Saturday, December 26, 2009

Da Beach

We're at the beach for the next week. I'm so happy! I never got to the beach at all this summer and let me tell ya, I'm so grateful to have Matt home for two whole weeks!!

My parents, for Christmas/Graduation/Megan's new baby rented a house near Myrtle Beach for a week. I'm really looking forward to relaxing and walking on the beach, drinking in the healing air rolling in with the waves. I don't know what it is about beach air, but it cures whatever ails you. Too bad they can't bottle the stuff.

All is relatively quiet since Eleanor has gone to bed and I can hear the waves rolling in right outside the door. I think I'm going to snuggle down with one of my new Christmas presents and get lost in the world of Ms. Catherine Morland.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It was legen, wait for it....


As of December 19th, 2009, I am officially an alumna of North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!). I can't believe that I made it. I thought the day would never come, but it did!! The ceremony was awesome. It was the most low key graduation I've ever been to (and mostly likely will ever attend). There were less than 20 graduates from the entire Food Science, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science department and some of them weren't even there. We didn't have to line up and walk in. We just sat in the seat with our names on them. And when we got our diploma (covers), we walked up, they shook our hand, handed us the mic and asked us to say something. The speaking part took us all by surprise. I don't think they've ever done that before, but since there were only about 15 of us, I think they were trying to draw it out (but I can't figure out why they would want to do that). Any way, after that, we adjourned to the cafeteria at St. Mary's (which is surprisingly nice and well decorated) for Holwing Cow ice cream. And that was it. We mingled for a few minutes and then went to Village Deli for lunch.

I was glad to have my family there, but it was so stinkin' cold that we didn't want to take a family picture outside. Actually, that picture is one of the 12 pictures taken the whole day. I don't have any of just me or me with my family. Craziness.

Any way, I'm glad to be done. So, Happy Christmas everyone!

P.S. - If anyone hears of any nutrition related jobs, let me know! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Update: Fair, Friends, Fun, & Family

So, I have been a bad, bad blogger. However, in my defense, I am finishing my final semester of my degree. I have a lot to do!! So, in the spirit of saving time, here's an update on everything that's been going on lately!!

  • Fair: I went. I ate. I won!! :) I only went twice this year (kind of a bummer), but we had fun! I went with Megan and Greg and then again with Matt. In exciting news, I entered a candle into the state fair craft competition (in the rubber stamping, miscellaneous division) and I won second place!! I was really excited!
  • Friends & Fun: We've had a plethora of house guests in the past month! We had our Charlotte friends come and visit for Halloween. We had such a great time! And one of our friends used her costume to tell us that she was preggo! Congrats Scarlett!! Last weekend we had our Virginia friends come visit and in the process we made new South Carolina friends! It's been so wonderful to have the space to have everybody over and even more wonderful to have the company! (And looking over this past paragraph, I have realized that I'm an exclamation point junkie. Sorry. No more exclamation points for the rest of this post. I promise.)
  • Family: I'm an aunt again! (I'm sorry but I couldn't not use an exclamation point) My sister had her beautiful baby girl yesterday. Eleanor Ruth Wheatley was born 8 lbs 6 oz. I went up to see them yesterday and had a wonderful time seeing their family grow.
I don't have access to all the pictures yet, but as soon as I do, I will upload them. It's been a crazy month and I know it will only get worse until the end of exams, but I will make it. I am really excited to graduate in a month and two days. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Killing time, among other things

Right now I'm in the middle of an assay. I've finished all the hard parts and now I just have to wait for certain time points to collect the data. This assay in particular is call a DPPH assay (DPPH stands for 2,2-Diphenyl-1-Picrylhydrazyl, or really long name for a "stable" free radical). I'm measuring total antioxidant capacity of grape extracts. And since I'm killing time and free radicals, I'm going to explain how it works and what I do!! Fun, no?

So a free radical is a type of chemical molecule that is technically unstable. It has an unbalanced positive charge and will steal it from anywhere it can get it. In your body, it's your cells (which creates damage). Over time, if free radicals aren't "quenched", if could lead to things like cancer, or so they say. The quenching occurs when an antioxidant (which has an extra negative charge) donates an electron to the free radical's cause. It then becomes chemically happy and won't cause any further damage. Photo courtesy of

There are lots of different kinds of antioxidants and there are other assay that measure specific ones (like when I worked with the purple sweet potatoes, one assay I used was a total phenol antioxidant assay). The DPPH assay is a measure of all antioxidant capacity. And in the assay I've been running lately, I've been measuring green tea, black tea, EGCG, red grape extracts and white grape extracts. The grape extracts I've been specifically looking at are Nobel and Carlos which are popular in wine making (which is where we got our extracts).

So in my assay, I make up a solution of DPPH. I put quotes around stable earlier because the inherint nature of free radicals are to be unstable, but DPPH has a known, measurable and linear quenching in the presence of Trolox. So I make a standard curve with the trolox and DPPH solutions. I also make up different dilutions of my grape extracts and add DPPH to them too. I let them incubate in the dark for 90 minutes, taking spectrophotometric readings at 30, 60 and 90 minutes. After I've taken the readings I create my cruve (which is actually a straight line) and compare the values I received from the spectrophotometer (also known as the absorbance) and see where they fall, if at all, on my line. If I've diluted my samples enough, they should fall on that line and then I can tell you how much trolox my sample is equivalent to in quenching DPPH.

Neat, huh? Ok, so I know most of you haven't even made it this far and I'm sorry, but I don't have much else I can do right now. I suppose I could've been blogging about the state fair and the candle I entered into the crafts competition, but I didn't think about that until after I had written this whole long entry. Oh well. I hope to find out if I one anything soon! Look for my candle in the hobbies and handicrafts building (after you get some ice cream at the NCSU Dairy Bar)! It's a white pillar candle with green leaf images stamped onto it and brown ribbon at the top and the bottom of the candle. I hope I win!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


It's funny when you happen to look up and your cat and your husband are sleeping in the same position in different seats. (I was going to take a picture, but as soon as I stood up, Truman moved)

This Thursday and Friday are my fall break and tomorrow we're heading for Asheville. I've never been to the Biltmore Estate and now's a great time to go (hopefully the leaves will be wonderful!)

Also, we recently bought Rockband (as a celebration of Matt's new job). It came with a special Beatles edition game with only Beatles songs on it. It's really great! If anyone wants to come over and "rock out", let us know!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Best date ever

So, Matt and I went on the best date we've ever had. The date started out with me changing my outfit about 20 times (this is no exaggeration) and doing my hair and makeup. We then rushed out the door and headed to Cookout for dinner. I got the BLT, hushpuppies and a shake and Matt got a burger and fries (the perfect dinner). After cookout, we drove over to the fairgrounds, parked on Beryl street and walked over to Carter-Finley stadium where, awaiting us, was this:

After we found our seats (which were pretty bad, surprisingly), a few minutes later the best band ever (in my opinion) took the stage. I cannot believe that I actually saw Muse live in concert! And you know what, they sounded great! They actually sound like their recordings (which very few musicians do), only better. It was kind of sad that the stadium wasn't packed and that I couldn't be closer, but the stage set-up made our crappy seats not so bad. We got some amazing pictures! Muse played for almost an hour!! I couldn't believe it! I was expecting them to play3 maybe 4 songs and then leave. It was a real treat to listen to them for an hour!

Then there was a 30 minute break and then U2 took the stage. Matt is the U2 fan in the family and after listening to their concert, I realized that I knew quite a few of their songs and didn't know it. U2 put on a good show and mostly, I was impressed. I just hated that we were packed into the stands like little sardines. That was the only bad part of the evening.

After U2 was done for real (they leave a few times and came back), we left. This is what we had to wade through:

After we made it out of the stadium, we hoofed it back to our car, where unlike most of the people who parked closer, we got in a car and drove away. There's nothing worse than getting into your car and then sitting in it for 45 minutes to an hour, while you're waiting for the traffic to thin out a little.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening. The temperature was perfect (not hot or cold), the moon was out and there were hardly any clouds. We even got a few snazzy (overpriced) souvenirs. *sigh* It was a perfect date.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bad news then good news

So, Matt recently "lost" his job as level one support manager at RedHat. I put quotes around lost because he actually stepped down from the position due to differences with his boss, but all the same, they gave him 4 weeks to find another job within RedHat and then after that, he would be out of a job completely. Well, that occurred about 3 weeks ago, so we were starting to get a little anxious about not having income. We had some stock options etc. that we could've lived off of for a little while, but not for too long. Any way, today we got word that Matt has secured another position within RedHat. It's been a possibility for a while now, but today we got word that it was going to happen! I cannot express the emotions that I have felt and that I'm currently feeling. It's a terrifying thing to know that your income isn't always a constant. I am so grateful for this position and I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father who has looked after us and protects us. I am so grateful for everything He gives us, especially this job in the area (the other big possibility was a job in California). While I'm sad that I don't get to move to California, I'm relieved and happy that we've found something here. Any way, here's a reminder that anything could happen at any time and that you shouldn't take what you have for granted. Thanks to any of you who had been praying for us. I know that it helped.

Well, I've got to run to class! I just wanted to share the news!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I think I have an overactive imagination

Some of you may not know this about me, I have incredible dreams. And the best part about it is that I can mostly remember them. Of course, many of my dreams are like this, but nearly ever time, I can remember them in vivid detail. Now if only I could take a page from Stephenie Meyer and write a best-selling book about them, I think I'd be set for the rest of my life. Would you like to hear the most recent dream involving a foldable motor-scooter and gang activity?

Monday, September 14, 2009

GUR = FUN!!!

So, originally I was supposed to do a triathlon this past weekend, but when I went to sign up for it, all the spaces were filled. Bummed and disappointed, I went in search for another race for that same weekend. I wasn't picky about where it was or how long, only that it would be on the same day. That's when I stumbled upon this. I immediately told Matt that we had to do it!!

So this last weekend, Matt and I drove down to Charlotte and stayed with some friends Friday and Saturday woke up and got ready. This was Matt's prep.

Mine was much less involved, but to explain, the race requires that you to either have matching uniforms, or complimentary costumes (like Batman and Robin). Matt and I went as Lindsay and Tobias F√ľnke from Arrested Development. If you haven't seen the show, stop what you are doing now and watch it. It is one of my favorite comedies ever.

Any way, Matt and I weren't really prepared for the magnitude of this race (ie. how far we would have to go) for prepared period. I'm glad we thought to bring out camelpacks because otherwise we would've been severely dehydrated after 4 and a half hours walking all over Charlotte, but I wish we had brought a paper map and pencil to map out our course before starting out.

Regardless of our unpreparedness, we had fun! We had to solve clues and riddles in addition to performing physical tasks. We actually teamed up with another team at one point to get done faster. The team of four were sisters who left their husbands and children at home (as apparently they do every year and this years event was doing this race). They were dressed as Thing 1's and Thing 2's. They were so nice!

Any way, we finished with a time of 4 hours, 15 minutes (which for walking 8.02 miles, I'm pretty happy with and if you want to see our route, click here) and although we didn't win the costume contest, I feel like we had the greatest costume ever. :) I would highly recommend this race to everyone! We're definitely going to do it next year and I hope you guys will too!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Interesting informations

Have you ever wondered if people actually read your blog or whether you're sending your thoughts into the proverbial e-void? Well, for those of you who wonder, wonder no more! Google analytics is here to save the day! I love looking at my stats on it. I think it's really neat that you can see how many view your website each day and where those visitors are from. For instance, I have people who have viewed my blog from the following states (in order from most to least): Utah, North Carolina, Texas, Colorado, New York, New Hampshire, Idaho, California and Minnesota. For the most part, I can guess who's reading it from where. My mom checks my blog daily I think and I have family in a few of the other states. It's the states like Minnesota and Texas that surprise me!

Any who, I had my last day at work today. I'm kind of sad because this means no more monies will be coming in my specific direction. I actually liked this job (as opposed to several others that were merely means of earning income). I was working for the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. I was a data collector for a study they were managing for the college. I got to interact with parents and children in a public health setting. I really enjoyed it (for the most part). I got to play with kids and get paid for it. Hopefully, there will be another round of recruitment for this same study and they'll call me and see if I can work for them again, but it won't be for another few months. *sigh* I hope that I can find another job that has been this great. And by the way, thanks again Greg for hooking me up with the connection!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to school... the final voyage, sort of

This is my last first semester of my undergraduate degree! I can't believe that I'm finally graduating. It seems like I've been going to college since forever. Ok, now I know that doesn't make sense grammatically, but that's what it feels like! And who are you to argue with my feelings? Any way, this start of this semester has been crazy (has it ever really been any other way for me?) but I feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, I'll have some sort of notification of the work I've put in. I'll have that piece of paper that says I can finish something. I honestly can't believe that this day is coming. In less than four months, I will be an alumni. I'm ridiculously excited! I am bouncing with the thought of walking across whatever stage/platform/walkway and hearing my name. *sigh* Oh to be done... For anyone interested, I will be graduating on December 19th. :)

P.S. - What do you think of the new layout? A new layout for a new semester!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Girl's Camp: Tuesday and Wednesday

On Tuesday, we (the girls and leaders from our ward) met at Sandy's and drove up to the campsite (which as previously mentioned is more like a resort than a camp, but whatever). It was pouring rain when we were packing the cars and didn't stop all day. Sometimes it would lighten up for a few minutes before continuing to pour. This didn't stop us, though. Since there wasn't any lightning, we continued on with our activities!

The main event on Tuesday for the fourth year girls (to which I was assigned) was a service project for the campsite. We went to a trail adjacent to the camp, killed the poison ivy, poison oak, etc. that was near the trail and marked it. I'm not sure we did a great job at it since they split us into groups and I wasn't really sure what exactly we were supposed to do, but we did our best. In addition to the fourth years doing this, the first years also helped out. It was a lot of fun talking about snipes and snipe hunting. :) I remember my first snipe hunt...

Any way, since we were in the woods, we didn't get too rained on (which was nice because it was kind of cold too) and after we were finished serving, the girl's broke into certification groups, then dinner.

After dinner, we had the evening program. (Let me preface this next part by saying that all of the wards did a great job on their songs and I could tell they put a lot of effort into it.) At the evening program all the wards performed their songs and our song kicked all the other ward's songs trashes!! Heh heh heh... Also, our ward banner was the best and we had a cabin to ourselves which we made awesome. Everyone wanted to be us. :) *sigh* I'm the best camp assistant director ever. :)

On Wednesday, the morning was spent doing certification and then the fourth years split into groups to do high ropes, or archery and firearms. I went with the archery and firearms group the first day. It was raining again, but it was a lot of fun. I even got to shoot a few arrows and got a turn with the bb gun. That night's evening program consisted of us singing a song nobody knew how to sing and the Pyne's (Verne and Nancy) speaking to the girls.

Unfortunately, one of the girls was really homesick and didn't feel well. She ended up going home that evening, which was sad. I wish she could've stayed the whole week. I think she would've had a lot of fun. However, the other Sister Davis showed up that night. I eventually got frustrated when the girl's would say, "Sister Davis," and we both would answer. And since I am a relative newcomer into young women's, most of the time, they weren't talking to me.

As we were talking in our bunks after lights out, I mentioned something about it to Shanon (sister Davis), and one of the girl's overheard. She suggested the names Sister Cherry and Sister Bananas. I became Sister Cherry because I had cherries all over my sleep pants and the other Sister Davis became Sister Banana I think in part because she's a blonde and in part because she's crazy! :) Even at church on Sunday, I was greeted by the girl's as Sister Cherry. It was nice.
Photo courtesy of

Monday, June 22, 2009

Girl's Camp: Intro

I am the assistant director for the girl's camp in our ward. I have wanted this calling FOREVER!! After serving my 8 month sentence in nursery (which cured me of ever wanting to have children), I think the bishopric decided to throw me a bone and let me be part of girl's camp.

This past week was girls camp at a really nice place in Randleman NC. We were "camping" (I use the term very loosely) at a Woodmen of the World campsite which included cabins with air conditioning (which technically we were only allowed to run at night), a mess hall with air conditioning, large swimming pool with a deep end and diving board, archery range, shooting range, high ropes course with a zip line and a putt-putt course.

I'm still in the process of getting the pictures off my camera and sorting through the good ones and the bad ones, so pictures will have to wait, although there are several on facebook, if you're willing to look for them.

I honestly think that pairing me with Sister Starritt (who was really in charge) was inspired. We balanced each other out really well. I have never gone camping before where I had to pack everything that we would need for the campsite, but Sandy thought of everything. I brought several things that she didn't, though. I brought all the meds (which was very fortunate because we had a couple of girl's get sick over the week). I also brought extra bugspray, sunscreen and other things like that, that Sandy forgot. I think ultimately, though, I supplied the energy and enthusiasm.

I firmly believe that 90% of how wonderful, or how terrible a situation is comes from our attitude towards it. If you believe you're going to have a great time and are always upbeat and positive about a situation, then chances are, you're going to have a great time. But, if you focus on the negatives of a situation, that's all you'll think about and that's all you'll remember. Having this in mind, I made it my job to excited about everything at camp (Even the KP and bathroom cleaning duties). And it made a lot of difference! Even some of the girl's who didn't really want to be there were excited! We all had so much fun (even when it was cold and rainy or hot and humid!) and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The newly reorganized kitchen!!

We have recently been running a bed and breakfast out of our house (or at least it feels like it!) We had some friends over Friday through Monday for Memorial and then Matt's uncle and aunt and one of their kids came to visit last night. Since there have been guests at my house, parts of my house have been clean! :) Which means you get morepictures of my house! This is one of my favorite rooms in the whole house. It's about neck and neck with the green room. *note: I finally got around to paintint those horrid orange cabinet doors. They are now completely white and fabulous looking. Any way, here is the kitchen:

This picture is taken from the sink. That doorway leads into the living room. The kitchen is on the backhalf of the house.

Turning to the right, is our baker's rack because I have too many kitchen gadets to fit in my cabinets!

Moving farther right, is the little half bath tucked under our stairs. I kind of wish it had been a pantry, but I really like having a bathroom downstairs. If you turn more to the right, you would see a doorway into the green room.

Here's a cool picture of my favorite light fixture ever! And our table. You can see the porch out the windows too.
This was taken with my back to the baker's rack, table to my right and the bathroom to my left. We just put up those little racks under the cabinets. We got them from Ikea
(I think Heaven will look like an Ikea)

This the bottom corner of the previous picture, you can see the corner of our island. This pot rack hangs on top it. Also, on the left side of the picture, you can see our side door to the driveway. The the left of that is the laundry room.

And hidden in the island is our dishwasher. Clever, no?

I like the corner sink. When I wash dishes (which is hardly never thanks to my wonderful husband) I can look outside at the trees. *sigh* I love the trees around our house.

And those are all the pictures I have for now. I think next, I'll do a tour of the upstairs, although it will take some time to clean and organize that stuff.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I have been remiss

In my duties to you, my readers. I've been a bum lately and let me tell you, it feels great!! After working so hard this past semester, I'm reveling in the nothingness. :) I haven't been a complete bum though. I've planted my tomatoes finally. Well, they were planted before, but they kind of outgrew their pots. I'm growing them on my porch in the hopes that little critters won't eat my tomatoes and also because it's the only part of the yard that gets any sunlight.

And so, it efforts to show you my house, I give you "The Porch". It's a pretty decent sized porch. I also love that our view from the porch is all trees. The pictures are intended to give you a 180 degree view from the door, starting to the right.

That is the grill (on the far left of that photo) that our friend Tim is letting us borrow. He's in Japan right now. Thanks Tim! Here's a view of the porch from the back

Notice that most of our yard is actually dirt. The one drawback of having so many huge trees is that the grass won't grow. *sigh* Oh well. I'm ok with it for now. So, there you have it. I'm working on reorganizing the kitchen currently, so that will be the next room on the grand tour. I'm hopeing to get a downstairs tour together soon too!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wedding bells are ringing!

It seems like I am in the time of young adulthood where most of my single friends are starting to get married. This is very strange to me. I don't know why, but it kind of freaks me out. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for everyone but I've been the only one that was married for so long, that it seems odd that everybody else is following suit.

Any way, this past weekend I was participating in Becky Lou's wedding. I love this woman to death! We worked together at the church bookstore a few years ago and despite my inability to stay in contact with anyone I don't see on a regular basis, she has kept track of me! :) She and Ryland were sealed on Saturday. (One of the perks of getting married so young is that I have been able to attend the ceremony in the temple for many of my friends) Becky looked wonderful and Ryland looked like he'd just won the best prize ever.

Becky called me earlier this week and asked me to play the music at the ring ceremony in Greenville, which I hesitantly said yes to. I think it turned out alright even though half of my music mysteriously disappeared a few minutes before the ceremony only to reappear a minute before I sat down to play. I've learned that I don't deal well with crises and don't do well under pressure. I'm going to be the hysterical one running around screaming if I'm ever in a hostage situation. You know, the one that gets shot first. At least the end will be quick... Any way, I digress.

The ceremony was short, but a classic Verne Pyne performance. I love that guy! I wonder how many ceremonies he's performed over the years. Any way, the reception was nice, the cake was delicious and everything was great. I really liked Becky's "going away" dress. It had a cool vintage look to it. I hope that they are happy together forever!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And exhale...

I have finally finished this semester!! I think the worst is over as far as classes go. And you know what? I got a B in biochem! I'm not sure how I managed that, but I did and I'm ecstatic! I've never worked so hard in my life for a class. I'm just so relieved that I won't have to retake it.

The one downer of the day though, was that I ended up with a C in my sports science class. Here's the story. About two weeks ago, I had my last test in biochem. On that same day, I had scheduled my sports science test (because I'm taking it as a distance education class). I missed my appointment at the testing center because I was studying for my biochem test that night (which I ended up acing!!! YEAH!) . The way the class was set up, you could either take all 5 tests and if you felt satisfied with your grade, you didn't have to take the final. So, I just decided to take the final. I checked my appointment for the final and saw that I had scheduled it on the same day as biochem. I wanted to spend as much time studying for biochem as possible, so I rescheduled my exam for Thursday. So, last night, I was checking to see if any of my grades were posted and I saw that one had been posted for the sports science class, even though I had yet to take the final. I immeadiately checked a syllabus (which didn't have any dates on it) on the course website and then remembered that he sent out a specific syllabus for this semester in an email. I checked it and it said that we needed to have taken the final by the 28th (a Tuesday). My heart sank into my stomach and I immeadiately wrote my professor and email explaining all of this and continuted to study for my final. I wake up this morning and my professor tells me that because he's already submitted the grades, there's nothing he can do. I'm just glad that I did weel enough on my tests and my paper that a zero test grade didn't bring my grade down to failing!! Grrr.... I'm still really mad about it though.

Photo courtesy of
Any way, so now that I am done with classes for this semester, I am going to hit up a bunch of things on my list, namely getting my house in order so that I can photograph it to share with the world. :) I'm looking forward to a very productive summer. How about you?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I set out to make chicken enchiladas the other night. It didn't go quite as planned, but it was still delicious! Try it out! It's super easy if you have some left over cooked chicken!

Chicken Enchilada Oops

  • 1 - can cream of chicken soup
  • 4 oz of sour cream (about 1/2 cup give or take)
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked chicken diced (about two breasts)
  • 1 - can rotel
  • 1/4 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • grated cheese
  • corn tortillas
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the cream of chicken soup and sour cream together in a bowl. Soften the onion in the butter in a small frying or sauce pan on medium heat. Add the salt, pepper and spices to the onions and butter. Allow the spices to mingle for a little while in the pan and then add the cooked chicken and the can of mostly drained rotel (if you didn't use pre-cooked chicken you can cook the chicken in the spice mixture too, just wait to add the rotel until after the chicken is cooked). Allow the chicken to heat through and grease a 9x9 baking dish. Put just enough of the sour cream and chicken soup mixture to cover the bottom of the pan to make the tortillas stay put. Layer the corn tortillas on top of that (I would tear the tortillas in half to help get complete coverage of the pan). On top of the tortillas, I put some of the chicken mixture and them layered that with cheese. On top of that, I layered until I was out of chicke mixture tortilla, soup mixture, chicken mixture, cheese, tortillas, soup mixture etc... End with the tortilla and chicken mixture on top. Put a whole mess of chese on top. Put the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

When I started the recipe, I tried rolling the corn tortillas, but they were really dry and refused to roll without cracking, so I made a lasagna. I don't eat traditional lasagnas, but I will definitely make this one again. Even Matt (the King of flavorless food) liked it. I think I'm seeing a southwest trend in my recipe adventures... Hmmmm... Any way, I loved it! Try it, I know you'll love it too!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Graduation cannot come sooner

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like everybody else has all of these wonderful hobbies and activities, and all you ever seem to do is study? I am definitely having one of those days (especially after that awful biochem test Thursday that I studied about 45 hours for over the course of 4 or 5 days). I just can't figure out how to balance having a life with school. The two cannot possibly coexist. I'm going outside.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Four years? Seriously?

As of March 19th, 2009, Matt and I have been married for four years. Crazy, I know. I can't believe it myself. But, the date of the marriage license does not lie. And you know what the sad thing is? I forgot. Ok, ok, before you all jump down my throat I would like to say that I hadn't completely forgotten. I knew it was coming up soon and I kept thinking about it, because Matt had been hinting that he had something planned but he wasn't going to tell me what it was. But on the day of our anniversary, it totally slipped my mind. But, in my defense, I really didn't feel well. I had a migraine and when Matt came home, I was sitting on the floor because it was the most comfortable spot I could find that didn't make my head want to explode. Sweet thing that he is, he gave me a hug and and said, "Happy Anniversary."

The next day, Matt revealed his surprise: got got tickets to see the North Carolina Symphony!

That night, we went to dinner and then on to the symphony. The concert was pretty good. The program was as follows:
  • Anatol Liadov: Kikimora
  • Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
I really liked the first piece and the Tchaikovsky. I could have done without the middle one. It was really abstract with no clear melody. Call me old fashioned, but I like a good melody. Any way, we really had a good time.

I was thinking about all the things that have happened over the past four years. I've learned I should not be involved in snow sports, had surgery as a result of a snow sport, went to Australia, got a cat, Matt went to both Britain and India, got in to NC State, bought a house, and welcomed three new nephews. It's been a pretty busy four years.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Break : New Hampsire

*note: I'm sorry this has taken so long, but I seem to be getting busier and busier everyday. Bleh.

Once we were in New Hampshire, we set about deciding how to surprise our nephews Zach and Ryan. Adam and Jenny didn't tell their kids we were coming so we could surprise them when we got there. We ended up deciding on hiding behind their couch and then popping out and shooting them with nerf guns when they came downstairs. Jenny got a few pictures! It was great, at first, they boys weren't sure what was going on, but then it clicked! It was hilarious!

We then accompanied them to scouts that night and caught up with them and the kids. The next day, Adam had the day off from work, so we played outside in the snow. We made snowmen and had snowball fights with the kids! It was great!

The next day, we went back into Boston and went to the museum of science with the kids. We stayed for a while and then Adam took us back to the airport. It was great to see them and their kids. I haven't seen their whole family in a long time and I couldn't believe how big Ryan, Zach and Jessie were! They were so sweet and rambunctious! And of course it was lovely to get to know Wesley and Bryce better. It makes me wish that our families lived closer together. So, spring break was good and busy! Now, I'm going to go about keeping my head down and pushing through until the end of the semester. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Break: Boston

This spring break, Matt and I went to Boston and New Hampshire. I'd never really seen Boston and Matt's brother and his family live in New Hampshire. I was so excited while planning this trip! What I didn't think about was that it is still solidly winter in Boston this time of year. It was incredibly cold while we were there. So, we left Raleigh on Tuesday and stayed through Thursday and of course it was the coldest while we were in Boston and walking everywhere we wanted to go (because we chose to use the subway instead of renting a car or taking taxi's). We went to the aquarium, the Old North Church, the Paul Revere House (even though we didn't actually go inside) and saw Quincy Market. And on top of that we did a lot of shopping. I got some really cute black dress shoes and a cute red top. :) Here's a picture of us waiting for the subway.

And here are some adorable penguins at the aquarium. They were snuggling and holding "hands". :) I think the one of the left is playing hard to get.

Here's some of the signs inside of Quincy Market.

Any way, it was a lot of fun and our hotel was wonderful! When we checked in, I explained that I had accidentally booked a handicap accessible room and that we didn't really need it and if they could put us in the same, but non-handicap accessible room, that we would appreciate it. The lady at the front desk upgraded our room for free to one of the deluxe room with a panoramic view of the city. It was so beautiful!

The second night in Boston, we made a reservation at Top of the Hub for dinner. The restaurant is on the top of one of the tallest buildings on Boston and offers a panoramic view of the city. We had a wonderful dinner with a spectacular view! Unfortunately, my our camera was in my cost pocket which I checked before we were seated, so we didn't get any pictures. But the night was clear and the city was beautiful all lit up at night.

The next day, we took a commuter train to Lowell, where Jenny picked us up at took us back to their home. All in all, it was a great trip (even if it was cold) and I wish we had had more time to see things. I think I definitely want to go back when it's warmer to see more of the city!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Adventures in Paintland: The Room Saga (part deux)

This week is spring break!! I am ecstatic to have this time off. With all of this free time on my hands, I launched straight into project-mode. When we first bought the house, we bought a bunch of paint (because I couldn't stand the purple that was on the walls). We painted two rooms but then lost steam.

So, when spring break came 'round, I busted out the paint cans. Originally, I bought a blue-green paint for both the bathroom and the bedroom, but I decided that would be boring and re-purposed some tan (that was meant for another room) and decided to do two colors in the bedroom. We did tan on three walls and one accent wall with the blue-green color. It looks awesome.

And so, continuing in my effort to show more pictures of our house, I give you: the bedroom.

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