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Sunday, April 22, 2012

new shows & new friends

The reason why it's been a while since the last post is because the last two weeks have been a little crazy! The first week of the two I was getting ready for the next seven months to begin. While this week was week one of the next 28 weeks of my life... Tuacahn rehearsals started on Monday and it has been full speed ahead since. The shows, Hairspray and Aladdin, are going to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Sneak peak: lots of flying, water, fire, stunts, gorgeous costumes, special effects, 3-D movies and more! Tickets are already selling fast so be sure to get your tickets asap! It is going to be a stage production like nothing that's ever been done before!!!

Even though it has been an incredible and exciting week it has felt like the longest week of my life for some reason. I can't believe that it was only last Monday that I met my fifty new friends who I feel like I've known for years already! Everyone is SO nice and SO talented! I truly feel so blessed to be surrounded by such fantastic people everyday.

Yesterday we were let out of rehearsal a little early to go watch Lea Salonga- my childhood idol and vocal icon perform on the Tuacahn stage. Here's some of us from the cast before the show began.
I knew that it was going to be phenomenal, but it was even better than I expected it to be--and I had very high expectations! For those of you who may not know her name, she is the singing voice of Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin and the voice of Fa Mulan in Disney's Mulan and Mulan II. She has also performed in many Broadway shows and has earned Tony and Olivier Awards. She became famous at the age of 17 when she came to America from the Philippines and was cast as Kim in the original cast of Miss Saigon. Her voice in one word is perfection. Literally. I had chills or tears running down my face the entire time I was in her presence. Here's the best pic I could get. That's her right in the middle :)
It almost a spiritual experience when that God-given talent was coupled with the surrounding, majestic red rock mountains. You could hear an audible gasp in the audience as that flawless voice echoed off the canyon formations. I was stunned by every song she sang. I don't know how it's possible for someone's voice to be so seamless, rich, and musical all at once, but hers is just that and more because there are no words to adequately describe it. At one part of the show she asked our Aladdin, whose name is Dan, to come up on stage and sing A Whole New World with her. I'll admit that I was a little nervous for him because that's such a huge thing to do, but he's also a Broadway vet and I would've thought that they'd rehearsed ahead of time if I didn't know any better. If anyone ever has the chance to see Lea perform live, go! It will be one of the best moments of your life! It was for me.

A few more happenings......A couple of days ago a few of us were asked to film on a green screen for part of a scene that will be in Genie's song "Friend Like Me." Here's us in our "Deal or No Deal" attire. It is going to be a riot! We are actually in the 3-D movie that you will see if you come to the show! As you can see my shoes are undone because by the end of that six hour shoot I was pretty sure that my feet were going to break off! (The boy in the middle is Sam, our Aladdin understudy).
Epic Fail...Last Sunday my family was traveling through on their way back from San Diego. It happened to be Riley's birthday that day so my dad asked if I could have a cake ready for her when they got here so she wouldn't have to have a b-day without a cake. Especially because it was her BIG 13-teenager status! Because it was Sunday I had to mooch off of some of our neighbors for ingredients and figure out how to make a cake from scratch with GF flour-which was all we had. Let me also add that I have NEVER made a cake from scratch in my life, with GF flour nonetheless, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. To make a long story short, this is how it turned out...

The most embarrassing part about it... It tasted even worse than it looked! Luckily, one of my neighbors had a brownie mix that I hurried and whipped out. We all got a good laugh from it though! I'm going to have to redeem myself one of these days and figure out how to make a good GF cake from scratch to prove to myself (and my husband) that I can do it!

Last thing, so I don't completely humiliate myself or scare off anyone who may be looking for some good ideas on here. We made some dude crafts when Easton's brother Dawson came into town to visit us over his spring break. We searched all day for Clorox bleach pens and luckily Smith's saved the day. All you need is a bleach pen, contact paper, a shirt, and a blade cutter with something to cut it out on. Easton and Dawson found graphics online, then we printed it, cut it out of the contact paper, stuck it on the shirt and went to work with the bleach pen. After about fifteen minutes of letting the shirt sit and process, you can either do more bleach or give it more time until it's to the color you like, or if you like the color you peel off the paper and rinse it out with water. Throw it in the washer and voila! I think they turned out pretty rad!
Easton did the Houston Texans logo and Dawsie chose the ASU spear to look like his Springville Devils mascot! Good job team! It's been a good time these last couple of weeks!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MY Easter Extravaganza

So....this was pretty out of character for me to do, but I had a free day and I decided that it was time for me to learn some new skills that have nothing to do with singing or dancing or acting. I decided to raid the dollar store, Joann's, and Wal-Mart and come up with some cute, but not cheesy,  home-made Easter decor. Pinterest gave me some inspiration, but because I've never really done anything like this, I had  a lot of figuring out to do on my own. It was fun, but I'll admit that it took a lot longer than I thought it would. Probably because I did a lot of painting and I had to wait for it to dry in between coats. I'm SO not patient when it comes to this type of THANG either. However, I proved to myself that I can do crafting if I put my mind to it and I felt so accomplished that I had created something that wasn't there before. Trust me, if I can do this, anyone can!!! I can totally see why so many people are into crafting. Good times! 

My first project was to make a peeps wreath. I got 4 packs of peeps, a foam wreath, and toothpicks. First I painted it white in case there were not enough peeps to cover the holes and then I started at the top and poked those little critters all the way through and around until I ran out. I got some burlap and covered the inside of the wreath so I didn't have to buy more peeps. Then I made a little bow out of the burlap to top it off. Don't look too close or you'll see the imperfections, but it looks fine from afar. I was going for the Monet effect :)

Next, I found a bunny picture online that I turned into a stencil and painted it onto burlap. I put it into my freshly painted white dollar frame, and voila! Cutting out the stencil was the hardest part of that one, but I really love how it turned out. Here's the pic if you want to try it, I love her! Yes it's a girl, but if you want to make it a boy I think it'd be cute glue a bow on its neck. 

I also made some cute little holders (I know there's a better name, votives??) out of candle sticks and candle holders. I painted the bases brown and pasted it together with E6000 glue. I filled it with some grass, wicker balls, eggs, and pastel m&m's. Too bad that the only place we have to put them on is our TV, but I like how they all came together. 

My wreath was super easy. I got an already made wicker wreath base then bought some lace ribbon (2 different sizes for bow and wrapping), burlap ribbon, wicker balls, and eggs from Jo-ann's. I just messed around with the items, used some more of the E6000 glue, and came up with this. KINDA cute...I'm sure I broke a lot of wreath rules, but it was my first attempt so hopefully I can only go up from here! 

Lastly, I found this weird tree thing at the dollar store so I painted it white then painted some plastic easter eggs and strung them on. I only had black thread, but I should've used white because it would've looked a lot better. It's an Easter Tree! Get it? I don't think it's very cute, but it Easter-ish so it works for me! 


I hope you're proud of me because I was proud of me even though the hub was oh-so confused when he found me "crafting." Next to Christmas, Easter is my fav!!! So excited for this weekend! Let's just remember what Easter is all about. I read this article this morning and thought I'd pass it on. It's called "He is Risen." The title sums it all up, but I encourage you to take a sec and remember our Savior and what He has done for us. Copy and paste in your URL. HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!

http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/04/he-is-risen-a-prophets-testimony?lang=eng

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Conference Confections

Well, I can't believe that conference is already over. It is always such a treat and  I'm always a little sad when it ends because I enjoy it so much and look forward to it for six whole months. I literally start my countdown to the next conference the day that it ends. It always seems to come at the perfect time and never ceases to bring a renewed sense of well-being, hope, and motivation. There were so many amazing talks, as always, and I can't wait until they are published so I can read them all over again! I love our prophet, first presidency, and the apostles so much. I just wish I could give them all big hugs through the TV screen! (or in our case, because we don't have TV, our macbook. Thank heavens for the internet and live streaming).

Highlights that touched Easton and I:
* Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm—please apply the following: Stop it!”


* Jeffrey R. Holland: “There are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another. We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those."


Russel M. Nelson:  "A loving God has provided His children with physical and spiritual gifts. Each organ of the body is a wondrous gift from God—from the eyes to the heart and to the body’s remarkable ability to heal and renew itself."“Yet some people erroneously think that these marvelous physical attributes happened by chance or resulted from a big bang somewhere,” he said. “Ask yourself, ‘Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?’ The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions.”

I also love conference because it's a good time to make some goodies and lounge around with my hotness. Today was no exception. We made GF baked corn dogs and "Naughty" Chex Mix. For dinner we'll be having E's fav, chicken brocolli casserole and grilled pineapple...SO excited!

NAUGHTY CHEX MIX:


Ingredients:

  • 8 cups Chocolate Chex cereal (If you can't find them like me, I used 6 cups Rice Chex Cereal and 2 cups Cocoa Krispies.)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup MINI Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup caramel bits
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (more if you would like)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt.

Pour measured cereal into a large microwaveable bowl.

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.

In 2-cup microwaveable measuring up, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth.  Stir in baking soda until dissolved.  Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every minute.  Spread on cookie sheet.  Cool 10 minutes.  Break into bite-sized pieces.

Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn't melt). Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cups candy and mini marshmallows over the Chex mixture.

In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on high for 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth.  Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over Chex mixture.   Repeat with milk chocolate baking chips and again with the white baking chips.  Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all the chex mixture while candy drizzles are still wet.

Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.

GF CORN DOGS: 

Ingredients: 
Hot dogs
"Bob's Red Mill" Corn Bread Mix

This is the easiest thing ever! Spray mini muffin tins. Make corn bread as directed on label. Cut hot dog to fill bottom of muffin tin, pour dough on top. Make sure hot dog is covered. Watch it cook in the oven because it will not need to be cooked the full length that it says on the label. I left it in for 15 minutes. Top of corn bread should be browned.
Bob's Red Mill is found at most health food stores and some grocery stores. If you can't find it, you can use this corn bread recipe from the kitchen of Korinne Roberts: 

Combine: 2/3 Cup sugar, 1/2 Cup melted butter, 2 eggs. 
Add: 1 Cup butter milk and 1/2 tsp baking soda. 
Combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup GF Featherlight Flour, 1 tsp xantham gum, 1/2 tsp salt.
Bake in 8 inch glass pan @ 375 F. for 30 min. 

The best part is, it's baked, not fried! Last, I wanted to share a GF cream of chicken soup recipe (also from the Korinne Roberts kitchen) that I use all the time. Tonight we used it in our casserole, but this is a go to that is called for in a lot of recipes so I thought I'd share it! 
Ingredients:
1 c. cold milk
2 Tbs. corn starch
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper

1. Whisk milk and corn starch in a small sauce pan.
2. Add butter, bouillon, salt and pepper.
3. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer on low 1 minute to thicken. 

ENJOY!!!! HAVE A FABULOUS SUNDAY!!!!