Thursday, December 20, 2007

Anyone else excited?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Christmas

Spreading a little Christmas cheer
There and here
And everywhere near


Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Big Snip

I can't be certain, but I think I'm having what I like to call a mid-twenties crisis. I've been ping-ponging this idea around for a while now. However before today, Ford Tough, a BFF that doubles as my personal stylist who keeps me A-listed, hasn't felt that I was emotionally ready for the big snip. Which is OK, because I trust her with my hair, which is basically like saying I would trust her to raise my first born child if the unthinkable happened. But today, today was different. Proof: I didn't even cry. That much. During the cut Tiff kept saying "you're being such a big girl," and "I'm so proud of you" (she's mother to a one-year old). Legzz was there too and documented the whole thing. She also helped talk me into and through it. So, like, what's the big deal you ask? Well, I'm 25 and my hair has never been above my shoulders, MY WHOLE LIFE. So back off, it was a big day. P.S. I love it! Change is good.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Snow Globe

When it snows I feel as though the world is my own personal snow globe. All I have to do is shake and watch. The first real snow fall last night was very glamorous, in the sense that the snow flakes glittered from the street lights as they fell. I love to watch the snow fall from my balcony. It's one of those simple pleasures that gives me more joy than I deserve. And just as I expected this morning, everything was flocked in perfect white.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A New Addition

My niece Cassey had her baby yesterday! I'm probably going to hire her to be my surrogate because she makes it look so dang easy. McColeson Drew Webster was born just 7 lbs and 19 inches long, he's a wee little guy. And he looks just like his daddy. Lets run the numbers, shall we? I now have 13 plus 3 bonus and 2 great for a grand total of 18 nieces and nephews. That's a lot of birthday's to remember, so if you are one of them Happy Birthday in advance - sorry, your card was lost in the mail.

Big sister Gabbi getting some practice
The proud parents
Great-Grandma Ginny

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Pie Hole

My excitement for Holiday Baking has surged to a new and unforeseen high this afternoon. And so has my blood sugar from just thinking about it. Maybe I'm so jittery about pie because Thanksgiving is literally minutes away and it happens to be the only time of year that I eat pumpkin pie, my favoritest pie of all pies. Or perhaps my affinity for pie has dramatically increased because of my new obsession with Pushing Daises. Which you should watch. Regardless, pie is on my mind today. I wish that a pie-making talent was embedded in my DNA. Only then would I not have pie-mares where I wake up from a horrific dream sweating profusely because I have just managed to burn the pumpkin pie to a pumpkin crisp just in time to RUIN Thanksgiving. But no, instead my DNA is embedded with the ugly feet gene for which I am thankful for about 0% of the time. I'm a caker, not a pie maker. And I'm still mustering up the courage to make another attempt at the pie thing in hopes that no one dies as a result.
This week I'm going to keep watching this:

And brush up on this:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dress ups aren't just for kids

The night before our annual Halloween party I had a wardrobe malfunction of epic proportions. In the aftermath, it was decided to throw out our costumes and start from scratch. Long story short, we ended up as Where's Waldo and Waldo's girlfriend Wenda. Awesome! Never again will I underestimate the diverse utility of a little duct tape. We look only a little goofy, but trust me, the alternative was much much worse.

Brad hasn't downloaded the rest of the party pics from the camera...those will come later if I can find the energy to post them. In the mean time you can look here, here, here and here. Happy Halloween!

My kind of town, Chicago is

Where to even start...
We packed in so much "stuff" on this trip, and for good reason: who knows when we'll be able to go back. But first, we celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary. 4 years has passed so quickly, it's mind blowing. I love being married to my best friend and high school sweetheart. Chicago was the perfect place to spend a few days playing around together without work or school or real life in our way. Our good friends Andy and Alex let us crash at their place, which was so gracious of them. It was tons of fun to hang with them again. We've missed them since they moved from our ward to Chicago for med school. Maybe, just maybe and with a lot of luck and prayers, we'll be joining them in the Windy City next year...cross your fingers! Tighter! We visited The Art Institute of Chicago because we had sadly neglected it on previous trips. It was amazing. I realize that this next part may be boring for some of you, just sit still and it will be over before you know it.

We tagged along with a school class on tour with one of the museum curators. This sneaky maneuver turned out to be a great way to learn interesting facts about famous paintings, for free. Did you know, the Art Institute has the best collection of Impressionist paintings in the U.S.? Monet, Manet, Renior...they all live in Chicago.
Two Piet Mondrian's on display, my lucky day. The one I'm looking at is Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray (1921) . Exquisite.
Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. Gimme gimme. This chair was introduced on NBC's "Today" show in 1957 and has become the icon of modern furniture. Bear with me...
You can't be American and not recognize this painting by Grant Wood called American Gothic (1930). This is one of the most parodied images of our time and continues to reflect the struggle between traditional values and modern progress which is ever present in our culture, even today.
Almost done. Georgia O'Keefe's Cow's Skull with Calico Roses (1931). Love it, but you can't appreciate how "soft" it is from the photograph.
Brad and I walked all over the city during those few days. Our legs were not quite used to all that city walking, so we stopped often to take pictures. Brad was in heaven with his camera. He and Andy had way too much fun showing off their photog skillz while me and Alex hit Michigan Avenue for the shopping. We decided that we need an "Andy and Alex" wherever we go. Andy can go with Brad to take pictures and Alex can come with me for all the fun stuff. We did manage to buy Brad a nice suit, first one since the mission. If he's going to be interviewing for medical school soon, he might as well look presentable. I love the suit, but it makes me feel old and all grown up-ish. Ew. Andy gave us a quick tour of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine which is located in downtown Chicago. The campus was SO impressive. Brad loved it and we're now praying for an interview there as well. I could definitely live in Chicago, if I was forced to.

View from Thomas' Sun Deck. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Thanks again Andy and Alex! Until next time...

Good Times in Lincoln Park

Brook was able to ditch work the day after her fund raising event and take Brad and I into the city. Yippee! We spent the day in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, super chic, super cool. I could spend days shopping and eating in LP, but since we had just one day here's a little sampling of what we did.

Lunch at "Minnies" where everything on the menu is, well...minnie.Warming up: Me and Brook and some TeaGschwendner More shots from Lincoln Park that I heart...
Armitage StreetWhat sissies...

Rockin' Rockford

My older sister Brook works at a children's museum in Rockford, IL. This past weekend the museum had a fund raising event and Brad and I were recruited as volunteers on her crew. Yeah! I basically just followed Brook around, but Brad was the official photographer. He felt pretty nifty cool. I'm sure he'll post more on that other blog soon enough.
I'm not even going to waste precious blogging space to describe the series of unfortunate events all caused by the guest of honor, Duff Goldman from the Food Network's Ace of Cakes. He was a complete disaster and the worst "celebrity" I have ever witnessed. I'm a little (actually a lot) bitter towards him since he totally screwed over the museum, acted like a crying whiny baby the entire time, and disappointed lots of little "cake decorators" to-be. Can you say bipolar split personalities? 'Nuff said.
The best part of Rockford was being able to hang with my sis and her cute family. We miss them so much!

Here's KJ, my little stud nephew, playing flag football. Go Panthers!
Super cute Marley and me cheering on the side lines.
On Sunday, we went up to Madison, Wisconsin to check out the Medical School and the city itself. Seems like a place where we could see ourselves living. And they have good stinky cheese, so what's not to love?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How 'bout dem apples?

My favorite Cupcake Goddess, Chockylit, is having another cupcake round-up this fall! I didn't participate last year because I was admittedly too chicken. I mostly like to stalk her blog from the shadows of my secret foodie world (shhhh). But this time I'm taking a more TA-WANDA! approach to my baking. Watch out. The cupcake round-up theme is "re-invention." Inspiration came immediately. I would re-invent my Grandma Richman's Fresh Apple Bundt Cake. Oh, how I love this cake. At the urging of my sister I made this cake just a few weeks ago for a "girls night" I hosted. While peeling and chopping the apples I could vividly see Grandma, house dress and apron, standing in her small, tidy kitchen doing the exact same thing. As I pulled the bundt cake from the oven memories of her flooded my kitchen as quickly as the delicious baked-apple aroma. My friends, this is the epitome of comfort food. Period. Final.

A note on re-invention: I'm quite certain Grandma would have considered her Fresh Apple Bundt Cake (perfect in every way, every time) in the form of cupcakes as re-invention enough. And that was good enough for me. But to be fair, I brainstormed what else I could "do" to the cupcakes. I thought about stuffing them, but with what? The cake certainly doesn't need anything added because the chunks of baked apple and pecans already add plenty of texture and flavor. It was important the soul of the cake would remain essentially hers, no matter what twist I used in my own version. I decided not to mess with the cake itself, and I'm so glad I didn't. Hence, my re-invention comes with the topping: caramel and apples, because it doesn't get any better than that. How 'bout dem apples? Chewy, thick caramel dipped on a crisp apple wedge was the perfect accompaniment to both the richness of the cake and the sweetness of the icing. I used Grandma's buttercream recipe although I doubled the ingredients and thickened it with more powdered sugar until I reached the consistency I wanted for piping. Sorry, there's no cupcakes left to share. I ate them all.

Fresh Apple Cupcakes
4 cups apple, peeled and diced small
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix apples and sugar in large bowl. Add oil, eggs, nuts, and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Add to wet mixture and stir until combined. Divide batter evenly into 24 cupcake papers.
Bake at 350° for 21-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Buttercream Frosting (I doubled this recipe)

¼ stick butter, softened to room temperature
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar
Dash of salt
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. lemon extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Using a hand mixer combine butter, cream, salt, vanilla, lemon, and almond in a medium sized bowl. Add powdered sugar until you have reached desired consistency.

Caramel Apple Topping
Fresh apple, thinly slices
1 bag wrapped caramels, about 50
Spray apple slices with lemon juice to help keep them from turning brown. Melt the caramels over medium low heat. Dip apple slices into caramel and let stand 5 minutes on parchment paper before assembling cupcakes.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy 26th Birthday Bradlee

Happy Birthday to my beau,

You should know:

For every today I love you as I did before,

And for every tomorrow I'll love you more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Huckleberry Milkshakes and Some Bison

Once again our hiking plans were thwarted by bad weather. Oh well. We weren't prepared to hike anywhere in the snow that's for sure. Thus, we didn't make the hike to Dunanda Falls to soak in the hot pots as we had hoped, but we made the most of our trip nonetheless. The SNOW was certainly unexpected, but it was so incredibly beautiful we couldn't help but love every minute we were there. The fall colors were amazing in Yellowstone especially near the Bechler region where there are so many Aspens. And we saw lots of serene wildlife, so no complaints here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh. Yeah.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My commuter wifey

I usually don't post on our family blog, I leave that to Gina since she's better at it. But today I had to brag about her. I get up early to work a few hours from home before I go to class, but when I woke up today, Gina was already up and she said, "I think I want to ride to work today." After I pulled my lower jaw off the floor I said, "Honey, that's wonderful! And since I have to be to school early for a test anyway, I'll ride with you." She really liked that idea because she hadn't ridden to work yet and didn't know what bike route was the best. One good thing about Salt Lake City is that there are so many bike lanes. So we rode together to her office (Click to see the route) and then I took off for my test. Of course, 700 feet of downhill on the way to work will put a smile on anyone's face, hence these pictures on the way to work and at the office. (note the smiles at 8:00am! That's rare.)

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Now coming home is a different story because you have to go UP that 700 feet of elevation to get back home. See pics below (note Gina's expression... you may think that's a smile, but in reality 700 feet of climbing does NOT, I repeat does NOT put a smile on Gina's face. That's really her trying to convince me to pick her up in the car).

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I really am proud of her and she even says that she wants to do it more now! It's such a great way to get exercise and we didn't even have to drive at all today! That's pretty amazing, and it actually feels really good. We're lucky that we live close to most of the places that we need to go every day, and Salt Lake City makes it even easier to ride instead of drive. They say the average person is supposed to get 30 minutes of exercise most days each week. That did it for Gina and me today and it felt good.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Big Springs BBQ

With summer steadily slipping away, one last BBQ up the canyon was a must. Big Springs up South Fork Canyon is outrageously beautiful this time of year. My inner botanist tells me the leaves will be changing any minute now. We had a ridiculous amount of fun, if I say so myself.

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There was food, of course.

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...and games too. Croquet has been added to our vast repertoire of outdoor fun.

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Check out these skillz! And I'm not talking about the babies here. For example, look at my form with Harper's bottle. I'd give it an 8.5 at least. And even though Kenadie might look a tinsy bit worried, she isn't even screaming. It's impressive.

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This BBQ was also a great excuse for us girls to say goodbye to Lisa, Chris and Shiloh who are moving to Jackson, WY soon. The BBQ was a SURPRISE! for them (at least sort of, right Lisa?). In true form, Chris caught, gutted, and BBQ'ed a trout right before our eyes. They will be missed immensely.

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P.S. Emmie dropped a BOMB on us. More to come on that I'm sure.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I tried the Green Drink

...and loved it! I have heard great and marvelous rumors about the health benefits of a "green drink" but I've never had a recipe to try it, or testimony's to back it up. I was super excited to see such a recipe posted on Becky Westover's blog several weeks ago. This morning was the first chance I've had to try it, and the results are in: it's delicious! However, Brad took his first drink and immediately pulled his face together as if he just eaten a big hand full of Sour Patch Kids. It was humorous. But I didn't believe his charades for one minute. The drink isn't sour at all, I think it's plenty sweet just as it is. I can see why it would be tempting to add less fruit even. In the end Brad did drink his whole glass, so really it can't be that bad. And he couldn't deny that it was very healthy for him. He seemed very excited when he yelled "it will give me Popeye strength to go fix my bike!" as he rushed out the door to the garage. I could see me making this drink a lot. I really like spinach, always have, but I can't get away with spinach salads for dinner very often. Brad always says "salad is what food eats" while banging his chest like a cave man. By making these smoothies I can eat all the spinach I want for breakfast, lunch or...dinner. And I'll even bet you money that Brad will join me. Try it, I DARE you, and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Quick trip over Labor Day

Brad and I had a really great Labor Day weekend and took full advantage of the extra day off work. The first part of the weekend we hung out with friends, Brad did car "things" (whatever that entails) with his dad and brother while I went to Swiss Days in Midway with some girl friends (and we all know what that entails). Since we didn't "go anywhere fun" in Brad's words during July and August he was itching to get out of the valley even for just a day. Saturday night Brad and his dad planned a quick trip down to Bryce Canyon and Boulder Mountain for Sunday and Monday. The weather was perfect and we saw some really beautiful country that is right in our backyard. Brad had to stop at nearly every view point to take pictures. It was a jam packed weekend, but lots of fun!

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that while in Bryce Canyon we were stalked by a Park Ranger who could (no joke) double as a white version of Deputy R. Williams from Reno 911. It was awesome. Need I say more??

Monday, August 27, 2007

I've Been Tagged

1. Who is your man? Bradlee B. Duncan
2. How long have you been together? We've almost been married for 4 years!!
3. How long did you date? We started dating in 2000 during our Senior year in HS...give or take 2 years for his mission...and then 10 months after he got home.
4. How old is your man? 25, almost 26
5. Who eats more? Definitely Brad. I don't know where he puts all that food.
6. Who said "I Love You" first? Brad did. I laughed. And then I could tell that he was serious. I was so shocked that he said it like it was no big deal. Because it was a big deal to me. Like the biggest deal of my life.
7. Who is taller? Brad is taller by nearly a foot.
8. Who sings better? We both are pretty bad.
9. Who is smarter? I am constantly trying to prove to Brad that I really am smart because I always do stupid things. It's a vicious cycle.
10. Who has the worst temper? If Brad has a temper I've never seen it. I'm constantly testing the waters though. So I guess that leaves me with the worst temper. Bummer dude.
11. Who does the laundry? We both do. He will start a load, and I have to change it because he always puts the wrong things in the dryer. And he does ALL the ironing. I am the worlds worst iron-er, not because I do a bad job, but because it takes me SO long.
12. Who takes out the garbage? He probably takes it out more than I do, but that's mostly because I'm always asking him to.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Brad does. But he usually encroaches over to my side.
14. Who pays the bills? I pay one bill, he pays most of the rest. He manages the budget and let's me know how much money we don't have. It's a really good system.
15. Who is better with the computer? Brad is better, hands down. Everything I know comes from him. Or else he just does it for me, because it's easier that way.
16. Who mows the lawn? Fortunately for the species of "grass" in general we don't have a yard. If we did I'm sure we would kill it immediately. Someday we will be responsible enough to manage having a yard. And maybe even a house for that matter. And then maybe even kids??? Well, actually that's pushing it a bit. We better just start with the yard.
17. Who cooks dinner? I cook dinner, he does the dishes. Again, it's a really good system because I like making the mess, not cleaning it up. And he likes eating the food, not preparing it. When Brad does cook dinner we have Wendy's.
18. Who drives when you are together? Brad. No question. But when I do drive luckily he doesn't critique me. Why would I drive when he can? He drives, I work the music scene.
19. Who pays when you go out? Brad. Wow...Brad does a lot. I'm really just tagging along for the ride, aren't I?
20. Who is most stubborn? Me! Finally something that I do. And very well at that.
21. Who is the first to admit their wrong? Brad. Dang it! I suck.
22. Who's parents do you see the most? We see Brad's family 90% more than we see my family.
23. Who kissed who first? I believe he went in for the kill, but it wasn't much of a hunt (if you know what I mean, nudge nudge).
24. Who asked who out? I took him to a school dance first, but after that he did most of the asking.
25. Who proposed? Brad proposed at dinner one night. I ordered the Creme Brulee for dessert and got a diamond instead. Not bad.
26. Who is more sensitive? Me by a long shot. I can be a little...emotional at times. I admit I cry in sad commercials. What's the big deal? I'm bringing "sensitive" back.
27. Who has more friends? We actually have the same friends, but I keep in contact with them more.
28. Who has more siblings? I am the youngest of 6 and he is the oldest of 4. Technically, we not even supposed to get along. So much for statistics!
29. Who wears the pants in the family? Hmmm, I'm stubborn and emotional and he does everything else. I think it's sufficient to say that I wear the pants. Poor Brad. I need to work on being a better wife!
30. I tag Rachel, Lisa, and Lacy! You're IT. Have fun!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wish it were my mine...Rehabilitated Dishware

Every so often I come across the brilliant idea of someone else, an idea so simple yet so clever, and I kick myself for not thinking of it first. This is one of those ideas. Rehabilitated Dishware is pure genius! The designer scouts out old plates from thrift stores, applies a new design, and then refinishes them as a set. Hello. And I'm all about sustainability and reusing/recycling stuff. Truth is, I only WISH like little girls always wish for a pony when they blow out their birthday candles that I could be that creative. Do not fret...someday I'm going to come up with an idea that will blow your minds [insert evil laugh here]. However, (sigh) as cool as these plates might be they are indeed ridiculously expensive, which is typically the problem with most things I want.

Blog Helps

Just as the rest of my blogger friends, I'm learning as I go here. Many people have asked how I changed my header, fonts etc. Really you just have to play around a lot with your own blog template {be superficially nice, coo at it like a baby, pat it gently on the head, and give it lots of candy} to get to know it on a personal level. That being said, it can still be frustrating at times to make your blog unique. I have found useful help on Blogger Tips and Tricks and Blogger for Dummies. These sites also have other links to additional blog help sites. Just click on the Label you are needing help with, such as Music or Headers and they give you step by step help. Also, Urban Fonts is a great place to download free fonts, and seriously they have gazillions of fonts that you can use for more than just your blog. And just in case you are wondering, gazillions is totally a word.

Happy Blogging! AND......Happy Friday!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Yes, that's dentist talk for "toothache" or inflammation of the tooth pulp. No matter how nasty or funny it sounds, it's no fun. Gina had a toothache so she made an appointment last Thursday to see the dentist. Well, like most dentists, he was booked out more than a week. She took what she could get. Friday night the tooth hurt a little worse, but nothing unbearable. Saturday evening and night however was a different story. The throbbing started and Gina woke up in the middle of the night crying in pain. Of course that woke me up and we took some of the "orange candy" advil that we had. It didn't do much and needless to say, Gina didn't get much sleep. The worst part is that the next day was Sunday and she had sharing time to do. She managed to get through sharing time but couldn't handle it anymore. We went home and she took some more candy ibuprofen. After church, we talked to Dr. Kyle Curtis, a dentist in our ward. He was so nice that he invited us right over for dinner on the premise that if Gina didn't feel well then that meant that I would be fending for myself for dinner (never a good thing). He knew that and talked up his wife's cooking so I couldn't resist (and it sure was delicious!). We headed over there and he looked at Gina's tooth and decided that she would definitely need a root canal and that we should go straight to an endodontist tomorrow (Monday) morning. He was nice enough to call in a prescription for some heavier duty pain meds and an antibiotic, so that helped take the edge off for Gina a bit. She still didn't get much sleep Sunday night and I couldn't tell if she was loopy from the meds or if she was loopy from the pain, but I had never seen her like that! :-)

Today we headed to the endodontist for the root canal and $1000 later, we were on our way home with Gina and our wallet relieved. She's feeling a little better now and the numbness is wearing off, so here's an action shot taken a few minutes ago:

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I wanna this bike

Prepare for awesomeness.

If I didn't live at the top of a super steep hill I would totally get groceries in this bad boy. "I want that." There's even more sweet bikes here. Look out, Lady of Dutchness is on the way...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Gilgal Gardens

Gilgal Gardens is an historic sculpture garden created by Thomas B. Child starting in 1945. The Garden showcases 12 original sculptural arrangements and many stones engraved with scripture mixed with philosophical texts.
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Of the most notable sculptures is The Sphinx. And yes, that is Joseph Smith's face carved into this huge quartzite stone. Obviously, this was my favorite piece. It's really bizarre and I think everyone should see the Joseph Smith Sphinx at least once in your lifetime.
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The garden, which is free (and also why we were there), has plenty of beautiful flowers around.
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The whole gist of the garden is one man's physical expression of the truths he has found in his life long spiritual quest. I absolutely love that weird and eclectic stuff like this exists in SL, which is part of the reason I love living here. Below is part of The Monument to the Priesthood.
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Other's that we liked...

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