Monday, February 27, 2012

I am so stinkin' tired.

It’s been a little while since I blogged. A lot has been going on lately and though I’m sure most of our world has heard the news I bet there is someone out there that hasn’t.

Back in December, after several months of dabbling around the website John and I decided that it was time for us to buy our first home. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision, but not really. It just sort of happened. Several months ago the house next door to us went up for sale for $80K and we thought that it was something we could afford so we decided to look into it so we called a friend of the family that had helped both Lariann and Rachel buy their homes, and thus began our adventure with Troy Starkey. Let us just say, that Troy was awesome. He talked us through stuff and got us on our way and into a home we love without a lot of bother and technical stuff. It was so easy to work with him, and we enjoyed it immensely.

Enough about Troy.

Anyway, at that time Troy gave us the number of his mortgage guy Dave Young we took his name and the recommendation and then sat on it for a few months when suddenly one day John says to me. “We need to call that mortgage guy and see what we could qualify for.” I agreed, and the ball started rolling. We went in and talked about our incomes what we could and couldn’t afford, and where we were at financially.  Turns out that we are better off than we think and we decided to go ahead with the house searching part.

Well, it was the end of the year and with Christmas and New Years we didn’t start our officially house hunt until the first week of January. But when we did we went full boar. We looked at 18 houses over two outings with Troy, and fell in love with two of them. Our house #1 choice was cute and in John’s sister’s neighborhood, but unfortunately it fell through due to the hassle that it would have been and the uncooperative sellers. So we fell back to house #2. And let me just say, I’m glad that we did. House #2 has turned out to be our home.

We contracted for it on January 13th. By January 25th everything was good to go, and our closing was scheduled for January 30th. We moved in on February 3rd. We didn’t really tell anyone we were moving until the last few days because in our minds we weren’t really sure this was going to happen. When it did everyone was surprised when we said “We’re moving on Friday.”

Now we’re almost a whole month in our new home and WE LOVE IT. It still doesn’t really feel like it’s ours yet. It’s like we’re just hanging out in someone else’s space for a little while.

It’s a not-too-big split level that is only .47 of a mile from where we were living. Yet far enough away that we have moved out of the Park Ward and into the 4th Ward. We’re just on the wrong side of the street to have stayed in the Park Ward. We can see the houses of our friends in that other ward from our living room windows.

The house has green siding… or maybe yellow. It depends on what time of day you look at it. It’s got a pretty large yard, though a lot of it is taken up by trees, and a garage that we love beyond belief.

The upstairs has been completely refinished in the last few years, with wood flooring in the bedroom and kitchen and shag carpeting in the living room and on the stairs. The kitchen is a bit smaller than I had dreamed, but it’s just the right size for us. The master bedroom on the other hand is the product of knocking out the wall between the two bedrooms that used to inhabit the space. It’s pretty awesome. It’s given us the space to put our bed on one side of the room, then a futon, the dressers, and the television on the other side of the room and it still feels like we have extra space. Now, if only the upstairs bathroom were attached to the bed room it may be perfect. The walls in main living area are a nice butter yellow. The bedroom is pink. The bathroom is white (too white. I’m going to have to paint it.)

The basement is nearly finished. There are two bedrooms down there, both painted beige, as well as a bathroom, a laundry area, and a family room. All of which are currently filled with boxes. The family room is the unfinished part. It still needs drywall and carpeting, but it’s livable as it is for now. That’s a down the road project.


We’ve been sick. Here I thought I could start out a new year feeling well and just get on with life… but no. I caught a cold the weekend before we moved. I spent a lot of time packing while doped up on Nyquil. That was fun. I have yet to get to the boxes that were packed that way so we’ll see how they turned out when I find them.

We’re still sick. So that stupid cold I just mentioned. Yeah, I still have it. Six weeks later. Stuffy runny nose. Coughing, sneezing. More mucus than you think could come out of one body… ick. To say I’m done with it is an understatement. John has it too. He ended up with it the weekend we moved. Ever since then we have shared in out misery, and been through many boxes of tissues together. It has been suggested that we should go see a doctor about it, but it is the way our life goes that if we did make an appointment the doctor would just tell us that it’s a cold and it will run its course. Because that’s the answer he always gives us. So you can understand when we say that we don’t want to pay out for him to tell us there is nothing he can do. In the mean time we drink plenty of liquids, eat oranges, have some Nyquil and try to get sleep where we can.

We are so tired.


On top of that it was discovered shortly before Christmas that I may be lactose intolerant, and as the weeks have passed that’s been a confirmed problem. I have spent far too many nights puking instead of sleeping and other unflattering body rebellion that comes from the consumption of dairy products. Sucks for me.

I do think I have lost a little weight as a result of it all. (silver lining?) Now we have to re-evaluate our eating and see what needs to be cut out. Milk definitely. That is the fastest way to make me sick. But what else? I seem okay with some cheeses, and Ice Cream hasn’t been terrible... but when it comes down to it I probably should just avoid it all.

I don’t mind the taste of Almond Milk. I haven’t tried Soy yet. Apparently I can cook with that stuff too so that’s going to be an interesting trial.


What else…


I started a new blog. It’s called “I Make Cakes” you can find it here: I figured I’d like to have a place where I can showcase some of my cakes that I have made. They’re not spectacular or anything, but they have made the people they were made for happy.

I’ve already made several cakes this year and have loved every one of them. Who knew I’d be a cake person. I don’t know that it was ever on my list of things for Liz to do. I had never really thought that any one other than John would like my cakes, but I guess I was wrong. I’ll make a cake for you if you want. I’m pretty good at giving a good price, and I love making them so I don’t see why not.

Rules that would apply:
I need at least one week notice and the design can’t be changed with in 3 days of due date.
Price depends on size and the effort I put into it, what supplies I need.
If I can't do the cake design of choice I always have the right to say no.

I guess another stipulation I need to put on these is that they can only be delivered locally. Probably to Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, and possibly Utah counties. (So within an hour from my home) And the further I have to drive to get your cake to you I will impose a delivery fee. You can always come pick up the cake if you want. I’m totally okay with that.


And finally…


We’re going to Disneyland next February. It’ll be awesome. Yes, we are starting to plan now. The sooner the better. We’re taking our friend Holly for her first Disney adventure, and if we’re lucky John’s sister Rachel and her family will be coming too for both Kira and Cooper’s first times. Sure, Cooper will only be 1.5 years old, but that’s okay. Between five adults Cooper won’t be too left out of the party.


I think this is all I can blog about for now. I have a million things that need to get done so I’ll leave off here for now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eating with Liz 2012 - Zuppa Toscana

This is what I made for dinner last night. It was really good. And with just me and John to eat it I have 2 more servings each of leftovers. Nom Nom Nom!

I found it on this website:

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly... I did only use 1 tsp of Crushed Red Peppers because neither of us do well with spicy food. Other than that this recipe is perfect as is. Enjoy!


Olive Garden® Zuppa Toscana

Makes: 6-8 servings




o       1 lb ground Italian sausage

o       1½ tsp crushed red peppers

o       1 large diced white onion

o       4 Tbsp bacon pieces

o       2 tsp garlic puree

o       10 cups water

o       5 cubes of chicken bouillon

o       1 cup heavy cream

o       1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes

o       ¼ of a bunch of kale


1.      Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.

2.      In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 minutes or until the onions are soft.

3.      Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.

4.      Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.

5.      Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.

6.      Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!