leave them for the rest of the time.

And the final project! They look so fantastic I can't wait to eat them. I will start on one loaf and wrap the others in plastic wrap when they have cooled enough. I will eat bread any time of day, but breakfast is great when you toast some thick slices and put butter and cinnamon on them. Jelly is great too.

I'm going to go eat some right now! Who cares if it is after 1am? Artists don't have the same schedule as everyone else right? :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New School Year

(You may have noticed a huge change in this blog, it is going to be involving a lot more than it used to, but I'll be updating it more often and really putting a lot more effort into posting things like before as well as the new subjects like art and whatnot. We shall see how it goes!)

As many students and parents know, the school year has started again! It can be a good thing or a bad thing. For me, a little bit of both.

I'm still a student, and recently at my first day back I was sitting there and couldn't help but feel - "I don't belong here anymore". Alas, The hubby is encouraging me to just finish it and be done. I agree so I continue in a somewhat unhappy manner.

I am happy to have something else to do though. School offers some time away from the house and from boredom. It's good to get out of a routine from time to time. Besides school, I've also been attempting to branch out in the art field. I have most of the time just dealt with pencils and now I really want to work in something else and try to be an all around better artist. I'm giving charcoal and oil pastels a shot and in the hopefully near future I will begin painting.

I have of course not given up pencils (colored and graphite), on the contrary, I will continue to use those items and try to learn to draw different things. I will try to be a little more creative and do pieces that are abstract and have meaning as well as try my hand at items I am not usually very good at drawing. I recently drew orange slices to see how I've changed over time and I was happy with the result. Bellow is the finished piece.

I have been prompted by a facebook fan to do a series with citrus fruit or just fruit in general - and I like the idea.

There is soo much to do with art! I just need to try not to feel overwhelmed. . .
On facebook, I'm still planning on giving away a drawing to someone when the page reaches "50" likes, so go ahead and "like" it so you can have your chance! I will do the same thing when we reach "100"!

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas as far as things to draw and art, by all means leave a comment :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Selling Art

So the art thing is hard to get into but I'm giving it a shot. I listed my first ebay items and hope that they sell this first round of posting them.
Here is the link for the item:

There are so many complications in the art world! I never knew all the issues that come with making prints of artwork, trying to sell artwork online, trying to sell artwork in person, marketing yourself, finding the right people . . . everything!!

Kudos to anyone who tries, and congratulations to those who succeed! It is a difficult battle. I would love to talk with someone who has done this and just get all the nitty gritty details on how it works so I can do it myself. Wish me luck! And good luck to everyone else!

For sale on ebay

Sunday, March 20, 2011

No-Knead Bread

And so there were 5 days until I am no longer single. . .

And I want to make this no-knead bread SO bad! I can't though until I am back from Utah and also not working on so much homework for classes.
A friend posted this link on her facebook and said that she loved it; it was easy, yummy, and she wanted to make more. So I want to do it too!

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising
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The Minimalist: The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work (November 8, 2006)
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Forum: Cooking and Recipes

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.
[ ]

I will give it a shot sometime, and when I do I will "knead" to post a picture and let you know how it went. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Be cool, stay in school

So I have been a major slacker in the blogger department. But you are all probably happy for a break right?

I have been going crazy with wedding planning, full-time school, and part-time work all at once. I have, however, been catching up on the schoolwork and am even taking a quick break from it this very moment to update my blog. I got the feeling I should make a post about school and include some things in it.

Education is an important part of our everyday lives, it enlivens the mind; keeps it sharp. We should strive to gain a better education throughout our lives. We can attend college, get certified, better our knowledge of our career, do anything to learn more. We can also learn new tasks through the years. We can take on new arts and hobbies, like drawing, painting, sewing, carving, handy work, etc.

If we do these things, we become better. we stretch ourselves, and are better able to do things for ourselves, our families, and others.
"Learn wisdom in thy youth" <- we are never too old to learn something!

( )
In the spirit of things educational, above is a neat bag I think would be great as a school bag. Or rather, I wouldn't mind owning a bag with a cool print like that on it.

Since I am in the school mood, I was thinking of mentioning a food item that is often categorized as "brain food" and I thought it might be cool to use an etsy seller but alas . . . there was no food! But I did find a super cute sandwich bag which is reusable. Neat-o!

( )
I just wanted to share this because I thought it was super cute and a really great way to be economical if you are into that, or my personal favorite, save money! Sandwich bags get pricey, it's much better to have a few of these that last for years and years, so you end up saving probably a few hundred dollars per year :)

Be cool, stay in school! (keep up the learning, stay sharp)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 HUGE changes, and a GREAT year!

Happy New year everyone! I knew this year was going to be full of changes, but I had no idea how many or how big!!
What is everyone's New Year's resolutions?
Back a few weeks I decided I would make some real goals in correlation to faith and Church, and some of them are already getting into place. There are other things that I didn't even consider that are happening.

One thing, is that I will still be doing this blog. I will also be able to put more updates here that interest those who bake, sew, clean, etc. . . .kind of a homemaker site if you would. And the reason for that is that I am GETTING MARRIED! :D
I'm super excited, and what will happen after that day is not completely decided, but I think sooner or later I will have a lot of home time and can devote more of my weeks to posting in here and sharing things that I find.

Of course, the next few weeks will be gearing towards weddings. Though I promise to not have them all be like that.

Shopping Tip

Shop online and discount stores.
I am realizing more often that that is the way to go these days. So many nice things can be found for very cheap, you just have to be willing to search!
I found a dress here that I hope turns out good! But they also have costumes, electronics, etc. there so it is a great place to look.