Friday, December 10, 2010

My Tree Skirt (I'm so domestic!)

Ok, so this tree skirt was super basic and it didn't even require a sewing machine, I just sewed everything by hand, but I am dang proud of it. It's a little lopsided, the stitching is a little off, I failed at ever making the french knots that I originally intended on using for the berries and parts of it are already fraying...but hey, it's my first sewing project. :) I decided I was going to do it and I did! The fact that I finished a project is an accomplishment in and of itself!

I was originally planning on stitching multiple little holly leaves, but got really tired after doing this batch. So I thought " maybe I'll add a batch every Christmas and make it a tradition" aka "i'm really tired of doing this and I don't want to stitch any more holly leaves."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our Ward Christmas Party!

What Great Who- Parents!
      Tonight our ward put on play based on the famous children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was a great play with amazing costumes, props and sets. Since Jason and I were on the activities committee, we got to help out a lot, including being part of the play! Between setting up, making food and buying last minute items, I was running around like crazy this week, but it all turned out very well. I'll admit, I'm super glad it's over because now I can focus my attention to other things... like sewing my very first Christmas tree skirt! woohoo!!!

This is a glimpse of what the set looked like. The Grinch is on the left, playing the role of Santa Claus at this point and those two girls in the middle were two our  "who-children." 

 And I can't forget to mention that this ward party marked a very significant event for me: I made my very first funeral potato casserole, a true Mormon tradition. I have now officially been inducted into Mormon culture!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Webinar on Turning Pictures into Paintings!

On December 7th, my mom is going to be hosting an incredible webinar explaining how to turn pictures into digital oil paintings. She is incredible. As an illustrator for 20 years, she has a lot of experience and I know she is going to do great in this field. She is a self-taught digital painter  and her paintings her beautiful. I am so excited for her!
Here are a few of her websites:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a snow version of Uncle Ico!
       There is nothing like having the family together for the holidays. Maybe it's because I'm just getting older and therefore more mushy and sentimental, but I really like being with family. I wasn't always like that. There is no group of people I would rather be with to celebrate special occasions than with the one that knows me the best, can share the longest running inside jokes and who I can give noogies to!
      It snowed again today--another weird occurrence for this area. Dad, Rachel and Jonny went outside to play in it while Mom and I got to cooking ( and boy did we cook!). They built this big snowman which they then carried up in pieces and assembled on our balcony. It looked just like Uncle Ico! By the afternoon it had warmed up enough so that the snow started melting, but there was enough on the ground to create the holiday "mood."
      Naturally we stuffed our faces, like the gluttonous Americans we are, then we went on a scenic drive to show everyone how beautiful it is around here. When we got back, because we hadn't consumed enough calories, we busted out the apple crisp pie and pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped cream. Hmm Hmm! What fatties!  I went ahead and put up our little Christmas tree too! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Me and Laverne! First snowman of the winter.
                   Living in Provo I learned quickly that snow is not that big of a deal. It snows, the snow plows come, the salt is thrown on the ground. Done. However, when we moved up here to the Seattle area, we were informed that such is not the case here. Apparently there are a total of like 4 snow plows for the whole county and let's not forget that salt is bad for the environment so the greenies up here wouldn't dream of putting that on the roads!     
               So when it does snow, it's a big deal. A BIG DEAL. In fact, it's a fiasco. Jason received orders at work today to go home early because it was snowing, even though there was maybe a millimeter on the ground. Jason's boss a few weeks back told him to stock up on food storage ( and he's not even LDS!) because if it snowed, the roads would be shut down! Then there is the matter of keeping an eye out for crazy Seattle drivers who are swerving, going way too slow or simply just parking their cars on the side of the road because the 1/2 inch of snow is more than they can handle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Can't Wait for My Family to Come!

             The Gallos are rolling into town this next week to spend Thanksgiving with us! How exciting! Haha, we are all going to be staying in our one room apartment so it's going to get a little on the cozy, snug side. But it's all good, we'll make it work. The plan right now is for mom and dad to have our room, Jason and I are going to sleep on a air mattress in the living room, Rachel will have the couch and Paul and Jonny can either share another air mattress or fight over who gets to sleep on the other couch ( not that it's very comfy). It might get a little tricky with only one bathroom though...
            In preparation I gotta clean our little house ( which doesn't take long) and do a big grocery shopping to get enough food for Thanksgiving and to feed all the hungry mouths! It's all worth it because I am SO excited to have my family up here to see our new place in Washington. :)           

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Perfect Plate of Fudge

This is what we would like our finished product to look like! So far it hasn't...
Jason and I have been trying to master the somewhat difficult art of making fudge. We are trying to exercise our culinary prowess in time for Christmas. Our plan is to make lots of holiday cookie plates for people and, as is tradition, no good plate should be without  a couple of pieces of holiday fudge. So we've been practicing... The first batch was...bad. Never solidified and it was super grainy. The second batch actually succeeded in solidifying...a day and a half later. It at least had the smooth fudgy texture. We will keep persevering!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jason Has His Own Website!

After some encouragement and nudging from me, Jason signed up for his own domain and created a website where he will blog about techie stuff. I wanted him to do this because he's really smart and excels at absorbing knowledge--knowledge that he gets from everyday work as well as from things he discovers and learns about on his own time. Unfortunately, the poor kid is stuck with me as his less-than-captive audience. Computer techie stuff is not my forte, nor my great interest in life, so a lot of stuff that he tries to explain to me gets blocked by a "zone-out" wall that I put up, if the information doesn't go right over my head to begin with. My eyes glaze over and I start thinking about other things. him having his own blog/website, he can now pass on his knowledge to anyone who might be searching for it online.
Check it out!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This is the first year that Jason and I actually did dress up in costumes! I was a Gypsy ( NOT a Romanian gypsy; they don't actually look like what we are used to seeing in the movies) and Jason was Michael Bleuth from Arrested Development. ( No one knew who he was) This year we were also on the activities committee for the Halloween Party--in other words, we had to go and participate rather than coming late, eating the food and running out before anyone saw us! Jason and I were in charge of the fish pond--probably the easiest Halloween game anyone can play. Simply lower your line and a toy will magically "get caught" on your line (the 'magic' performed backstage by Jason). It still seemed to be a difficult concept for some kiddies, I'm not sure why. Maybe the element of surprise can just be too overwhelming. Anyways, we had a great time and we've been gorging ourselves on candy all weekend. Oh, ironically, because I didn't really have any candy for trick-or-treaters on Halloween and I didn't want to worry about running out, we turned off all the lights and even taped a pillowcase over the small window on the front door. We are such weirdos!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Percy the Pumpkin

Every Halloween it is a Casebolt family tradition to carve a pumpkin. Ok, when I say it's a tradition, this is our third Halloween together and c'mon, who doesn't carve a pumpkin at Halloween? Call it whatever you like, it's fun to do! Jason decided this year to add to the tradition by frying up some pineapples and topping them with brown sugar. YUMMY! Now he will have to make them every year, because they were that good. We also roasted the seeds, which is a first for me. :) Neither of us is very original so we did our pumpkin up in the good ol' fashioned jack-o-lantern style. But hey, he's cute, and he shall be henceforth known as Percy, Percy the Pumpkin.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall is here!

Redmond is so beautiful right now! The sun has been shining and all of the deciduous trees are bursting with color. I think it's especially beautiful when you can contrast the bright red maple tree leaves with the rich green pines that are right behind them. Ah.... it's so romantic! I gotta bust out my watercolors and try another sad attempt at capturing this!
Jason and I went on a little walk the other day on a trail by our house. I was stopping and taking so many pictures that Jason finally turned to me, exasperated, and said, " Are you going to talk to me or just take pictures??" Poor kid. He lives with such an eccentric wife! I can't help it that I am drawn to beauty! I wish everyone could see it the way I do. Or that I at least had some sort of device capable of capturing the essence of fall in Redmond right now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Savvy Shopper- My $25 purchase

When we moved to Seattle, Jason and I decided that it was high time we started taking advantage of all those wonderful coupons out there for our grocery shopping. We subscribed to the Seattle Times just to get the coupons. For those of you who don't know, there are grocery store coupons and then coupons put out by the manufacturer of the product. If you can find both for a certain item, you can usually use both. So if a box of cereal is normally $2.99 and you find a store coupon which says take $.50 off and then you find a Kelloggs manufacturer coupon for that brand of cereal and it says take a dollar off, then essentially you can take off $1.50 from that $2.99! Usually the deals aren't that amazing, but sometimes you come across some sweet deals.
So this week, I did part of my grocery shopping on Wednesday and went to two stores. Between the two I spent a total of $25! I got 15 items which included brand names like nature valley, fiber one and kellogg's --and I even got a roast!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Take a Hike!

Much to our delight, the gloom and doom as predicted by Seattlites was postponed a little more when we woke up on Saturday to a glorious sunny warm day! Jason had done some research and found out about a state park a hour northeast of us that had some good hikes. So like the good Seattlites that we are, we decided to take advantage of the weather and go hiking! Can I just say how much I LOVE the forests of western Washington? Everything is so green and lush. We walked past tall pines trees covered in moss with ferns growing all along the forest floor. It was stunning. The end of our hike rewarded us with a beautiful view of some waterfalls.

I thought this was kind of funny. I don't know why I always get a kick out of signs like this.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ode to a Watercolor

How I wish I could water color,
Let me count the ways!
To hold a brush,
mix some paint,
and create a beautiful landscape!
But alas! My dreams and wishes
are far greater than my skill.
And my feeble artist's hand
struggles to meet my expectations still!
I will practice,
I will persist.
Yet my heart cannot resist
the hope that someday,
my hand will succeed
and all my dreams fulfill!

I have attempted to take up the art of water coloring. I remember starting at a young age with my mom leaning over me, showing me how to tape up the sides, blot my brush and make a wash. She was my best teacher. I dabbled with it again in high school, with some promising results. But then I went to college. Apparently there were a lot more important things to do than keep up my art skills. Woe to me.
But it's never to late to start up again, so that is what I have begun! I figured that if I am to paint a picture that comes close to resembling Mt. Rainier, I should probably practice my technique and form a few times ( and a few more times) before I attempt that.
So far, I don't have much to show. In fact, I hesitate to show anything I've done so far until I've practiced a bit more ( and then a bit more). Perhaps I will post my earlier work later on, if I've improved, to show a "before and after" post. Perhaps.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Salmon for Lunch

On Saturday Jason, Waylon ( Jason's friend) and I went to the Ballard locks to see if we could catch a glimpse of the jumbo salmon swimming up stream. The last time Jason and I went we saw little cute fishies about the length of my forearm. This time we saw the big guys. Salmon easily two feet long and weighing 20 pounds! But the coolest part of the whole trip was watching a sea lion have his lunch. He knew where to find all the salmon, and an easy meal. Crowds of people looked on as he ripped salmon apart, flinging them in the air. I thought it was pretty cool, but apparently the local Native American tribe trying to fish the salmon didn't think so. They threw a bomb into the water that went off with a loud explosion under water, meant to scare off the sea lion. But can you blame the poor guy? I know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but if you know how to get one easily why not, right?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Back!

OK, so this all feels really familiar. Last summer we moved up to Seattle for Jason's internship and I was jobless for about two weeks. I feel like this is happening all over again. Jason just started his new job at Microsoft and I am hanging out. Not that there isn't a lot to do, because there is! In fact, now I have time to do the things I only talked about doing. Ya know, we all say it "when I have more time" or "one of these days I'm gonna..." Well that extra time has come for me. So here is my short list of things I would like to do. Some of them are more practical than others, some of them are fears I need to conquer and some of them are skills I would simply like to finely tune.

Learn 5 new songs on the guitar
Find a piano somewhere and practice twice a week
Bake a new recipe once a week
Read the Book of Mormon in Spanish
Organize my pictures into photo albums
Make a scrapbook (whoa!) of our road trip this summer
Work out DAILY
Finish John Adams
Read all 7 Harry Potter books before the movie comes out
Plant a little potted garden
Write in my journal daily
Do a watercolor of Mt. Rainier

Hm... I'm glad I wrote that down. Now I'm gonna have to hold myself to it. Ya know, I could get used to this whole housewife gig...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What Lovely Flowers!

Jason started his floral design class last week and this week he had his first lab. I am holding the results! He made sure to have a focal point with colors that highlighted it--I'm so proud of him, and I got some dang good-lookin' flowers! Watch out Martha Stewart, here comes homemaker Jason Casebolt!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gone Snowshoein'

On Saturday we got to use our new snowshoes that we got for Christmas.We didn't do anything too wild like tramp across the back of Timpanogos or hike up a glacier, but we did hike all the way up to the Y! Half way up it started snowing and it was all so beautiful! I love when it snows. It is so quiet and calm. Even though the snow wasn't more than a foot and a half deep at the deepest points, it was still really fun! What a way to spend our Saturday afternoon!