Monday, September 26, 2011

Yummy yummy salsa

Last week, I made salsa and it was GOOD! 
I am going to give you the recipe that I concocted because one it isn't a secret and two even if it were, the readership of this blog is quite small...

This was the second time I experimented with this mixture of goodness. The first time I made a lot. The recipe yeilded about 12+ cups. 

This time, I made only half the amount. (And I regreted it the rest of the week...)

Salsa was always so scary to me. It was a road I was afraid to go down because what if it were bad!?
My mom has a secret recipe that has always been good and I didn't want to just make it the same. I wanted my own twist on it. So, I got here recipe and then went to the internet and searched other recipes. I ended up using mostly my moms recipe and then tweeking it a little with some suggestions from other recipes.

It was super easy. These are the ingredients I needed:

5 lbs of Roma tomatoes
12 tomatillos
1/2 red onion
1/2 yellow onion
juice from two limes
2 large bunches of cilantro
4 whole jalapenos
1 can of El Pato Sauce 
(The yellow kind not the green kind) 
Salt to taste

I went to the Superstition Ranch Market in Arizona and here in Utah, I went to the Sunflower Market and piled all the fresh produce into my cart. Then, I waited in line, checked out, paid, placed my ingredients into reusable cloth bags and headed home.
Thanks to my mama, I have a multi-use Ninja blender that works great for such a project

After I cleaned all the ingredients, I cut everything into 4ths so they could fit into the blender/food processor. I had to do multiple turns in the blender to make such a big batch. As each ingredient got chopped up, I placed it into a large bowl. Once everything was in the bowl, I mixed it up thoroughly then tasted it on a chip to make sure the salt was good.

Vooalah, best salsa ever!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dream Dream Dream oh Dreeeaaam

When I was 14, my family went to Washington state.
The thing I remember most about that trip was our visit to Mt. St. Helen.
It is a popular tourist site and with construction and fog, we ended up waiting a long time to get to the visitors center. As we waited and slowly inched our car up the mountain, there were road bikers climbing up the mountain and whizzing down the mountain on each side of us. (Come to find out, it was the annual "Tour de Blast". ) As I watched those bikers, I wanted so badly to become a biker and do that one day.

Adam, Michael, Me & Hannah

That day, I felt my heart pulled in a way I wasn't used to. I had a dream! I had a passion! I could do this! But wait, I was a 14 year old chubby girl with little to no self esteem, so I put that dream and passion to the recess of my mind. I forgot about that for years on end. Then about 3 years ago when I joined a gym I saw that they offered spinning classes. So I went to a few. Unfortunately, since the classes at they gym were just come and go the instructor didn't go over how to adjust the bike or anything, so I just went with the flow. Well, needless to say after spinning for hours with a bike in the wrong position, I couldn't walk straight for a week! This frustrated me and I gave up {wow, I don't fight very hard for my dreams!}. I figured It was because I was out of shape (hello low self-esteem) and went back to just doing my own thing at the gym.

Thanks to grad school and having to think about a thesis, I have been trying to focus on what makes me happy, what I am passionate about and what are my dreams. I had given up on so many of them that I felt like I didn't even have any. One dream that fought its way out from the back of my mind was biking.

I had made the goal to be active for three hours a week this semester, so I picked up a schedule of the physical activity classes offered at school. Every hour of the day they were offering spinning classes! Without hesitation, I signed up. I am absolutely loving it. I have only done it three days, but I feel that I am getting more used to it and able to go further and harder each time. Today, I went 28 miles in one hour. The beginning and end are still pretty simple but the middle our instructor works us pretty hard. Eventually we will be doing harder stuff for longer, he is just breaking us into how stuff works.

This is just a start, but maybe one day I can go back to Washington and do the Tour de Blast. It'll take a lot of work so I better be over all this giving up crap! 

 From their website: here

Tour de Blast is the essential event for road bikers, attracting crowds in excess of 1,000 each year. The 82-mile route from Toutle to Johnston Ridge takes riders into the very heart of the blast zone. If you can’t make the annual June event, you can still enjoy the experience and the views by following the ride route from Toutle to Johnston Ridge Observatory. Total elevation gain is 6,240 feet.


Beginner Level:
53K (33-mile) round-trip fun ride to the Hoffstadt Bluffs Rest Area/Viewpoint. Approximately only a 900' elevation gain.

Intermediate Level:
87K (54-mile) round trip to Elk Rock.

Advanced Level:
132K (82-mile) round trip to Johnston Ridge viewpoint.

Mile 0: 500 ft. (Toutle - Starting Line)
Mile 11: 1,000 feet (Sediment Dam)
Mile 16: 1,400 feet (Hoffstadt Bluffs - Pit Stop)
Mile 24: 3,000 feet
Mile 27: 3,800 feet (Elk Rock - Pit Stop)
Mile 34: 3,159 feet (Coldwater Ridge - Closed)
Mile 41: 4,314 feet (Johnston Ridge - Pit Stop

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I know it's a bit too hot, but...

In conjunction with:

Last week, I spent 5 amazing days in Alberta with my bestie, from Archives of Our Lives, Camille. 
I had an amazing time. We spent it one part relaxing and the other part shopping.
I am going to tell you about not one, but TWO amazing steals that I got while traversing across the American continent.

As seen in the photo below, I am trying to sport a peach scarf. This scarf is adorable and it only cost me... (drum roll please)... $4.99. 
(That was canadian dollars, but I hear that the exchange rate is pretty close...)

What do you think? 
I haven't ever really worn a scarf before...

Steal #2:
This my friends was a real steal. Literally, I stole it from Camille. 
Notice the sleeves. They go down so far on my hands.
Camille's arms are twice as long as mine. These self same sleeves were between her elbow and 3/4 length! Since it was a nuisance for her, it became a steal for me...

I hope you stole something this week too!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Today, I woke up like any other day (besides the fact that for some unknown reason, I woke up at 7:15 am, way before my alarm went off). I got in my car and headed to Helga's house because we were going to a Zumba class together! Since I live in Orem, it took about 15 minutes to get there and I was listening to Glen Beck. (I try to keep up a little on things going on in the real world, even though I know they are biased on talk radio.) Today every host did a show in remembrance of 9.11.01.

In most cases I am not a very emotional person. Today though, every time I got in my car, I cried. I cried because I remembered where I was that day. I cried because I remembered how I felt that day. I cried as I heard people re-telling how their day was in New York and at the Pentagon. I cried as a 12 year-old talked about her father, a first responder, whom she doesn't remember because she was only 2 when he died. I cried out of guilt for the ten years I have taken advantage of the freedom, shelter and safety that I feel.

You'd think I'd change the radio Station, but I just couldn't. I sat in the Orem City Library parking lot until a commercial, soaked up my tears and went to study. As I read chapter 4 in the communication theory and research book, I started crying again. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIBRARY!!!  How embarrassing... Reading about qualitative research and homelessness, I also felt those same pangs of sadness. I worked at a homeless men's shelter for a year. As the author shared his notes, I remembered each of the times I was in the self-same position and felt every emotion like it was happening again.

These two experiences today have reminded me of a lot: That I DO pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and that I need to do more to show that allegiance and my appreciation for those who are more consistent at it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

C++ a language of computer jargon

Today was the start of my second week at the great and wonderful BYU...

I have loved every second in Utah. It is like a postcard
everywhere you look and it is amazingly cool!

I am in a small graduate program for communications. There are ten of us in the program and we all have the same classes together and all of them are in the same classroom at the same oblong table.

I am taking my first computer programing class this semester and was trembling with trepidation as I walked through the door and found my seat in a sea of computer geeks. Before class even started I was anticipating how to drop the class. I signed up for it because I felt like in this day and age any computer help would be good. What the heck was I thinking!!! To have to learn something completely new on top of the function overload in com grad studies... I didn't know if I had the stamina.

The professor got up and introduced himself and I could barley pay attention because I just had to find a way out of this self inflicted torture. Then, he said "if you have no idea what you are doing, what computer programing is and wonder how you are going to make it through the semester... you are in the right class." Then the light bulb went on! "This is a class for dummies not professionals!"

I was just a fraction less neurotic as I walked into each of our Com classes. I was able to apply the same thought from the computer programing class to the graduate program and tell myself that "this is a class for dummies, not professionals!" Now, please don't take offense. I don't think any of my peers are dummies, but I do feel like, for the first time in my academic career, that we are all pretty much on the same playing field.

I have always loved learning but am always slow to pick up on new things. This always left me feeling behind and lesser than my class mates. Oh, how I remember the timed multiplication tables and how I felt so inferior to everyone in my 4th grade class. But once I got a hold of the concept of multiplication, I was making the same time as all the rest of them!

I am so glad that this last week hasn't been a repeat of the 4th grade. I feel like we each have our strengths and not one of us is on their way to finish 100 multiplication problems in less than a minute, but instead we are each going to steadily pace ourselves to the end.