Wednesday, July 25, 2012

idaho images

welp, we made it.
idaho, here we are.

while trying to find the grocery store i happened upon our little one road "down-town" main street. 
i found it quite inviting, and today i returned to explore. by the time i got out, many of the little shops had already closed, but i still discovered plenty of objects of interest. 
 i love all the quaint signage and the bright colors.
little houses with heart lined shutters.

 lumber and animal feed stores, vintage bicycles
 color and texture everywhere.

 then i drive home just a few blocks away and i find this:
 abandoned barns, corn field lined roads, sun through the trees, overlarge mailboxes
it's an interesting contrast to go from bustling little town to quiet country in mere minutes. i like it.

(and don't worry, i got myself a pink grapefruit-pineapple shaved ice too.)

it was a fun little adventure and i am excited to explore more.

p.s. this just in... loving my new high-low skirt. trendy, right?
(don't mind the self timer skip-bo cards making it in the frame)
 and loving this gorgeous idaho sunset, still going strong at 10:00 o'clock!

Friday, July 20, 2012

a middle, an end, a beginning

tomorrow we will have been married 3 whole months.

today is my last day as juju.

tomorrow we move to boise.
(which is in idaho, which is in the north west of the u.s., which not everyone knows)

i am sad to leave, especially my fun job and all the wonderful people i have come to know, but i know boise will be a new adventure. these first three months here in colorado have been wonderful, and i am excited for whatever the future will bring because i know anj will be right there with me. 

and the future brings this... so how could i not be excited?

i can't wait!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

putting less useful talents to use.

if you know me, you know i have a pretty random talent that i like to call "free-hand cutting"

hand me a pencil and paper, there is no WAY i can draw it out, but for some reason when scissors are involved the image i see in my mind has a way of magically appearing. give me scissors and paper and i can cut out any shape, object, word, letter you can think of...

in everyday life, this "talent" is not all too useful, but it comes in handy for birthdays, parties, sign making etc. 

however, a while back i decided i would get a little crafty. i wanted to try my hand "cutting out" a picture, so i grabbed a bridal magazine and a pair of scissors and got to work. 

this is the picture i started with
and this is what i made, cutting out all the individual pieces out of different pictures in the bridal magazine. it turned out almost exactly how i wanted it to and i was pretty excited.
since my first one worked out so well i decided to make my mom one for her birthday. i took this picture..
and turned it into this...
i found it worked really well when i have a fun/large background item to work with, so i chose this picture for a little present for jenn's graduation
it was simple so i added a little bouquet outline around the edges to dress it up. 
i wanted to make one for my cousin's wedding and i knew i wanted to use this picture. i was nervous to do black and white but decided to try it.
i really like how it turned out!

welp, that's my crafty update as of late. they look a lot better in person but hopefully you get the idea. i'm thinking about offering to do it for other people... you send me a picture and i'll cut it out for you! so let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

chopped: F.H.E. edition

welcome to

if you've seen chopped  on food network you'll know what's going on, if not, you should definitely go watch it (it's the best) but until you do that, here is what you need to know: four chefs from all around come to compete in the ultimate cooking challenge: three rounds of displaying their cooking knowledge (appetizer, main course and dessert) each with it's own set of required secret ingredients and a 20 or 30 minute time limit. after each round they are judged and one chef is chopped, eventually only one is left standing. 

our spin on it: two chefs, four secret ingredients (we both picked two earlier that morning at albertsons, so we only knew two of the ingredients we would have to use), 30 minutes, limited kitchen space and one main course creation. 

 chef profile: mads

position: executive chef of the barrett household

favorite thing to make: treats. cookies, mostly.

favorite thing anj makes: french toast

worst kitchen conundrum: the time flour went everywhere the first time she used a kitchen-aid to make cookies.

her secret kitchen talent: knowledge of what is actually in our kitchen

what you intend to do with winnings: take her husband to the happiest place on earth: disneyland. 
 chef profile: anj

position: the 'anj chef', somewhere between sous chef, executive sous chef, and not really a chef.

favorite thing to make: cereal

favorite thing mads makes: dinner. also sack lunches.

worst kitchen conundrum: the time he put half and half in his cereal

his secret kitchen talent: simplicity

what you intend to do with winnings: buy his wife lots of birthday presents.

the hidden secret ingredients:
the secret ingredients revealed:

anj chose the baked beans and the ramen noodles, i picked the pomegranate and the egg roll wraps. we both realized we were up for a challenge.

with thirty minutes on the clock we immediately started racing around the kitchen trying to claim burners and trying to decide how to use all the ingredients. due to the limited time and fast flying hands we didn't really have a chance to take picture of the actual battle. there was fighting over burners, difficulty dethawing chicken, and a hot oil explosion, but we pressed forward and eventually got food on our plates. (we might of had to use an extra ten second or so.. woops)

there was definitely that totally chopped moment when we looked at each other's dishes and went 'oh no! they are too similar!' oh well, time's up. 

and now... our dishes:

 mads's dish: crispy wonton stack

dish description: chopped chicken cooked in a pomegranate soy sauce reduction and a baked bean slaw stacked between wontons fried to perfection, with a noodle apple salad on the side.

anj's dish: wonton chicken sandwich

dish description: a fried wonton with baked bean and pomegranate marinated chicken, beef seasoned ramen noodles, and more pomegranate droppings.

though the judges were none other then ourselves, we did our best to be unbiased in our decisions and describe our dishes in our best chopped fashion. a guest judge (anj's team member pete did stop in and declare my plating a step above chef anj).

anj's thoughts:  though anj really appreciated the oriental flavors and the tasty slaw in my dish, he would have like to see the pomegranate flavor be taken a little bit further. the apples added a nice crunch and dimension to the noodle salad and it was nice to see something other than the secret ingredients on the plate.
mads's ideas: i decided that anj's dish was a great twist on a classic idea and it was nice to see something very un-asian even though the ingredients leaned that direction. however, the inconsistency in the frying of the wonton caused the sandwich to crumble to pieces in my hand, making it harder to eat. 

after much thought a winner was declared for the overall best dish and most creativity: 
chef mads took the championship this time..

chef anj was still happy because we both made edible dishes with the ingredients, which is a feat on it's own! (and in the end there weren't actually any winnings besides the chopped champion title... so disneyland will have to wait)

until next time, thanks for joining us for

anybody else up for the challenge? we will take you on!

p.s. if you decide to have your own chopped competition, prepare for the kitchen disaster you will have to face post eating your delectable creations...

p.p.s. F.H.E. stands for family home evening, a mormon tradition: every monday nights families gather together to plan the week, share a spiritual though, and usually grow closer with a fun activity... chopped was our activity this week!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

a perfect picnic

a sunday afternoon
is the perfect time for a picnic.
luckily we made it before it started pouring rain.

isn't he cute?

disclaimer: because jenn questioned us, we wanted to notify you that that is in fact cream soda that we are drinking. no need to be worried. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

independence irony

we decided to celebrate independence day
by going to look at animals in captivity... hmmm.

though perhaps a bit ironic, it was still a great way to celebrate.
we really enjoyed ourselves at the cheyenne mountain zoo.

it's a smaller, more interactive zoo literally built into the side of the mountain. prepare for some uphill walking, because the exhibits move upwards and outwards. highlights for me were probably feeding the giraffes (their tongues are ridiculously long!!), seeing the peacock do his mating dance, eating a fourth of july shaved ice treat, witnessing a man drop his flip flop into the billy goat exhibit from the sky ride, and watching sue and greg take each other on in a serious water fight battle (still unsure who won). we took tons of great pictures and just had a fourth of july blast! after we came home and had a fabulous barbecue with anj's team and then because of a lack of fireworks for miles around due to fire hazards... we decided to watch star wars intsead. yep.

it was a perfect fourth of july.

we were pretty pumped about our fourth of july pride.

to the zoo!!

 giraffe encounters


it really was the perfect fourth of july day, spent with people i love.

hope it was a fabulous holiday for you too!

p.s. a really hilarious moment: