Thursday, July 31, 2008

A quick thought

Does anyone else think that somehow Edward will be turned back into a human and grow old with Bella...?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reusable Grocery Bags

What a great, stylish idea. They measure 18”H x 14”W x 9”D (think of all the things you can haul in this besides groceries!) You can order them here for $7.50 each. But I also hear that IKEA carries similar ones located in the laundry basket section for $1.00 each.

P.S. Did I mention that some groceries stores will actually credit you for using reusable bags? I've heard in the likes of .05 to .10 cents (depending on the store- you'd have to ask).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Tuesday Tip (no pun intended)

The gals at work requested somewhat of mini lessons from my "Swell" book (see previous post). Here's the first lesson- on tipping. A disclaimer that these are not my own words- they were copied directly out of the book with inserted comments of mine...hope thats legal...)

Chicks get a bad rep for being chintzy tippers. Let's put an end to that tout de suite. In situations where a gratuity is expected, know how much to give- and then give a little more!

Restaurants - 15% of the bill 20% for outstanding service (actually, I generally tip 20% unless the service is exceptionally poor).

Hair Salons - 20% to the colorist/cutter, and $5 will get a smile from the shampoo girl. If the magician wielding the bleach wand turns you from mouse to Marilyn, slip an extra $10 in her envelope.

Nail Parlor- 20% to the manicurist/ pedicurist (ahem...that's for you Joleen)

Skycap or bellman- $1 or $2 per bag. Give or take.

Hotel Maid - $1-$3 for every day of your stay (leave it in your room when you leave)

Valet Parking- $1-$2 when he hands you the keys

Food Deliveries- 10% of the bill, 15% if its raining

A lesson on Duking:

Tip the cab driver. Duke the doorman who whistled for him. Tip the waiter, duke the person who escorted you to the nice table. Duking is the friendliest form of tipping: cold cash passed in a warm handshake to people who make your life faster, smoother and friendlier, but who never hand you a bill. Strictly off the books, a tip for service beyond the call of duty.

Any other specific situations you gals run into where you wonder if you should be tipping? Let me know!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Harrison Family Round Up

We're back from our whirwind trip to Dallas. While there, we got neighbor Russ over to take an improptu family pic (isn't that precious that AK is sitting on Justin's knee? they have quite the brotherly love...)

Did you notice that I finally got my summer haircut? Even though Ma and Pa Harrison have a pool, I purposely forgot my swimming suit since I had just cut it the day before and wanted to avoid having to wash, blowdry, and restyle while we were there (especially when we're only there for 24 hours- who wants to spend that time doing hair?)
Brant's excited that we finally had a chance to ship his bike back from Texas- it should be arriving here in a few days and will give him a good project to work on during the next week (he's got to put it back together after taking it apart to fit in the shipping box, and then work on replacing the tubes in the tires...that bike has been sitting there since...oh, after he got home from his mission five years ago.
Fair Warning: If you get nervous flying in airplanes, you probably want to stop reading here

After our short but nice visit to Texas, we headed back home. This is our our flight went:

Take Off: Normal

Leg Room: Fantastic- we were seated in an emergency exit row

In flight beverage: Normal H20 and square napkin

Initial Descend: Normal

Landing: Now here's the fun part. . .

We're about 50-100 feet from landing, and I'm getting ready to rate the landing (you know, on a scale of 1-10). As I'm looking out the window, I notice that we're starting to ascend back up into the air.

Now, since Brant will generally know what's going on in these kinds of situations, he just leaned over and said that its probably just windshear and we're having to go back up to loop around. So, after getting back up into the air, the captain comes on the speaker (a woman, which I thought was pretty cool) and explains that they didn't land because they weren't sure the the front landing gear was locked into place (thus, avoiding the possibility of basically landing, having the nose come down on itself and then skidding to a stop). She goes on to say that they now "believe" that the landing gear is locked and are going to try to land again, but "just in case" she asked the flight attendants to do another brief emergency landing demonstration to make sure everyone knows what to do if the landing gear doesn't hold.

I honestly think that the passengers were more calm than the flight attendants- the flight attendant for our section couldn't exactly remember the "crash position" that they wanted us all to be in when the plane landed "just in case" and was getting pretty flustered.

So after all the explanation of how to assume the crash position and how to get away from the plane as quickly as possible once we use the emergency exit, she comes by again an looks specifically at me. Remember how we were sitting in the emergency row with all that leg room? And who do you think was the one actually sitting right next to the door? You guessed it.


Now, I'm not one to panic (plus I've heard quite a few stories about the things that can go wrong from Brant), so when she looked directly at me and nervously asked if I was ok having to open the emergency door I just smiled and nodded my head yes (hello? didn't you ask me that once before we took off? Of course I can. and who wouldn't want to be the hero of the day by opening the emergency door? So I asked Brant to do it.)

So, here we go trying to land again...the back wheels hit the ground....and then ever so slowly we feel the front tire land.

Applause from the passengers here.

The emergency vehicles with lights flashing waiting in place for us while we landed "just in case" made it all the more exciting of an experience.

And after all that excitement, I was actually a little disappointed that I didn't get to this

In order to do this

Now wouldn't that have been an exciting photo- I even had my camera ready for it!

Alas, here I am back at home enjoying the summer night, cutting my coupons, and gearing up for another week of work.

I hope your weekend was exciting as mine.

Lila Tueller Give Away

Isn't this a fabulous apron? Check it out here and be sure to enter the contest for a chance to win some fantastic prizes! (Thanks Aubrey!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Head'n Out

We're headed for Texas in the early AM for a quick weekend trip. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A few good books

The other week, I was at Anthropologie at Gateway Mall and came across several books that looked so enticing that I almost bought them right there (but then thought better of it and went home and ordered them from online and paid a fraction of the price).

When I was younger, whenever my Grandma would come to visit, she wouldn't let us get away with bad manners (a southern thang) and now, I'm so glad she did! This should be required reading for all ladies out there :)

It reminded me of this book I got a few years ago- a fun book about how to be a good hostess, being socialable, how to tip properly, etc.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Since you asked. . .

Some of you may have already seen this, but the gals at work wanted me to blog about it since they hadn't seen this yet.

This is my coupon box. Yes, that's right- organized and filed into 160 different categories. I learned my savvy shopping habits from an old roomate who gave me this box (empty back then) along with the categories to file them under. In the almost 2 years that I've been dedicated to this, we've saved an incredible amount of money on groceries and rebates, along with learning how to get things for little or no price. If your willing to take the time to cut coupons from the Sunday paper (it takes me about 20 min every Sunday) you'll learn to save BIG and build your food storage.

If your looking for more ways to save money, try this website (mostly the discussion posts are about stores in Utah county), this website, or for free samples- go to this website (which is a great place to go for free samples because they don't sell your info to other companies who send you tons of junk).

FYI: even when you can get products for free that you don't use (i.e. medicines, hair products, etc.) still buy them. At the end of the year you can then donate them to the United Way for a tax write off.

Now that I'm done. . .

reading Eclipse, I'm ready for Breaking Dawn comming out Aug 2

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Road Trip!

While I spent some down time reading on Friday after work (I'm still trying to finish Eclipse), Brant got home from his first Mexico trip (to Guadalajara and back). He said that it was quite the experience! Afterwards, we settled for a trip to the gym and then hit the hay.

On Sat morning we woke up and headed to Costco (yay for Costco coupons). Then we tankered up and hit the road headed for St. George. We were excited for a road trip- it reminded us of the road trips we took back when we were dating. We got there around 4pm and set up camp (thanks again to Brant's Grandma Millerberg for hosting us!) We had some dinner at a local Mexican place (think Bajo or Cafe Rio) and took a minute to drive up the hill to the airport and take a couple scenic pictures- here's a fun one of Brant "holding" the temple (as you can probably see by the squinting, it was a very sunny day)...

We got to Tuacahn by 8pm (the tickets said to be there by 8:30) for Les Miserables - it was terrific! It was after midnight when the show ended (can you believe that even at midnight it was still 95 degrees?)
After church on Sunday and linner (lunch/dinner) with Gma Millerberg, we headed back home. I captured this quick shot of the St. George temple on the way out- a place I called home for 10 and a half months of my mission.

What a great trip- now its time for another week of work!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Since Brant is away on a trip...

These next two posts are about him :) This is the t-shirt quilt I gave him for his birthday. Since I couldn't find more than 4 shirts, we took a pair of his jeans, the collared shirt he wore when he proposed, and an old flight instructor shirt and made strips (as you can see). The miracle was that I collected his shirts, went home to Georgia to have my mom help me sew it (that was the hardest part), and hid this from Brant a month and a half before his birthday- without him knowing. Of course, I had to find him new tshirts to wear in the meantime so he didn't notice that his old shirts were missing.

Brant's Garden

Aparently Brant doesn't think his back porch garden is blog worthy, so I'm going to post about it myself..

Brant decided to harvest a garden this year- he's got tomatoes (on the right in the milk gallon- can you see the little green tomato growing?), lettuce (on the left in the liquid laundry detergent container) squash (not pictured because they are dying :( and something else in the back there in empty water bottles. He says the blue rags wrapped around the containers keeps the soil from getting too hot (or at least thats what I think he said- he's airborn right now or else I would ask!)

He calls using these milk gallons, empty Tide laundry detergent containers, and water bottles (otherwise known as trash) "resourceful" for his garden pots. I think of it as our colors shinning through as true southerns.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Round Up

On Friday evening, we headed over to the KLAS summer party. I was stoked to bring my camera and get some good action shots with the water balloons, volleyball, etc. That is until I had the camera on, ready to get a great snapshop of a kid with chocolate all over his mouth when I realize the batteries are dead. Total bummer...I'm sure dead batteries with no backups has got to be a photographer cardinal sin. But we did have fun at the BBQ and playing lots of sand volleyball!

On Saturday afternoon, Brant and I watched the movie Wall-E (cute, but if you go to see it, I recommend reading reviews to understand what its about. It took me awhile to understand- I'm not sure how Disney expects kids to understand whats going on when the two main characters only say 2 words throughout the whole show!)

On Sat evening Rissa and I headed back up to the Captial Theatre to catch the final night of Miss Utah. Can I just say how amazing Jill Stevens (Miss Utah 2007) is? Seriously- does this chick really look like a soldier in the military?? You better believe it!

The theme of this years pageant was based around the military, and the contestants did an opening number with little "women" army outfits on (and REALLY cute red shoes! Wish I could find them online...) And then Jill came out with her really sharp looking, official military skirt/ business uniform on. Talk about impressive... check out this video and tell me if you'd have the guts to do that on the Miss America stage.

I hope I get to run into Jill Stevens one day running around town (I mean, if she doesn't happen to be out in Iraq or Afghanistan.) By the way, congrats to Miss Utah 2008- Miss Sanpete County (does anyone know where Sanpete County is?)

On Sunday evening Brant and I were over at the Perkins- too bad I was distracted by watching the Next Food Network Star... I forgot all about Miss Universive!

Stay tuned for Brant's upcomming post on his harvest (aka back porch garden)!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Line Upon Line

The other day I was visiting here and came across these. Like she, I'm not a huge fan of mormonphanalia/huge cultural moneymakers- but these were just too great to pass by. I just may have to get a few.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Miss Utah Prelims

Last night Rissa and I went to the first night of prelims for Miss Utah up at the Capital Theatre in Salt Lake and had a blast! We'll be going back on Saturday for the final night and crowning moment. More details comming soon...

Monday, July 7, 2008

July Fourth Follow Up

After thinking we had left early enough to catch the hot air balloon races, and being disappointed when we realized all of the races were finished and the balloons landed, we headed down to Univeristy Ave for the anual parade. I'm a total fan of 4th of July activities, but not big enough to camp out the night before for good seats. We ended up about 5 or 6 people deep- but we sure had fun! Brant's favorite part was the fly-by of the 3 F16s (followed later on by the fly-by of 3 students in their two seater Catanas). My favorite part was the missionaries- here I am looking like a cheeseball when they passed.

Seeing those missionaries brought back awesome memories of when I got to march in this same parade back in 2004 as a sister missionary. Here I am with Sister Sawyer (in a picture that was taken with a digital, then printed on printer paper and given to me a few years ago and then I scanned it back into the computer)... We were so excited to get to march in the parade (AND see Stadium of Fire that night with Reba McIntire), that we made one of those paper chains that people make at Christmas times to count down the days. Except ours was made of red, white, and blue contruction paper and we had a little flag at the end of the chain. Each day during companion study we would cut a link. Too bad you can't see the "Y" on the mountain and the "University Avenue" street sign- its actually a very Provo-esque picture when you see it. Brant made a terrific salmon BBQ afterwards and we had a lazy afternoon. Afterwards, we ended up on the fields across the street from the MTC to watch the fireworks. We wanted to make sure that we got good seats, so we got there 2 hours was fun to do some "people watching", but next time we'll be sure to bring a game to make the time pass quicker.

I'm glad your not tired of seeing pictures of fireworks yet, 'cause here's another...this time I set the camera to "Bulb" lighting. I'm hoping I'll get better pics next year.

What a great holiday! Only 362 more days till the next 4th of July. . .

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Comming soon: 4th of July pics

But in the meanwhile, this post is for J and K. You know who you are...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Starting off the Festivities

Last night we began our celebration of my favaorite holiday (4th of July)with a Salt Lake Real Soccer game (for those of you who don't follow soccer, pronounce it RE-Al). Since J works for Xango (who is the corporate sponsor of the team's jerseys) and it was her company night, she was able to score extra seats and t-shirts! Neither have us have ever been to a real soccer game- and this one was intense! The players kept getting into fights, the fans were booing, and everything from waterbottles to whatever people could get their hands onto were thrown onto the field- things were getting so wild that even with a score of 0 to 0, the refs decided to call the game short by a minute and a half! This is us enjoying the game

To end it all, the stadium fired off a great show of fireworks. I found an online article today giving tips on taking awesome fireworks photos- wish I had read that before last night- my shots definately didn't do these fireworks justice.

More July 4th pictures comming soon...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Birthday Boy Follow Up

After I made the birthday boy Brant breakfast in bed (say that 10 times fast) and headed off to work, later that evening my mom back in Georgia treated us to dinner at Tucanos. Its so hard not to overstuff yourself when your at a resturant like that! Afterwards, we headed back to our place to celebrate with friends and our new Chocolate Fondue Fountain (on sale at Target). We dipped strawberries, bananas, pretzels, cinamon bears, and marshmellows. Thanks to everyone that came- it was a blast! We topped off the evening with my birthday gift to Brant - a quilt I made from his old t-shirts, including a pair of jeans, the shirt he was wearing when he proposed, and one of his old pilot instructors uniform (when I say "I" it means there was A LOT of help from my mom- thanks mom!)