Monday, March 29, 2010

cake, cake, cake.

There's a cartoon floating around out there, perpetuating this myth that pie is better than cake over the long run. It's kinda funny, in a I'm-someone-who's obsessed-with-pie-and-I'm-going-to-express-my-rage-in-a-nsfw-cartoon, but I have to tell you its a lie.

Cake is so much better than pie. Fact, pure and simple.

Which is why I volunteered to make my own birthday cakes (yes, plural) for my week long celebration of birth. I may or may not have a slight obsession with making cake. It's really fun. And I'm really good at it.

So, I thought I'd branch out from my usual, and try something new for our family celebration of my day of birth, which happened on Sunday.

Hmmmm, what kind of cake have I not had in a long time, that I'd really like?

Boston Cream Pie! (And that is irony, due to the aforementioned preferential treatment of desserts, and that Boston Cream Pie isn't really Pie!)

I didn't use some special recipe but just the plain one out of Joy of Cooking. You can find it, on page 732, which then lead to pages 714, 755, and 794. (So annoying.)

Follow what I did in the following fotos:

Premiere, le gateaux:

Shiny cake pans, covered in shiny fake butter, or whatever the heck Pam Baking Spray is made out of.
Some buttah. Some people are real sticklers for unsalted butter when they bake. I'm not. Bring on the sodium!
Dry ingredients! Including nifty cake flour! Hey--guess where I shop?
Stuff that goes in with the buttah. Delish.
Secret Ingredient! (And uh, what buttermilk is low-fat? Seriously?!?)
Before assembling all the dry ingredients, I had to sift the cake flour. If you were unaware, cake flour has the consistency of powdered sugar. It's fluffy and has the tendency to clump and after sifting, there is more than you measured out. Magic indeed. However, I was lacking a I used my jumbo colander. Still did the job. 

Here we creamed the buttah, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
And then you add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Except I forgot to alternate. Oops. I think it still turned out ok. Fluffy huh?
Golden and Delicious! Success!
Next, Pastry Creme!
I can't quite remember what's in this. There are definitely egg yolks. Oh and some flour. Maybe some salt or baking soda? I dunno, look it up. The objective was a light yellow color though: mission accomplished.
Then the exciting part: watching milk boil. It's so much more fun than watching water boil. (sarcasm)

After this, I combined that light yellow stuff and the hot milk, put it back on the stove, and started whisking as the cream starting thickening at an exceedingly great rate. I didn't have a third arm, so I couldn't take a picture.

Then, the next day, after letting things chill for awhile, I made the chocolate sauce. I didn't take pictures. I was over taking pictures for the prep part. Sorry.

But not for the big reveal! Voila!

Oh yeessss! Boston Cream Pie! And it tasted good. Today, when eating some of the leftovers, my brother Harrison told me, "I am DOMINATING this cake."
Which in man-speak of course, means, I really like your cake.

This is my kitchen. You can't see the counters very well, but they're laden with specks of buttermilk cake crumbs, pastry cream, chocolate butter frosting and every dirty bowl (read: all my bowls) in my house. Between this and making THE strawberry cake for our ladies' craft lunch tomorrow-- I've effectively destroyed our kitchen.

le sigh.

(But! Isn't my new blog layout nifty? I got it by logging into and clicking the design template button. Its new!) 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Break Recap

I'm having a really hard time getting going this morning, so I figured now would be a great time to recap last week since we actually left the great state of Texas for the first time as marrieds, to venture up to Utah to visit family, friends and get away for a week.

For those of you who aren't aware of the bizarre Lindsey Family mode of traveling, let's just say, that to normal people we are maniacs. We get in the car, and we don't stop driving until we get there. Most people make the trip to Utah from Texas in about two days, and they might stop somewhere in New Mexico. We did it in 19 hours. Yup, My father has created traveling-we-better-be-making-good-time monsters.

After passing out on Tuesday night, on Wednesday, I got to catch up with my best friend Wendy and see her baby, Naomi (aka The Nomester), who is SO CUTE. I also got to eat my favorite salad with Wendy at Bajio which was like a weekly ritual for us when we were roommates! I so wish we lived closer so that I could help her out with The Nomester, and obsessively watch TV on DVD with Wendy (like we did when we were roommates), and help her take down the aisles at Nords with her stroller. Hey Wendy, does Iowa have a Nords? How far of a car drive is Texas to Iowa??

I also finally got my haircut-- I have this thing where I'm really untrustworthy of hairstylists, and I really haven't found someone I love here in Austin-- so I went up to Salt Lake and had my old roommate Mini (Vanessa) cut my hair. She did a FABULOUS job! I promise, I'm going to get it styled all nice and purdy, and take a picture. And then, if you live in Utah, or like me are just visiting, and you're in dire need of a cut, you will know where to go!

My grandfather is a coach for the capstone engineering project(s) down at BYU, so one morning, at the crack of dawn, we went with him to check out the projects he was working on with the students. That was fun to see-- I never knew what was inside those weird mini-aircraft hangers just south of the Wilk. Turns out they're some kind of Hut (I think of grass leaves when you say Hut, but you know aluminum siding works too) and they house all the top secret stuff the engineering kids work on. Just FYI, if you go in there to look at their stuff, they will stop everything they're doing to stare at the people from the outside world. It's not awkward at all.

After that, I got to drive Arthur around Provo and show him all the places I lived and tell him about the wards I was in, and what things were my favorite about what places. Surprisingly, he really liked Provo-- especially the old houses that are South of Campus. I know they're dumps to live in, but I think if I was stuck in Provo, maybe we'd try to make an effort to live in a historic home instead.

I also got to meet one of Arthur's old mission companions, Johnson (who on the mission was paired with an elder with the last name Ovary. Yup. Elder Johnson and Elder Ovary. Seriously.) He was HILARIOUS! We had a blast watching the BYU game with him, you know the one where they won? Johnson lives in Lindon, and in an 100 year old farmhouse! It was so cool!

After that we decided we wanted to go see Temple Square and started to head up there with my brothers but we ran into some nasty weather on the way, so we ended up taking a drive instead. We went up to Snowbird, turned around, saw the Draper Temple (which is TINY!) and the ridiculous ostentatious houses next to it, and then took the new road over the mountain, into the backside of Alpine. It was fun.

And you know what's really lame about all of what I just wrote? I didn't take pictures of any of it! I'm TERRIBLE about getting out a camera and just photographing the here and now-- it's a goal of mine to actually have photos to put in a scrapbook in the next year or so! About this point in the trip, Harrison started bugging me to get out my camera and start taking pictures. So, now you can see some of the things we did:

Thursday afternoon after our drive, we stopped at my aunt's to borrow some movies. One of the highlights was definitley getting to see the baby of the family-- he was very little and not even walking when I left Utah. Luke is my aunt's 2nd son, and he totally knows how to work a crowd. He's got more personality in his pinkie then most people EVER have. Here, Harrison got to be the chosen one to read to Luke.

Reading is one of his big things right now. Even if it's just identifying the animals in the pictures.

On Friday, I got to meet up with Adis and help her dress a set at the LDS Motion Picture Studio, before we grabbed lunch with our mutual friend Whitney, and went and saw The Bounty Hunter together. Just after I graduated, I spent about 4 months making student films (for free...) as a costume designer. On one film, Whitney was my director, and on the others, Whitney and Adis and I (and a few others) were the lowly Art Department. Needless to say, we really bonded with all the long hours, and I seriously miss these girls. Even if it's catching the early bird show of the day and sitting towards the back and gabbing about what's going on in the film department-- what I wouldn't KILL for that here in Austin! And of course, I totally forgot to take pictures.

I left 2/3 of the way during The Bounty Hunter (I'm kind of curious as to how it ends-- I think I can guess- but we were just moving into the transition between the 2nd and 3rd acts when I left) to meet up with my brothers and husband before we hightailed it to Draper, and met with my cousin Jeremy. Jeremy is also known in the entertainment business by his stage name, Tenacious J, on a little program called Nitro Circus. I'm joking about the little. Nitro Circus was one of MTV's most popular shows in the past 2 years, and they're currently gearing up to make a feature length film. So it was AWESOME to get to sit down with Jeremy and ask him questions about what it's like to produce for television, and have him show us around his office, where they do a lot of the "thinking" (or not thinking depending on your view) of what goes into the show, see some cool editing, and the shop where they keep a lot of the fun toys. (Motorcycles) Again, LAME ME, forgot to take pictures.

After saying bye to Jeremy, we went up to see Temple Square. Arthur had never been. In fact, minus the 3 weeks he spent in the MTC, this was Arthur's first trip to Utah.

This is us inside the conference center. Notice our matching eye wear. Yes, mine are crooked. Don't we look cute and related?

Despite having been to the conference center many times, I had never been up to the roof before, and I was really excited to get up there. The view is excellent and the free-form gardens are cool, I just wish it was a little warmer the day we went.


This is a mural up on the roof. It's made of black marble and the images have been sandblasted on. The story about how it came about is really cool-- years before the conference center was made, a woman in the church's publication department was asked to make a mural of images composed of members of the church from all different time periods, races, nationalities, etc. She made the mural, and never heard about what it was used for again, and was shocked to find it as a large art piece on top of the roof of the conference center when she took a tour! What's really cool is that the image makes a V in the center, and you can stand and see your reflection joined with the mural. You can barely see us in the picture above. We're the dark shadows in the reflection of the fountain. The caption reads:
" And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people."
So, in this mural, you can literally see yourself as part of the members of those who have received the blessings of the gospel across time and across the world. Awesome huh?

After Temple Square we went back to our grandparent's house to have a family dinner, and an early birthday celebration for Moi.



The best part of the trip was definitely hanging out with family members we really don't get to see that often.

Also, I got one of the best birthday singing experiences ever. Little Luke has a hard time discerning that birthdays only happen once a year-- so every birthday is his birthday. Here in this picture we started singing Happy Birthday, and he began to cover his eyes with embarrassment.

And here, we're blowing out the candles together! I totally don't mind sharing my birthday like this!


Finally, on Saturday morning, while I packed and got ready and prepared for our trip home, the boys went Snow Shoeing in American Fork Canyon with Uncle Scott. 

Can't you feel the love between brother and brother-in-law?

Hello Mr. Optimistic.
Looking too cool for words.

Ruggedly Handsome. And squinting.

On the mountain!

And that was our trip. It was SO nice to get away from the day in and day out hum drum. Truly, I wish we had a little more time than what we had. There were so many people I wanted to see and hang out with that I just didn't get a chance to call or say hello-- there weren't enough hours in the day! Maybe this summer. Arthur and I are thinking about taking a trip out west to LA, anyway, so maybe we'll make it a grand tour.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Charitable Husband!

See something missing? Guess-- please tell me you noted in a blog post a few months ago that I swore this thing was going to be gone, and now (squeal!) it is! I'll give you a hint... it's oversized, a nasty shade of green, and we never sat in it...

YUP! The Armchair! My husband's loved and prized armchair, which I have hated since well, forever, is gone! You know what the surprising thing is? He got rid of it! A friend of ours has been feeling poorly, and had been saying that if only he had something nice and soft to recline in, he would feel so much better. So my charitable husband volunteered his armchair, on long term loan. (Or so he thinks....mwhahahaha)

Genius comes in many many tiles.

I've developed a slight addiction to an iphone app called "words with friends." Apparently, I'm the last person on the planet to figure this out, but it's been really popular for awhile now. Basically, it's scrabble on the phone, and you take turns between yourself and friends. Did I say it was ridiculously addicting?

Well, our family played an actual game of real scrabble and did surprisingly well. Are we the only ones who discuss the merits of a good board? I hope not, because this is worth sharing:

Great Board, huh? And you know, I almost won. My mother beat me out last minute. Go figure.

Sunny Day, Sweepin' the Clouds Away...

So this pic was taken actually a week or so before the warmest day of the year.

But the idea is the same... GLORIOUS! The weather here in Austin has finally warmed up, and it's changed everyone's mood-- hello happy! This past week Mom and I got together with our friend Connie and had creative craft day. I didn't actually make anything crafty, but instead I got a good four to five hours in of quality writing.

Something about sunshine is so inspirational!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Job Interview

As many of you may well know, a few weeks ago I excitedly posted on my facebook that I had a job interview. I've been looking for a job with an administrative type role for awhile, and fortunately, I have the luxury of taking my time, and really looking for a job that I would enjoy. While the unemployment rate in Austin is a lot lower than the rest of the country, it's still an extremely competitive job market out there, and believe it or not with my fabulous resume, I haven't gotten many leads. So I was really surprised, and kind of thrilled that I got a call back from a company I had sent my resume to-- mind you I had sent my resume out to many many different companies, so when they called, I had them describe themselves to me. They're a moving company that's been in business 10 years, primarily in Florida, and they just moved their headquarters to Austin. We agreed on a date and right before we got off the phone, they told me to bring my drivers licence and social security card with me.

That last little bit didn't sit well with me-- who brings that kind of information to a job interview? Were they just looking for a warm body to do some kind of work-- not someone with my sweet and awesome skills? It kept bothering me-- really deeply bothering me, that something just wasn't right. So, I turned to my friend, the trusty internet, to do a little research. Since they're now a national company with offices in both Florida and Texas, I figured that someone out there had worked for them and probably said something about it online. All I googled was the company name and the phrase "work for."  I dare you to look at the results you get on the 5th, 6th, 7th (and so on) hits on the internet. I'll let the search results do the talking, but the gist is this: This is one moving company you really REALLY don't want to hire, and if you have a shred of moral fiber in your body, one that you really don't want to work for.

I felt kind of sick. What do you do in a situation like this? I decided that professionally, I was obligated to go to the interview, even if I wanted nothing to do with the company. At least it was good interview practice right? This is what greeted me the morning I got there:

Yup, it was a warehouse, and really quite creepy. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with working out of a warehouse, it was just obvious from the other kinds of companies next door that these people weren't of the same caliber: no logo, no obvious service industry. No happy people going about their happy business. Just half of the company name on the door and an address. Believe me, it only gets better.

I get inside and the woman who is supposed to interview me, isn't even there yet. While I'm waiting I can overhear the receptionist on the phone having a conversation that went like this:

Receptionist: "Ma'am, hi I just talked to the driver, and he doesn't know when he's going to be there. (pause) Well, yes I understand, but he just doesn't know. He was in a bit of a hurry, he was loading a truck, (pause) Right, but I just can't give you a firm date of when the truck will arrive. (longer pause) Well, he did mention something about Monday (pause)"

I tuned out after that and then my eye caught a post it note, stuck to the side of a computer monitor. It read, "FRAUD. Paul, 555-555-5555"

The woman who interviewed me finally came in. She looked like she came from Jersey Shore and had an accent and make-up to match. Before interviewing me, she instructed the receptionist to and I quote, "go into these old contracts and change these parts" Not change the template for the contracts to reflect new policies-- but to change old contracts with people already attached to them-- change those contracts. So honest, so honest.
We went into the actual warehouse, where believe it or not, from floor to ceiling high were people's belongings, stacked in nice neat rows. This was not as they advertise, secure and climate controlled. Believe me, with minimal effort you could break into that place. And it was frigidly cold, because it was basically outside.

The rest of the interview was fairly normal, but it was shot as good interview practice. I kept fearing a member of the russian mafia was going to come out from the stacks of furniture, guns blazing, swearing, spitting caviar and swigging vodka, and threaten me to take the job. The result was me giving the worst interview ever: I sat on the edge of my seat, nodded a lot, and said "Uh-huh" with the best Minnie Mouse voice you have ever heard.
It was an experience to be sure. In fact, it's downright hilarious, and I still have a hard time believing it actually happened. What's even more is that I can't believe in this day in age, as a dishonest person you think you can do bad business and that a record of it won't show up on the internet. Just a moderate amount of research gave me the whole truth about this company that is now attempting to continue bad business in another part of the country, escaping their record in Florida. Not so. We live in an age of a binding record of truth on the internet, one that for the most part, can never be erased. If you harm, hurt, mislead others or attempt to cover up your lying, cheating, scandalous self, you will fail. The internet will more than likely reveal your true self. If there was a lowest common denominator for living a moral life, that would be it. The real benefit of doing honest good work is a peaceful conscience.

So that peeps, is my story. And if you happen to be in need of someone with great administrative and leadership skills, awesome creativity, an articulate writing style as well as serious web savvy knowledge, for the record, I am your woman. You can check out and download my current resume at the bottom of my linked in page.

Snow Day!


Indeed last week, the great white fluff visited our very own backyard, (or front yard I suppose) and fell from the sky like fluffly little cotton puffs all the day long. I think Arthur would have prefered we go out and make a snowman or something, but since I spent the past 5 years enduring altogether too much snow in Utah, the appeal of snowtime play has dwindled considerably. AND to top it off, I was terribly sick. Seriously, on the day it snowed I had the worst cold of all time, and I spent most of the day in a Nyquil induced snooze.

So sad.