Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Video's from Nik's Surprise party

Hopefully soon I will get the (like 4) pictures from the party up as well. In the meantime, enjoy the video!

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I just have to take a moment to brag about my good (great) friend Vivian. She has always had a mild creative streak, but when she discovered what she could do with a sewing machine, she blossomed. She can make anything, I swear. What you don't believe me? Fine. But you are going to be really embarrassed when she makes that life-sized replica of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, complete with hat and all weaponry. Just sayin'.

Anyway, not long ago Vivian decided to share her talents for sewing (and general creativeness) with the blogging world. Its called Craft with Confidence. And its great. I can't saw that I think I can go out and make everything she does, but I understand what she's doing, and I know that if I had a sewing machine, I would most definitely try a few of them. And call her when I realized that I don't really know what I am doing on said machine.

After several months in the blogosphere, CwC is doing its first craft giveaway! A beautiful had made scarf perfect for the current fall weather. Please take a gander at the blog, and of course, the scarf, and enter to win yourself!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Diet Myths

My mom and I made a goal to go to the gym together once a week.  Which so far means that we have been lucky to make it once a week.  But hey, we are trying. 
I got this email from www.livestrong.com, a healthy eating and exercise site that also allows you to track the foods you eat and helps monitor how many calories you consume and use in a day.  I can even count my 8 hours in front of my computer (at work) as a little exercise!  I really like it as a way to see what I am prone to eating, and what I am lacking in my diet.  You can also track how much water you drink everyday.  I was surprised to see how little it was because I have a water bottle at work and I am constantly drinking.  Well, this article is about the top ten dieting myths. I was intrigued by the one about carbs, and about eating at night.  Please read and enjoy!
According to Health.com, about 80 million Americans each year go on a diet, spending $40 billion annually on weight-loss aids and programs. Since dieting takes up so much of our collective consciousness, you'd think we would know everything there is to know about the facts of weight loss. Unfortunately, this isn't true--myths about dieting abound in magazines, weight-loss books and online diet sites and are interwoven into society's conventional wisdom. One of the best ways you can get on the path to real, lasting weight loss is to identify and understand the myths and misconceptions about dieting that can keep you from getting the pounds off and keeping them off.


Skipping Meals

Ask most people and they will tell you that the key to losing weight for good--and the reason why they fail at dieting again and again--is to skip as many meals as possible. Eating fewer meals is good, right? Wrong. The National Institutes of Health's Weight-Control Information Network reports that skipping meals--particularly breakfast--and eating fewer meals in the day is linked to heavier weight than people who eat small meals four or five times a day, including breakfast.

Water Will Help You Lose Weight

While drinking plenty of water daily keeps you adequately hydrated, it doesn't take the place of the nutrients in food, boost your metabolism or flush out fat. If you try to lose weight simply by drinking lots of water, your body is still going to need the energy it receives from food and you won't be able to hold that need off for long.


Never Eat After 8 p.m.

Many people firmly believe that calories consumed late in the evening turn to fat during the night while you are sleeping. According to dietitians, however, this is incorrect: your body's digestion of food and calorie usage remains the same at any time of the day or night, and energy that is stored in the evening is simply used the next day. It isn't when you eat, but what, how much and how many of the stored calories are burned off with physical activity during the day that determines weight gain or loss.


Some Foods Burn Fat

There is no food that, just by you eating it, can burn fat and magically melt away pounds. Throughout the years, dieting gurus have exalted everything from grapefruit to celery to eggs to cabbage soup as the one thing you need to eat to lose all the weight you want. While all these foods are full of essential vitamins and minerals and should have a place in every healthy diet, none of them can speed up your metabolism to the point that you will lose weight.


Exercising While Hungry

According to the That's Fit website, exercising when you're hungry not only doesn't cause your body to burn fat exclusively, if it lacks enough available carbohydrates to burn for fuel, your body will begin to use muscle tissue instead. Burning muscle decreases your metabolism and makes weight loss less, not more, likely.



Small Meals Boost Metabolism

While the idea that simply eating a series of small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals can make your body burn calories faster is appealing, Real Simple reports that how you consume your daily calories has practically no effect on your metabolism. The key to upping your metabolism isn't eating a bunch of times a day, but increasing your muscle mass: a pound of muscle tissue burns seven times as many calories in a day as a pound of fat tissue.


Eat High-Protein, Low-Carb

According to the National Institutes of Health, a diet that focuses on high-protein foods and strictly reduces the number of grains, fruits and vegetables consumed provides unbalanced nutrition that may yield results in the short-term only because of restricted food choices, but may end up contributing to a number of health conditions, including high cholesterol, increased heart disease risk, kidney stones and gout. Additionally, That's Fit reports that, when compared to low-fat dieters, low-carb dieters lose weight quicker, but gain it back in six months and end up no thinner than their low-fat counterparts. It is also untrue that eating starchy carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes or bread is instantly turned into sugar, then stored as fat. It's extra calories that cause weight gain, not carbohydrates, which should be an essential part of every healthy diet.


Fad Diets Work

Going on any short-term diet that requires you to make extreme changes in your regular eating patterns or cuts your calories below recommended daily levels is not only going to be difficult to keep up over the long run, but can possibly affect your health and make you upset when the weight you lost at the beginning of the diet creeps inevitably back. There aren't any quick fixes when it comes to permanent, sustainable weight loss. The best way to get the weight off and keep it off is to make healthy changes that you can maintain for a lifetime.


Eating Certain Foods Makes You Fat

Just as consuming certain wonder foods won't magically melt fat off your thighs, eating other "bad" foods like nuts, red meat or dairy products aren't a guarantee that you will instantly gain weight. Nuts, lean red meat and dairy products all provide vitamins and minerals needed by your body and, in moderation, can certainly be a part of a healthy lifestyle.


Go Vegetarian to Lose Weight

While vegetarians overall do tend to consume fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians, it is not true that simply switching to a vegetarian diet will cause you to lose weight. There are as many ways to eat high-calorie, high-fat foods and exceed the number of calories your body needs while eating vegetarian as there are eating a more traditional diet. As with every aspect of weight loss, focus on what you eat, how much you eat of it and how much physical activity you engage in regularly.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Day 5: Aquarium, Planetarium, and Pizza

We went hard core on day 5. We didn't want to pay for parking to come do one of these places another day, so we decided to ignore or sore feet and do them both.
Ugly and pretty at the same time!
These guys reminded me of Slimy on Sesame Street. They were in the sand the whole time, so I couldn't see how long they were.
He makes a good penguin, don't you think?
My favorite thing at the Aquarium, the Moon Jelly fish. At our aquarium here, they are in a tank with color-changing lights and a simulated current so they rotate around the edges. They are beautiful, better than any lava lamp.
The view of the lake from the back of the Aquarium.
Nik's favorite, the Otters!
This sea turtle was awesome. She was rescued after being injured and the injury makes it so her back end floats. Because of this, she can never be released in the wild. Even when she dives to get the lettuce thats anchored at the bottom, she is till completely vertical.
I guess Nik is going to the moon!
This is the best pizza I have ever had. The place was called Giordono's and it was right around the corner from our hotel. This is not the kind of place I would have driven by and said, "we should go there", but Nik looked up some reviews and it is pretty famous over there, so we gave it a try. We started the meal with zucchini sticks and cheesy garlic bread, so by the time we got our SMALL pizza, we could each only eat one slice. Now, granted, this was Chicago Style pizza, so it is two layers, but still, I was so sad to not be able to eat any more. We brought it back to the hotel with us in hopes of eating it later, but alas, we did not. There is a Chicago Style pizza place in South Jordan that we want to check out some time. On Tuesdays they do buy one get one free pizzas, so I think that would be the best time to go. Anyone interested in going?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 4: At the beach

I had all but given up hope of being able to get near the water on this trip when low and behold there was a beach right across the street from the MoSaI. It was a little chilly that day, and pretty blustery (they weren't kidding about that wind) so there was no swimming, and I kept my jacket pulled tight around me, but it was great to be there. Here is what Nik thought of it:

Pretty with the clouds and everything.

We went to this restaurant near by called The Medici. It was in a travel book for suggested places, so I thought we'd give it a try. It was one of those artsy/moody places where you find out that artists, poets, and revolutionaries used to hang out. Atmosphere to spare. It was a fun little place lit by tiny votive candles. They had amazing onion rings and shakes. We were both a little underwhelmed with the main courses, but the price was right.
Nik looked at me like this a lot.
And I looked at him like this right back.
(love the hair, right?)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 4: Museum of Science and Industry

Ok, so this was possibly the coolest place we went. Utah has nothing that compares to its awesomeness. It is like the Museum of Natural History (*wink*)* and the Children's Museum put together and on crack. So amazing.

This is the front of the building, only what I couldn't fit in the picture were the other two wings on either side. The place was huge!
They had this great Jim Henson exhibit there that we just HAD to go through. Don't tell anyone that I got these pictures. There were "no photography" signs everywhere. I had to be real sneaky. This first one is from my favorite Jim Henson show as a kid, Fraggle Rock. Thats Gobo on the left.
My favorite Jim Henson movie is The Dark Crystal and this is the dress that the Gelfling Kira wears in the show. It looks like it would fall apart if you touched it, which is probably why its behind glass. Its beautiful though, it made me think of Sophia. "You like my dress?"
Still one of my favorite shows. Nothing will ever beat Sesame Street for fun and educational value. I hope it is still on when I have kids. Best friends, Bert and Ernie.
The famous piano man, Rowlf. I love that he is only made from the waist up. But I guess thats all he needs to play the piano!
And me with the big man himself. Kermit the Frog.
This is one end of a ginormous model train set up to be from coast to coast. New York to Seattle. The photo doesn't do it justice. It was bigger than my house. And amazingly detailed.
Cruck Cruck!! This is the biggest pice of farm equipment I have ever seen. It was at least twice as tall as Nik. And very green. You go John Deere.
Nik says he remembers when this car was actually racing. Its a solar car. The first one ever made. They had cars like the Model T and some of the first race cars and a Rolls Royce.
Captain Nik!

*Extra points for anyone who can name the movie.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Game Day! (aka My Birthday!)

We went to this great little place called Ann Sather for cinnamon rolls. We heard of it on the Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate. And they were. Thanks Ted Allen!
Nik by the statue of Harry Cary at Wrigley Field.
Self explanatory picture.

Love this picture. Love the skyline.

You can see this ferris wheel lit up for miles.
Yes, yes it is. This is a mosaic-cake from the stained glass museum.
This is not a very good picture, but Chicago is full of these spiders. They have webs on every sign post in down town. It was weirding me out.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sorry, I have been less inclined to blog the last couple nights, we have been pretty tired. I promise to do a better update when we get home, if not earlier. If you are curious how its going, check out my photos on facebook. I'm a little better at updating that.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chicago, Days 2 (sorry, I'm behind)

We walked so much yesterday that I thought my legs would end in stumps inside my shoes when we got back to the hotel. It started at the Chicago Temple, where we ate our breakfast of Dunkin' Donuts by the fountain.
After that we headed to the Field Museum down town. I just want to say that I am so glad that 1) Nik is driving on this trip, and 2) that we got the GPS system with the rental car. We would NEVER have figured all this out with just the courtesy map we got at the rental agency.

This one is for you Mom.

The Museum is hands down the coolest museum I have ever been too. They had so much stuff! And it was all so well displayed. Loved it all. But my feet were well beyond done for the day before we finished. Then we kept going.

After leaving we walked around Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. It is a beautiful building. Lots of flags.

We made a trip to the Aquarium (while we were still paying one price for parking) but decided not to stay because they closed in an hour. But we rested and cooled off for a few minutes before heading back to the car. On the walk back we decided to hit the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) to walk out on the Sky Deck. We pulled out the GPS to see how far the Tower was, and thought, oh, its only like a half a mile, we should just walk and leave the car here. Great idea!! NOT. Turns out is was more like half a mile to the first change in direction. Total distance: 2 mi. Great. Then 2 miles back. Even better! But all that aside (and forgetting how much my feet hurt before we started this), the tower was really cool. The view was more than I imagined it would be, and the Sky Deck (a glass box/platform that lets you look strait down to the street) was much scarier than I expected it to be.

The walk home was much easier, and we made a pit stop at the Chicago Library, which is the most spectacular library in the world! Well, maybe just better than anything we have in SLC. The Children's section alone was about the size of the Calvin Smith location by my house. Hear that Talina? Just the children's section!! I thought of you, and of Lou, while we were there.

We expected to hang out at the pool when we got home, only to find out that it is under construction. So no pool for us.

Some things I have noticed about Chicago:

* The drivers are MUCH more courteous than Utah drivers, but they like to honk.
* The humidity here is off-set but the wind.
* They weren't kidding about the wind.
* We have not gone anywhere that we weren't given excellent customer service (except the hotel people here, they suck). It's a very friendly town.
* The "down on their luck" people seem to think that if they approach us civilly, and tell the truth, that we will be willing to give them lots of money. I'm sorry, just because you are nice, doesn't mean I have money to give you. If you won't accept the change I am giving you. Stop following me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Greetings from Chicago!

Hello all! It's 7:00am over here (Chicago), and I am wide awake. Why? No idea. I've been up for half an hour. Oh well.

So I do have some pictures but they are mostly of the clouds from the airplane. They were hands down the best clouds I have ever seen. I imagine this is what the clouds look like from Heaven. I will out a picture up when I download my camera later.

In case you were curious, it gets light a lot earlier here cause there isn't mountains to block the sun for an hour. And the sun rise is gorgeous. Nik's probably upset because I opened the blinds a little bit so I could watch it, and he is still sleeping. Thats what happens when I wake up first!

So, a few of you may have seen my facebook status last night that said I was upset with this trip so far. I just wanted to clarify that everything has been taken care of. Or rather, the thing that I was most upset with, the fact that they jipped me out of a king sized bed, was taken care of. I am willing to bet that the walls are still thin in the new room, and that this one will not come with breakfast either. But I am satisfied. I called Yahoo! Travel three times last night only to have the voice on the phone eventually say, "I'm sorry, your call could not be completed, please hang up and dial the toll-free number again." Then, like 30 minutes later, when Nik called, he got through is less than a minute. And got it fixed!! He is my Chicago Hero! They are moving us to a king room (yesterday they said one wouldn't be available til Sunday, I wonder what changed) today. Although, the two double beds that we pushed together is working out pretty well. Still want that king though.

**I can hear the neighbor weird music through the wall. I'm kind of annoyed by that**

Today on the agenda is going out to the Temple grounds, to a hot dog place that Nik found for lunch, then to the Field Museum. Maybe to Navy Pier tonight, or maybe some shopping. Picture when we get back!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Early birthday!

My birthday is friday, but since we didn't want to haul the gifts with us both ways, Nik opted to give them to me early.

He really surprised me this year. Despite asking me for a list of things I wanted, he still managed to get me some things I loved, but that weren't on the list. He got me two CD's (Greenwheel andDexter Freebish, a couple of blast from the past bands from high school), a cake caddy - hey, don't knock it, I really wanted one. I make cakes a lot and always have to hold them in the car and try not to let anything touch them. This will be awesome. Also a pair of sewing scissors for my crochet bag. The point of them being sewing scissors is that they fold up pretty little and keep the points protected. I take my crocheting to church with me, so the more compact it all is, the better. The bestest present was a FlipVideo camera. I really wanted one for our trip but couldn't bring myself to buy one cause our camera takes videos. But now that I see the awesomeness that is this camera, I am so glad he got it. It records in HD!! I can't even describe the quality. This will be great when the holidays come around. I may even be able to get some videos of my grandparents and cousins down in St. George.

Now, the video camera may have been the best gift, but the biggest surprise was the Snuggie. Yep, you read that right, a Snuggie. And you know what? I am excited! We keep our place on the cooler side and Nik teases me for the way I wrap up in blankets to keep the use of my arms and hands. And I know what you are thinking, why not just put on a sweater? Well, its not the same. I like the way I feel all wrapped up in a blanket when it is cold. So sue me. I would never have bought one for myself, but I am excited for my Snuggie.

My parents spoiled me again this year with some money for the trip, and my brothers teamed up to get me a card that said they were sorry they didn't get me a gift, but that I should be happy that I got the card. And I was.

Thanks family, for helping me celebrate early. I will miss you while I am gone!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Computer update

Just wanted to let everyone know (cause I know you were all on the edge of your seats about this) that the data on my old computer was fully recovered. Thank you Mac Docs! Everything is in perfect shape, and I am just waiting for Nik to put all my pictures on this new compy. I am hoping for a few posts in the coming days, we have some fun things coming up.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

New Computer!

About a month ago, in the midst of a facebook conversation, my computer crashed. Hard core. Nik thinks its the video card, cause it turns on fine, but the screen never comes up. But, because my computer is about 7 years old, it was time for a new one anyway. Unfortunately we are having trouble getting the info from my old computer. So I only have pictures from before February. I desperately hope Mac Docs can help out there. Anyway, the moral of the story is*, Lena has a new computer! Its a 13 Macbook Pro. And it is the most advanced piece of technology I have ever owned. I need Nik to tell me all the cool things it can do. It doesn't have a mouse click button, just a smooth track pad that I just press, and it even makes a small click sound. Very convenient. My keys are black with illuminated letters and such that make typing in low light a lot easier. I can't wait to play my new Chocolatier game on it, the last one was not fast enough!

div>But, I do miss it. It was my first computer that was all mine. Nik got it for me for my birthday the first year we were married. He was working at Mac Docs and it came in as a trade-in so he got a good deal on it. It was about 3 years old and was discolored from cigarette smoke. But I loved it. And I was hard on it. I left it in my car over night in the middle of winter....I stuck it in the couch cushions when I wanted more room on the couch...I dropped it on its side when it was plugged in, so the power cord would never quite stay in the way it should have. All of these things Nik has pointed out WILL NOT happen with this computer. Oh sure, of course not Nik.

I have been very sentimental lately. First the computer, now my car is making some horrible noises and I am afraid that Mason is going to tell me that I need to get a new one. Which would not only mean saying good bye to my second most favorite car ever, but that we would be that much farther away from getting a house. Hopefully Mason will tell me its a easy fix and I can have have my car back, nice and healthy. Oh sure.

Well, there is my post. Don't expect anything else soon unless I can get my photos off the old compy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I talk about my life with, and after, cancer. Mosey on over.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Photo Update (long)

I finally uploaded my camera so Nik could take it to Scout camp, and I was thinking I would do a photo update, little did I know that I had like 4 months worth of photos on there. So now, I have a small sampling (believe me, I held back) of what I have been up too, even though I failed to blog it then. Have fun!