Monday, September 28, 2009

a little bit homesick...

.... that describes how I'm feeling, a little homesick and missing my sweet Paris. My little heart aches just thinking about it because some times I just miss it so, especially in the Fall. Sometimes certain sights and especially smells remind me of it. This is my favorite place in the entire world, and I had the best time there :) It's been 4 years since I live there, and sometimes it feels like I dreamed it. I cannot wait to go back there someday with my honey. But until then.... if anyone is going in the near future, just let me know, I 'll find a way to snuggle into your suitcase and you wont even know I'm there :) a little weird? i dont think so, just opportunistic.

The Best Cookies You Will Ever Have....

I would like to claim this recipe as my own, it's just too good to be true, and too good not to be shared :) I was going to do a little post tribute to my sweet Paris but that has been put on hold. These cookies are highly addictive, I can proudly say I ate 5 yesterday, lets just say these did not last long in our house. So here's the recipe in all its glory, if you try them let me know what you think ;)

~courtesy of

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/3 cups and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

**The Rytting version of this recipe called for a little less chocolate chips, and No nuts. We didn't have quite 2 cups of chocolate chips so we substituted for a little mini reeses goodness all chopped up and squished into the center before baking. This recipe makes 36 cookies, we will be doubling it next time :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My New Love




Here are some snapshots of my new bike! This was my Christmas/Birthday present from my parents, Emily's parents, and Emily. This is basically the bike that I have been wanting for a few months. I've wanted a Felt for a few reasons. I didn't want a bike that a ton of other people had. I didn't really want a European bike because I feel more comfortable maintaining components that I am more familiar with. Basically, I wanted Shimano or SRAM, which are on American bikes. I wanted as much carbon fiber as possible, but I didn't want to pay a ton for it.

I'd been looking for a bike more seriously for the last two weeks or so and had seen some on ebay and in the classifieds that I liked, but never one that I could afford. I finally saw this bike on KSL just this last saturday. It was $200 over my budget, so I emailed the seller and asked if he would take what I could give. He said he could if I could throw in something to sweeten the deal. I knew he had an iPhone because it said so on his email, so I offered to jailbreak his iPhone and modify it to make it sweet. I also offered to do any leather work he wanted like rebinding scriptures or books or anything else he needed. Last, I offered to give him a tennis racket that I don't ever use but is still in really excellent shape. I got an email from him a few hours later saying that he would take my offer with the tennis racket!

I was so excited! Monday night, Emily and I made the trek up to North Ogden to try out the bike and possibly buy it. When he opened his garage, the first thing that I saw was a Cannondale Scalpel. The Scalpel is Cannondale's full-suspension cross-country racing mountain bike. His looked like a Scalpel 3, which is a $4000 bike. It was in perfect condition. It looked like it had been not just cared for meticulously, but maybe even obsessed over. This increased my confidence in buying a bike from him. The next thing I noticed was a LOTOJA sticker on his Jeep. The LOTOJA is a 206-mile bike ride that goes from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY. LOgan TO JAckson, hence, LOTOJA. I knew he was a serious rider, and I felt even more confident in the bike. Looking around his garage, everything was in order. Everything was clean. You could tell he took very good care of his things.

By this time I had seen the bike and it also looked like it was in excellent shape. It was clear that he took very good care of it. There were very few scratches and the whole bike was immaculately clean. I took it out for a ride around the cul-de-sac. It was perfect. Everything was so smooth. The brakes, the shifters, the crank, everything was super-responsive and smooth. I knew that this was the bike for me. We bought it and as we drove away I just stared at it in the rear-view mirror and couldn't believe I had gotten such a great bike! For those of you in the know, this is the setup I have:

Felt F55
Aluminum frame with carbon seatstays and fork
Shimano Dura-Ace shifters
Shimano Dura-Ace derailleurs
Shimano Dura-Ace brakes
FSA ISIS Drive Bottom Bracket
FSA Carbon Pro two-ring crank (175 mm)
Shimano Dura-Ace 10-speed cassette and chain
Velomax Vista SL wheels
Vittoria Rubino Slick tires
Felt carbon fiber seatpost and seat, Al stem and bar
Aheadset integrated headset
Wellgo M3 pedals (clipless-SPD. Bought for the mountain bike but am using them on both bikes for now)
The bike weighs 16.5 pounds

He also left the wireless computer attached to the bike and I am trying to figure out how to use it right now. I'm going to try to figure out how to upload rides I take from my phone to the blog, and I'll keep you posted on that! Until then, I hope you can all help Emily cope with losing me to a new love.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

lately we've been eating LOTS and LOTS of......

SaLsA! I have made three batches of this salsa in the last two weeks. big batches, and we can't seem to get enough. Mckay is pretty picky about his salsa, so I've never really dared make it but I finally took advantage of my coworkers vegetable bounty and made some homemade salsa, and we haven't been able to stop eating it. The wonderful thing about this salsa is you can totally customize it to they way you like it. I thought I would post about this since we've been gourging ourselves on this yumminess all week long and we thought we would share :)

8 medium tomatoes, or about 12 roma tomatoes
1 salsa pepper, or jalepeno pepper, (you can do more or less depending on how spicy you want it, we use 1 whole pepper but I take out about half the seeds so it's about medium hotness)
1/2-1 med-large white onion (we use 1/2 or so)
1/2-1 green bell pepper
handful of cilantro
salt, pepper to taste
few drops of tabasco-completely optional
1 clove garlic - (I ve used 1 to 1 1/2)
juice of one lime

so thats it, pretty simple, its up here for anyone to enjoy :) every time I make it its a little different, this is basically impossible to mess up. And depending on how chunky you want it just chop the veggies till the size that you like, Mckay likes his saucy so we throw everything chopped into the blender and hit puree! but you could leave it chunky and it would probably be just as delicious!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Have you ever been so unmotivated to finish something that you actually seek out distractions for yourself. This is the predicament I am currently in. school. poop. I'm over it. With four classes left, four I really don't care to do, I'm starting to stuggle with self motivation. So I whine to Mckay, A LOT. I dream of other things I would so much rather be doing than homework. and I've just come up with the brilliant and stubborn idea of not doing homework, just sitting back and enjoying the lecture, or not enjoying the lecture, and just seeing how it will turn out. So distractions...often come in the form of food. Within the last hour I have made a cucumber salad, unsatisfied I scoured our pathetic looking fridge and pantry, only one chicken ramen left, that just will not do. I settled on tuna with crackers, and was left even more unsatisfied since we had no sweet pickle relish, a must with tuna and crackers. I'm destined to be unhappy until tonights trip to the gym promises a sconecutter's reeses shake, somewhat unproductive I know, I would get the same results just sitting at home. but have you had a sconecutters reeses shake?!? If not you should, there's a delightful surprise of reeses goodness at the bottom. So here I am, sending my grumpy thoughts into the empty void that is the world wide web. Instead of my paper on the role of creation in Maya theology, but come on, who really cares?!? and Harry Potter 5 is sitting inches away, open and tempting me. oh what to do.....

Saturday, September 12, 2009


This post is loaded with pictures, I had such a hard time choosing, I am just so fully obsessed with this trip. In August we felt utterly spoiled when after only a short week home from our California and Texas adventures we were off again on another family vacation, this time with the Rytting fam. Neither of us had been to Hawaii, it always seemed like this far away land of delight, way too out of reach for us students. We felt so grateful and incredibly blessed to be able to go on this vacation with our Rytting family. I'll try not to fill this post with too much text, I could go on and on but I will never be able to do it justice.

This was taken along a 4 mile hike we took along the coast of the island. The views....were incredible.

This little lovely was what we got to enjoy at the end of the hike, a secluded beach that was completely divine.

We ate lunch at the beach....uncrustables. They were better then I could have hoped. :)

Fish Hut: a delicious lunch of Mahi Mahi and Ono, even better shave ice. They call it shave ice in Kauai.

One day we all went to the farmers market. We drank from a coconut, and bought sugarcane and local fruits, our favorites: apple bananas, and white pineapple. Quite DeLiCIouS!

Ahh... PuKa DoGs. What a wonderful discovery. What is a puka dog? A hoagie bun, jammed on a metal spear looking thing that makes a delightfully toasty tunnel, into which they squirt a sauce of garlic and lemon, a relish of your choice: coconut, pineapple, papaya, mango, etc., and lilikoi mustard if your heart desires, and a hot dog. Heaven in a bun.

We took a trip to the other side of the island to Weimea Canyon. This is a few we found at the top. We couldn't tell where the water ended and the clouds started. It was simply amazing.

Our last meal in Kauai. We went to a Saimin house. Saimin is basically ramen, but with extra goodies in it like green onions and ham and things. and fish cake, don't ask me what that is but it's florescent pink and a little scary. We loved the Saimin, and totally stood out as the only white folks in the place. Pretty authentic.

We Loved this island and cannot wait to go back. It was truly heaven. :)

Our Beautiful Boltons

FLASHBACK: to March 2007. A few weeks after McKay came home from his mission we got to drive back out to Pampa to see Stephanie and Lee Bolton be baptized. Mckay taught the Boltons in his very last area. I was so grateful to be able to go with Mckay and meet this amazing family, their baptism was so special. They are quite possibly the only thing that could take us back to West Texas, we just love them so much!

So imagine our excitement when we were able to go back out this July for their temple sealing. We were still in California with my family on vacation so three flights later we were in Lubbock where we got to play with this lover of Taylor Swift:

This petite spaz:

And this little blonde bombshell, model pose and all:

Mckay and Tyler, Mckay's companion were both able to be there to see the Boltons get sealed, and the girls could not get enough of them. The girls were hilarious, and could belt out any Taylor Swift song on comand! They knew the songs word for word! We were so impressed!

Saturday at the Lubbock temple was so special. The spirit was wonderful and we all felt so blessed to be a part of this great day. It was something we will remember forever. And WoW can these girls be any cuter?!?

We love you Boltons and cannot wait to see you again!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

California + Family = Happiness

This summer Mckay and I have felt incredibly lucky. We were able to go on some wonderful family vacations this summer that have left us feeling somewhat spoiled July took us to La Jolla California for a Jacobs family vacation. We had so much fun with my family, we also both came to the conclusion that we would both be very happy living in Southern California. Since we don't really know exactly where we're going to end up after grad school I like to play a game where I imagine us living all over the country. We would fit into the California lifestyle completely. Who wouldn't love waking up, throwing on a swimsuit and flip flops and lounging around at the beach all day? We stayed for the first few days in La Jolla and then ventured up the coast to stay in Anaheim. I'm still getting the hang of blogging so the pictures are a little out of order,

One of the days in Aneheim we went up to Six Flags. I have been years ago but they put in a few new rides since then so I was really excited. I had also never been with my family or with Mckay, and the biggest ride he has ever been on was at Lagoon, so it was So Much Fun to see him react to these crazy rides! So Funny! It was insanely hot but not too crowded. We were pretty sick by the end of the day but we all had a blast! This is us after riding Tatsu, which locks you in a harness and then rotates so you're feet are dangling and you're facing the ground, the coaster is above you so the entire ride you're facing the ground or the sky, it was quite terrifying!

Oh how I love Disneyland with my family! But I've decided I never want to go again in July, it was way too hot and crowded. We had such a great time though and we walked away with a new favorite ride, well other than the fact that the new Finding Nemo ride is amazing, we LOVeD Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters!! I think we rode on it at least 5 times and even got an extra long ride the last time when it broke down on us! Our final scores were astronomically high!

So in La Jolla we were lucky enough to stay right on the beach. We were only in Southern California for a few short days so we had to squeeze in some beach time. We had a blast boogy boarding, and I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I am not only in love with the ocean but completely terrified of the waves. This fear has to do with a past run in with a GYNORMOUS wave in Mexico that wiped me out. It was a "my life flashed before my eyes" type of moment so needless to say going out further than waist deep was a struggle but by the end of the day I had successfully boogied my way across a few waves. We all had such a good time. A few of us however walked away with some pretty nasty sun burns- I never should have trusted my skin to spf 8. poop. That was one of the worst burns of my life :(

While lounging on the beach with Mr. Harry James Potter I suddenly noticed people staring and laughing in my general direction. Knowing my sweetie I wasn't too surprised when I turned around to find this creature dripping behind me. Yep, that is the future father of my children, draped in rotting seaweed and I'm not surprised either that this was the result of a dare.

Southern California meant we also got to play with these guys:

I don't think I can explain how much I love Sea World. For the longest time I wanted to be a marine biologist and work at Sea World, that was my total dream job.

We also played at the San Diego Zoo for a day. We didn't last too long though, it was SoOoOo hot! But once again our favorite entertainment at the zoo was the ducks. Kind of lame I know but they are just so funny when they dive under the water and kick around with their tiny little legs! I would post a picture but I fear it would mess things up, hopefully I'll get the hang of posting! Anyways, thankyou family for such a wonderful trip!