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Friday, May 30, 2014

Claude Monet

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Photo: ^ Lily Pads by Claude Monet... the texture is to die for!

We've decided that when we grow up and have a house we would like to live across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago... or something like that. During our spring break trip to Chicago this last April we got to visit this magical place and didn't want to leave. We stayed until closing when they locked the front doors and were turning off the lights. Our feet were about to fall off from walking all day. It was wonderful!

More photos to come :) Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

PATTERNS 3: KALEIDOSCOPE

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Growing up kaleidoscopes always kept us entertained, but I don't remember whatever happened to them. It's like they disappeared! They would keep us quiet except for the part when we wanted to show each other the cool pattern we made. I think they're an awesome toy, especially because all you need is light - no batteries! Check these patterns out...

1. & 3. Abstracteidoscope | 2. Johanna Sasse | 4. & 6. Ying Yan | 5. Ella Moe

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY + PIZZA RECIPE!

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I love the holidays because it means I get to spend most of the day with D! He's been pretty busy with his BFA project and work. We had horrible dreams at night and didn't get to go hiking with some friends but got to sleep in! To make the day a little more special I had the brilliant idea to make pizza on a really warm day with the apartment at 75+ F degrees! Some friends asked for the recipe I used to make it... it was really yummy if you wanna make it yourself.

I love that with homemade pizza you can put anything on it for toppings and it gets me to use basics that I already have at home. I used this pizza dough recipe and modified it, so this is what I used:

Pizza Dough 
Makes 2-12 inch pizzas!

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup 30% ultragrain flour (it's healthier :)
1 envelope of yeast
1 cup very warm water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 pinches of sugar
2 tablespoons (vegetable) oil

Directions
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast, 2 pinches of sugar and the warm water for about 10 minutes until the yeast is creamy. I usually just cover the bowl to keep the warmth in.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Then add the yeast mixture and oil and mix in a mixer or with a spoon until you have a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until it's soft and stays together (no more than 3 minutes).

3. In the same bowl that you mixed the dough, sprinkle in some flour to place the dough in it. Cover tightly with a plastic bag and let rise for 10-15 minutes.

4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into 2-12 inch circles or 1-14 inch circle and place on your baking sheet. Put on whatever toppings you'd like and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until done.
(The dough seemed to stay the same thickness in the oven as before I put it in... so you can pick how thick you want the crust.)

Toppings (for 2-12in pizzas)
2 cups pasta sauce
2 1/2 or 3 cups cheese
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, slices
1 small can mushrooms, stems and pieces sliced
1-2 handfuls of spinach, sliced
8-10 slices canadian bacon or ham

Feel free to put any toppings you like - the spinach doesn't taste like anything when baked and the red pepper was sliced thinner than fajita style so the flavor is simply sweet!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

PATTERNS 2: FLORA

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I love how many flowers there are in the spring and summer time. If only it was like this year round!

1. Floral heart | 2. Pink watercolor flowers | 3. Pink roses | 4. Wildflowers | 5. Emerald peonies | 6. Pink poppies

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

LAST SATURDAY

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The flowering trees have blooming so beautifully around here and every time I see them I tell myself I'm going to take photos of them and then never do. Spring comes and goes quickly here in Rexburg. It comes a little later than it does in Utah and can be bipolar with hail and snow, but it's my favorite season here. 

My beautiful sister and I got to have a picnic under beautiful apple blossoms full of humming bees! They're peaceful if you don't bother them. It's nice to sit under the shade of trees with a nice breeze and a blue, sunny sky and to be still and listen to the bees so busy at work. For a moment we thought it was snowing because the breeze brought down a lot white flower petals!

P.S. It's totally possible that it can snow here in May... it's happened.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

PATTERNS: A NEW SERIES, #1

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I love finding patterns! I decided to put them all in one place with a Patterns series. If you want to see other patterns I find throughout the week feel free to follow my Pattern board on Pinterest!

There's more to enjoy in these patterns than just the repetition.

1. Swimmers / 2. Watercolor flowers / 3. Sailboats / 4. Flower Sky / 5. Block Print Circles / 6. Blue foliage

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Break

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I love Spring Break! We got to see our family and spend time with them. I don't know what I would do without my family; they are my everything.

During our break it was so nice to be away from the internet and social media. I’m realizing that a few years ago my personal life was just fine without it and sometimes even happier. Sometimes I find myself wasting away precious time scrolling through Facebook’s infinite scrolling pages and having to do something or anything on social media. [In web development, Facebook does have something called an “infinite scroll” which means that the scrolling is indeed infinite.] Half of the things I see on there have nothing to do with me and the other half is trash people repost from other sites (maybe 5% of things on there I care about).

The only reason I have accounts on those networks is to keep in touch with friends and family from time to time. But I have found that my mood changes when I'm online. I feel negative, restless, and sometimes feel put down because I didn't post about our fantabulous date like everyone else did on Saturday night or didn't snap a photo to show for it or I want things now and fast.

I've finally decided to write about it to get it out and to hold myself accountable to do something about it. I found a talk by Gerald J. Causse called “We Are the Architects of Our Own Happiness.” He outlines some principles that can bring happiness regardless of challenges and surprises in life.

1. Recognize Your Personal Worth
He says, “Often the feeling we have of our personal worth is based on the love and interest we receive from those around us. Yet this love is sometimes lacking. The love of men is often imperfect, incomplete, and selfish. However, the love of God is perfect, complete, and selfless.”

The love of my family is so good and makes me so happy. I know that God loves His children perfectly. Gerald J. Causse asks, “Imagine the impact it would have in your life to understand your eternal potential as God understands it. If you could view yourself through His eyes, what influence would that have on your life?”

2. Become Who You Are
“… if you were now to receive a letter from your past, what would it say? …. One of the great adventures of life is that of finding out who we really are, where we came from, and then living consistently in harmony with our identity and the purpose of our existence.”

3. Trust in God’s Promises
“I love these motivating words of President Thomas S. Monson: “The future is as bright as your faith.”9 Our success and happiness in life depend in great part on the faith and trust we have that the Lord will lead and guide us to fulfill our destiny.

The greatest thing we can desire in life is to align our will to the will of the Lord—to accept His agenda for our lives. He knows everything from the beginning, has a perspective that we don't have, and loves us with an infinite love.”

4. The Future is As Bright as Your Faith
“Your happiness depends a lot more on the principles that you choose to follow than the external circumstances of your life.

You have dreams and goals? That’s good! Work with all your heart to accomplish them. Then let the Lord do the rest. He will lead you where you cannot lead yourself; He will make you into what you cannot make of yourself.”

Today there are a lot of things that I want to do that can helped by social media and the internet – but the tricky part is using those tools correctly without them distracting me from doing what I wanted to do in the first place. I love that these principles are helping me get back in control of my vision for personal projects and goals!