Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities

My husband is kind of a big deal. Last night, the CEO of his company had something come up in lieu of his attending "A Tale of Two Cities" at the Hale Center Theater. So, lucky us, we went in his place.

Photo Credit: Hale Center Theater Website

Suddenly the law retreats and banquets I attended as a child became more than a fond memory, they became a learning experience. I realized Thursday that I am grateful not just for the endless chocolate covered strawberries I consumed as a child, but for learning how to eat a chocolate covered strawberry with class. It was up to me to impress the big businessmen and connect with their wives. To look in their eyes, and give them a firm handshake. To use an elevated vocabulary and discuss goals and revenue. Well, mostly that was Scott...

Photo Credit:

We went on a backstage tour to learn about the stage and the costumes (7 full time seamstresses!!!) and building the props. It was pretty impressive. Then we were handed embossed envelopes with tickets and even "VIP" vouchers for concessions at intermission.

Yeah, posh.

Photo Credit: SLC Tribune

The event was better than the play itself. Let's just say the play moves only a bit faster than the book does. The singing, costumes and stage were very cool. I LOVE going to theater in the round. There's not a bad seat in the house!

I'm glad we could go on such short notice, and I'm really glad I happened to wear my best slacks to work that day. You never know when One on One will throw an event our way!
(I had my camera with me at the play, but it was totally out of battery! I tried every trick I usually use to get 1 last photo out of it, but it didn't work. Good thing for Google.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Explore. Dream. Discover.

We did it. We went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival at U of U's Kingsbury Hall. It was fantastic. We sat behind 3 people who crocheted their own hats. We saw countless men with loooong beards. The girl two rows up carried not a water bottle, but a canteen. They gave us cool climbing posters at the door, and Cliff bars were handed to us right and left.

We do like Park City, but this film festival was definitely more up our alley than the Sundance film festival. I would rather meet Justin and James who "Crossed the ditch" than Lindsay Lohan any day! (We didn't spot/meet anyone famous.)

We only dream of one day going to Banff to see the 300 finalists, while staying at the Chateau de Fairmont. (Summer 2009 camping trip)

WOW, that would be a dream! But for now, one night of the film festival and then Radical Reels next week will suffice. These movies inspire, motivate and open our eyes to the possibilities that are out there. We definitely have hippi potential.

My mom sent me a list of 50 travel quotes. About 30 were really inspiring. I narrowed it down to 9 for the blog, so these are really my favorites!!! Enjoy :)

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” –Jawaharial Nehru

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Party

This weekend we had a family party in Centerville. Grandma and Grandpa's highlight was definitely singing "A House Becomes a Home" and "Families can be Together Forever." They were so cute :) Christmas suspenders n' all! And then there were cousins! LOVE them and wouldn't miss an opportunity to connect. It looks like Jordan wanted to be in the girls pic :) He is such a stud- just got his mission call to Vitoria Brazil! He looks kinda creepy in this picture, but he is really not :)

I wish I could get pictures with each of my cousins individually! Every one of them inspires me to be a better person, but each in their own way.
Thank goodness for ski trips that bring families together :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Ok, so I know I don't normally post, but I finally found my film festival! We tried out the Sundance Film Festival up in Park City this year, but it was kind of a bust. The atmosphere was fun, but we didn't even want to see any of the weird "artsy" movies.

But now I found...the Banff Mountain Film Festival.This is big news because I like movies, and I REALLY like ADVENTURE movies.

Anyway, the festival is over but the World Tour is making its way through Utah. A different selection of movies will be playing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah @ 7 p.m. ($9). Please let me know if you want to go.

Oh and Radical Reels (the first movie) will be playing March 3 at Kingsbury.

Here are some of the trailers for movies I want to see...


Mountain Biking:

Sea Kayaking:


Friday, February 18, 2011

The Commerce of LOVE

I hesitate in writing this post for fear that you will appreciate less the lovely roses your hunny gave you a few days ago. I don't intend to be a buzz kill, so don't take this the wrong way. BUT I found this documentary to be so educational and eye-opening, that I did want to share it.

To cut straight to the video and skip my commentary, click here.

"Blood Roses and Deathly Diamonds"
(I think accurately) presents the true cost of traditional Valentines gifts.

First: Roses
This is an 8.5 billion dollar industry, 1 billion of which is based in Colombia due to the slightly bigger heads on the roses. Colombians work from 7:30 am to midnight every day and are required to produce at least $70,000 bouquets each day. But more concerning than their rough work load are the health consequences. The greenhouses they work in are extremely toxic and cause infertility and birth defects. Because of this, women must show a certificate that their fallopian tubes have been disabled. Unbelievable. These Colombians also suffer arthritis, back problems and paralysis from their work.

Isn't it amazing that roses can be cut in Columbia one morning, arrive in Miami that same day, and be shipped to the Los Angeles flower market the next day? That means that when your roses arrived on Monday, it is possible that they were growing in Colombia on Friday.

Second: Diamonds

The RUF in Sierra Leone gained control over diamonds in the 1990's when they overtook communities and broke families apart (as we read about in Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone- Great read!) In 2002 the civil war was declared over, but the effects are still evident today. Will the diamonds that helped destroy that country help it recover? Mining is the only means of survival for many in that desperate country. "Blood Roses and Deathly Diamonds" follows a miner on his 3 hour walk to/from work each day, where he digs in the hot sun all day long- all for 30 cents and 2 cups of rice. Miners are paid a tiny percentage of the worth of diamonds they find. But when people go 2-5 months without finding a diamond, there is little to no hope for getting out of this sick cycle. The worker in the video says that his work today feels like HEAVEN compared to what it was like when the RUF was there breathing down his neck and shooting anybody who so much as let their shovel rest for a quick break.
What I think is the worst part about this situation is that the miners have zero education, and hence don't know what the diamonds are worth when they do find them! The appraisers are giving them whatever compensation they feel like, and the workers don't know any better. They don't even know numbers! Apparently there is an American group (The Integrated Diamond Management Agency) who go to Sierra Leone and teach miners about cut, karat, clarity... so that they can keep a fairer share of their diamonds.

I still LOVE my diamond ring, and every girl loves getting roses on Valentines day. But these issues are definitely something to think about.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A WIN for the Seus chef :)

Moroccan Chicken. Scott's favorite. I left out the garbanzo beans this time and it was MUCH better. That tumeric does amazing things for flavor and color!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SO Pottery Barn.

Scott is a hard worker. With his new industrial wet/dry vacuum, sander, chop saw, nail gun, air compressor, and various other devices he went to town. For Valentines Day. For me. A headboard was higher on the priority list for me than a couch... so this is a BIG deal :)

1st Step: Buying the wood.
2nd Step: Cutting the wood.
3rd Step: Nailing the wood.
4th Step: Improvising a bit.
5th Step: Staining. Wiping it off. Staining. Wiping it off.
6th Step: Run over the can of polyurethane (read: finish spray) with the car.
7th step: Send Stef looking for said spray through all the isles of Home Depot.
8th step: Carry the headboard up the stairs.
9th step: Proudly make the new bed :)

I LOVE how it turned out. Thank goodness for the website knockoffwood where I found the pattern. Building for men is like quilting for girls. No wonder we are a good match!
Luckily Scott has skills. He thinks if he were to build another one, it could be completed in ~3 hours (not including drying time). For about $50 I would say this DIY project is a GREAT thing!

10th step: Get ready to start the side tables. (And believe me, I have big plans for future projects :)

Celebrate LOVE

It all started out with an afternoon off and a Joann's coupon :) LOVE that! I just perused the store and picked up every fabric I loved. Then, I worked it into a project.

Cutting fabric for little flags: Free-handing letters: Setting out the whole piece to coordinate colors and space: Appliqueing each letter on: Ironing down the tops to create a finished look: Pinning things into place: And hanging the sign for decorations sake :)

Poor Scott just wishes I could make something that MATCHES!!! Haha... I really would have gotten just 2 different fabrics if I had remembered. Oops. I guess I'll have to do another project soon :)

Monday, February 14, 2011


Saturday found us in Midway at the Ice Castles! Pretty impressive eh?
We watched a documentary on ice climbing on Friday night, so Scott was especially excited. Can I just say photographing ICE is reeeealllly hard? Like, Really hard. I am proud to say I shot in manual the entire day. There were LOTS of overexposed pics, and a few good ones (pictured here). I thought the next few turned out pretty cool. There were ice tunnels and here's what it looked like inside. Can you see someone hiding? The man who creates these "harvests" ~2,000 icicles each day to add to his creation. There are spouts of water running throughout the castles to keep it frozen even on sunny days. Here is the harvesting: He helped pay for 2 sons' missions from last years proceeds and will pay for his daughters wedding this year! Cool, huh? ($5/adult)
Happy Valentines Day :)
XOXO, Scott and Stef

Friday, February 11, 2011

The TONSI monkey!

We woke up a little late today. I had a dream that I was in Jerusalem, and Scott had a dream that he had a pet monkey. The monkey sat on his shoulder all the time and had a long tail. We couldn't cut our dreams short, and accidentally slept in a bit. Oops.

Perhaps the monkey in his dream looked like this one?

But maybe more this size. Just little and cute: (This pic was taken just before reflexology massages. If you don't know about reflexology, or if you don't believe in it, please call me. It is real.)

Scott's dream reminded me of an experience we had on Tonsi Thailand. Tonsi is a fantastic little rock climbing HAVEN. This limestone is prime climbing material.
We met some cool people/hippies there who just travel year round. One girl was a horse masseuse. Another guy sold his business because he likes to climb better. We had dinner with a pair of best friends who just pay like $6/night and have been at Tonsi for over 6 months. The island is only about 15 minutes from the mainland, so it is very accessible to food and supplies, yet the island is very laid back and isolated. We had our best mango sticky rice at Tonsi. Oh how I long for the days of Mango Sticky rice. Memories are the BEST!

ANYWAY... the dream reminded me of an experience we had that we did NOT get a picture of. You know how funny things happen, but if you don't have your camera ready they just slip out of your memory? Well this is one of those things I TOTALLY forgot about until this morning :)

The day we left Tonsi, we were waiting on the beach for a boat to come. This guy had a monkey on a leash which was attached to a tree. Scott thought he'd play around with the monkey while we waited... bad choice. At first the monkey was cute and playful. It was climbing all over Scott and having a grand time. Scott would play tricks on it by showing it something, then hiding it behind his back or throwing it to me. It was all fun and games until the monkey turned. It suddenly just got CRAZY and started hissing and repeatedly biting Scott! I was freaking out, and Scott I think was just in awe that a baby monkey was biting him. It was a little funny at first, but the monkey got really ferocious. So Scott grabbed the monkey and threw if off of him so fast. That was the first time I saw Scott so aggressive. The monkeys owner who was wondering around nearby gave Scott the stink eye. But I think we'd both prefer the stink eye to Thai monkey disease and an open wound!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A crafty Weekend

This weekend was a great RELAXING weekend. Saturday we each did our respective crafts. Mine with wood, paper, stamps and paint (read: valentines) and Scott's in the kitchen. He completed project
The recipe he used began with the statement:
"Gnocchi is definitely not for the faint of heart!"
Gnocchi is a potato based dumpling about the size of a quarter, but in a more oblong shape. They are served as an entree with various sauces such as tomato, pesto, or melted butter with cheese. According to Wikipedia, "It has been a traditional Italian pasta type of probably Middle Eastern origin since Roman times. It was introduced by the Roman Legions during the enormous expansion of the empire into the countries of the European continent."

It turned out perfect in every way. Beat Olive Garden by a long shot. But even better than his gnocchi was his marinara sauce made from scratch. It was PERFECTION. I can't even tell you how robust the flavors were and how fresh and palatable it was. It makes me never want to buy Ragu or Prego ever EVER again.

At first I was a little sad that I am the Sous Chef in our family. But you know what? I will gladly keep my status if Scott keeps turning out dishes like this one! Plus he says I am the best sous chef around!

Next Culinary Challenge: Boeuf Bourguignon a la Julia Child.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I have the ITCH.




The literal ice cream sandwich.

Bali, Indonesia
Can you see the rice on my forehead?

Tel Aviv, Israel
LOVE Annie and Angie!!!


New Zealand


Do you know what the commonality is in all these images?

They are all places I have been during the months of JANUARY through APRIL.

Let's just say it wasn't a coincidence how that worked out. I did what it took to get out of freeeeezing Utah during the coldest months.

And right now I am LONGING to be there. Away. Somewhere WARM. I have the itch. And I have it bad.