How to Make a Corsage or Boutonnière

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to post this but I thought I should.

About a year or so ago, Devin found out about a scholarship opportunity on campus.  You had to create some sort of how-to video for a new web site. Originally, Devin was going to do one on the basics of how to build a computer. Then he convinced me to do one, too.  We ran out of time and were only able to get mine finished (no thanks to the crappy web site we were doing it for).  So, if you feel like it, feel free to take a look.  We actually got a $500 scholarship so I guess it was worth it.  Shortly after the submission deadline, we realized that part of their award decision was based on the views and ratings of our post.  Of course we had to boost our chance to win and we emailed a link to everyone we knew.  I guess the owners of the web site were not smart enough to figure out where all the traffic was coming from and that several (or more) views and ratings was from the same person.  Their loss, right?


What does that mean?  During my fist few years at BYU I took two floral design classes, both from the same teacher.  If there was one thing she was extremely adamant about it would be the word “cheap”.  Never was a flower or green cheap, but it was inexpensive.  She explained cheap as being only partially related to cost.  Instead of just cost implications, it ultimately referred to the quality.  As an example, she would say that carnations are inexpensive compared to roses.  Are carnations crappy flowers that only last a day or two?  On the contrary.  They often will last longer than the more expensive rose.

Inexpensive, yes.  Cheap, no.


Recently I  was reading a blog that had a post talking about midwife birthing (have I mentioned that I disagree with nearly every theory and method they have about child birthing??).  What made me laugh was that it said that midwife care is a way to get care where “service is cheapest”.  Wait, what?  So what your saying is, if you could shop at a store for maternity care you’d rather go to Wal-Mart, and not Nordstroms? 

Oh, you crazy people. 


Now, I admit–I shop at Wal-Mart more often than I shop at Nordstrom.  HOWEVER,  I certainly don’t go to Wal-Mart to buy a bra.  That’s a big no-no.  Leave Wal-Mart for shampoo and deodorant. 

Ok, so Wal-Mart vs Nordstroms really isn’t the point.


Once again, I’m not saying that everything is wrong with midwife-like theories but the problems come when they are unwilling to combined their methods with modern medicine.  I think things like hypno-birthing  and more holistic care is great.  I just wish that both sides would do a little compromising instead of having all or nothing.   But since they don’t…yet…I’ll take the safe road. 

We are talking about two lives in danger here, people!

Happy 80th Grandma!

The 26th is Grandma Betty Counts’ (Devin’s dad’s mom) 80th birthday.  The family decided to make it very special by planning a huge surprise party for her on the 24th. We had a full dinner and of course, a big birthday cake.  For the exception of a few cousins, almost everyone was there.  Devin’s aunt’s and uncle flew in for the party.


It was held at the club house at Shawn and Megan’s complex.  We underestimated how many people would actually come so things were a little crowded but there was plenty of food.  We only had an hour to get everything set up and decorated so it was chaotic to say the least. But, we got everything set up with a few minutes to spare.  Dave (Devin’s dad) told Grandma that he would take her out for dinner but they needed to stop at Megan’s place to trade cars.  Some how he convinced her that they needed to go into the club house where everyone was hiding with the lights off.  Here are a few pictures just when we yelled, "SURPRISE!"


The last time we had nearly everyone together was about a year ago at Grandpa Joe’s funeral.  We decided that we really needed to take a few group shots at a happier occasion.  Devin and I got everyone set up for the picture.  It wasn’t easy getting all those hyper kids to cooperate for the picture but we actually got several great shots and you can kind of tell who belongs to who.  I won’t go through everyone but the ones seated are all of Grandma’s kids, Dave being the one on the far left.


 image image

    Jimmy, Dave                                                     Grandma, Robin        

  Patty, Grandma, Barbara, Kathy                                                                                     


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                                                                                    Devin and Aric



Our Fam

Devin put together a video montage of some pictures of Grandma and the family over the years.  It was fun to see pictures of everyone when they were little.  Now I know where Devin gets all his funny faces–his dad.

After the video and pictures, we did presents.  Our family got her 80 roses and a framed picture of the family at Grandpa’s funeral. 



It was fun to see everyone again and Grandma seemed to be really surprised and had a great time.

Oh the bathrooms

For those who are not familiar with the BYU campus, let me let you in on a few secrets about that bathroom situation. 

Not every bathroom is created equally.  There’s generally three types: the bathrooms in the exercise/health buildings, the bathrooms in the Wilk and then every other bathroom. 

For some reason, BYU thinks that people who are the health-type majors don’t care about the cleanliness or condition of the bathrooms that they use.  In the two health buildings, I feel like I am in my old middle school where you have to stuff TP in the hole where the door lock should be or hold the door shut while you are doing your business.  I’m surprised they don’t have that powdered soap to top it all off.  Oh, and you can’t forget the beautiful graffiti in the stalls.


Then, there are all the “other” bathrooms.  These are usually well kept, clean and all is functioning properly.  The doors shut.  There are hooks and/or shelves to put your stuff on.  There is nice foam soap, etc., etc.  In the “other” category, my pick for the best one would be in the library next to the periodicals.  That thing must have 30 stalls in it.  It’s crazy!


And last but definitely not least, there are the main bathrooms in the Wilk. Yesterday I had the privilege of using one.  They are actually smaller than I would recommend for such a busy building but man, have they done some upgrades lately.  Personally, I think these upgrades are over-the-top, verging on downright ridiculous.  But hey, who I am to judge where the tithing dollars go?  Here are the few things that I noticed about the place:


1. Automatic toilets. (I hate these BTW) Now, I am not sure if they were like that before but you will see in a moment why I just had to list this one for emphasis.

2. Automatic/sensor faucets.  I’m pretty sure these were new.  But big deal. You see these everywhere.

3.  Automatic/sensor soap dispenser.  This was definitely new.  I actually didn’t care for it much but whatever.

4. Automatic/sensor hand dryer.  Again, not a big deal.  But when you see and use this thing, you think, what the heck?  It’s a Dyson and it’s completely over the top.  Here is a link if you want to see what I mean. (the paper towel dispensers where already the kind that kick out another towel after you take one so why this was needed? I don’t know).

5. Automatic/sensor hand sanitizer dispenser.  Within the last year or so, BYU has installed hand sanitizer dispensers in all the bathrooms.  I guess the theory is, if they are not going to wash their hands (yuck), maybe they’ll opt for a quick squirt on the way out. Again, this one is automatic.  Superfluous really.

(here comes the kicker)

6. Automatic toilet paper dispensers.  Wait, WHAT?!  So I get why you would want auto a lot of things (like for sanitary reasons) but a TP dispenser?!  Last time I checked, I didn’t rub my hands all over anything besides the TP when getting the TP.  What’s the point?


So seriously, couldn’t they use the money on new locks in the health buildings instead of spending it on auto everything?  Oh, good old BYU.

What Not To Wear

I’m sure you all know what that means.  It’s a TV show on TLC.  It’s pretty much the best show ever!  We have cable again and I have a lonely two classes this semester so I’ve found myself wasting a lot of time watching TLC and the Food Network.  I know–what a waste. Especially since we have a 42" TV (furnished) and NOTHING is HD.  So sad.

Anyway, every time I watch WNTW I think how much I really need a new pair of jeans.  About a year ago I coughed up $17 for a pair from Kohls.  And like most $17 jeans, they have lost their shape, are too short to even get buy, the button hole is fraying, and etc., etc.  It’s just not worth the money I’d save to have to buy new jeans that often.

SO, today I went out to accomplish my mission.  I started at Downeast Outfitters.  They have some cute jeans and I figured I could find some under $50.  I tried on every pair in my size, the size up, and the size down (they lack a little consistency).  I found a pair that would work-ish.  I wanted them a little longer, and a lot darker. They were the best so far but I wasn’t convinced.  Surely there was something that would fit my apparently odd shaped bottom half.  I decided I’d just go to their other location and see what they had.  But first, a stop at the mall.

I needed a bra.  Not just any bra, but one that fit.  I went to Victoria Secret.  Yeah, no.  The sales people don’t know what they are doing.  My first clue was when I saw one measuring a girl over her oversized sweatshirt.  I told the girl what I was wearing and that I needed something bigger (sorry, is this too much info?). She proceeded to hand me something a size smaller.  Wait, what?  So after trying on a few, I decided I needed to go somewhere where a) they know what they are doing and b) they carry things in my size. 

I went to Nordstrom where I’d had great experiences and awesome bras before.  I wasn’t thrilled about spending so much but thinking how their bras lasted me a good three years as apposed to maybe two uncomfortable years with VS. The girl that works there was in our last ward and she totally knew what she was doing.  Needless to say, I left with a great bra that wasn’t anywhere near the size the VS girl said I was (or tried to put me in).

On the way out, I stopped at Shade, just for kicks.  I tried on a swimsuit top…nope.  As I was leaving I saw this cute tank top on the clearance rack: $3.99.  Oh what the heck, I’ll try anything on for four bucks! And I got it.

Next, the Gap.  Up until the last two years or so I used to buy many things from the Gap clearance racks.  But lately I’ve been disappointed for how little they actually had on them.  I looked around, found nothing, and started to leaven when….WAIT!  What is that?  Oh yeah–a good 20ft section of clearance stuff!  It was in the back of the men’s section, not the women’s.  Now that doesn’t make any sense, does it? So I took a peak, and BINGO!  An awesome pair of jeans at a great price.

So Stacy and Clinton, see how all this looks…



Nordstrom bra: $66 (yikes but totally worth it)

Shade tank: $4 (yeah, baby)

Gap jeans: $21 (score! dark wash, straight leg and everything)

khaki jacket: $21 (so I got this months ago but it goes, right? and did I mention "nipped at the waist"?)

Oh, and how do you like the new hair cut?  Not a drastic change (keep in mind it’s the end of the day after trying on a bunch of clothes) but it has a little more character than before.  Ok, so you can’t tell that by the picture at all but who cares, I like it. 

I’m pretty excited.




It’s all in the past

I like fresh food. There are very few things that I will even think about eating when it comes to food and expiration dates.  However, there are two exceptions to this rule: soda pop and canned food. I decided that drinking expired pop wasn’t that big of a deal because up until a few years ago, pop didn’t even have expiration dates printed on it.  Besides, not much can go wrong with sugar and water, right? I generally feel pretty safe with canned food as long as the can doesn’t look like it’s been dropped from a two story building and soaking in a mud puddle for the past few months.  Besides these two exceptions, I will almost always pass on anything that has expired and usually on things that are close to expiring.  I like fresh milk.  I usually will not drink plain milk unless it is within the first few days of opening a fresh jug.  Yes, there is a difference.  Same goes with bread.  I also won’t usually eat leftovers that more than a day or two old.

You might think all this is weird but let me tell you why.  I’ve eaten too much “day old”, expired, or “past it’s prime” food in my day.  One things is for sure, thank goodness for my parents who found plenty of ways to provide food for the family while times were tough. 

First off was the food storage.  My mom, bless her heart, spent plenty of time at one point in her life canning cherries.  To be honest, I am not sure when the last time was that she did that, or even if I had been born yet but I’d be willing to bet that there were still a few jars of home canned cherries that were tossed when my parents moved a few years ago.  With that in mind, I’d say the shelf life of those puppies were pushing at least 15 years. Amazing. 

And then there was Gleaners. Ah, Gleaners.  This was a community organization where you paid a small fee to belong to a club where the members when around and collected past date foods from local grocery stores.  Each member would take turns at doing the collections and bring it back to someone’s garage where other members could come and take what they wanted.  One of the rules was that when you did the collection, you had to bring everything back to the garage and then you could take what you wanted.  Of course the only way to get the really good stuff was to hide it before making the drop off of the goods.  That’s usually when we got things like cakes and other terrible-for-you pastries.

Oh, and then there was Papa Murphy’s Pizza.  Cari-Ann (my sis) and her high school boyfriend, Chris (still good family friend) both worked at Papa Murphy’s when they were 16.  At the end of the night, they were able to take home any extra pre-made pizza that was leftover from the night.  It wasn’t unusual for the food storage freezer to have half a dozen pizzas stacked up in it. Most kinds of Papa Murphy’s Pizza just isn’t a special treat to me because of this. Oh, and a little tip: it is sooo much better fresh than after it’s been frozen.

So you might be wondering, “what’s with the story?”  Well, this all brings me to the following: Milano cookies.  I received a package of Milano cookies today from someone who shall remain anonymous (and no, it wasn’t Devin).  Normally, I LOVE these (though my favorite are the mint ones, just in case you want to make a note). But then I saw this:


——–this is where you imagine a picture of the package of cookies———

——–with a nice close-up of the expiration date———-



Yes, 2008, not 2009.  So a full year past the expiration.  Then I think, well, aren’t these things usually good for a good year or two after you purchase them?  So, if they are already expired by a full year, that means that they were bought what?  Three-ish years ago?!  

So thanks, but no thanks.  But I guess it’s the thought that counts, right?

These are a few of my favorite things

Devin and I really like to go to any and all Divine Comedy shows.  Ok, so it’s a little freshman feeling but a few bucks is worth the candy and good laughs that we get at every show.  For those who don’t know, Divine Comedy is a school sponsored (you actually sign up for class for it) comedy show which they put on one or two performances each term.

Just a little background on this video, I think it was from about a year ago.  There seemed to be an epidemic of mustaches on campus.  BYU dress and grooming standards do not allow men to have beards but you can have mustaches.  It may not be as funny to anyone else who has not experienced the rediculous looking boys on campus with spotty ‘staches.

My favorite food

For Christmas Devin gave me a gift certificate to my favorite restaurant:  Ixtapa. There was one problem with that…it’s in Washington.  So of course the next gift was tickets to Seattle!

We only went for a four days of which we spent most of our time eating food. 

This is my favorite food ever!  Of course to be my favorite it has to be from Ixtapa. "Very hot plate" they always say.



This is my Devin showing off his burgers at the Ranch Drive-In in Bothell.


This is us in front of Maltby Cafe.



And this is us on the Mulkilteo waterfront.



And now we start our diets….


Just a quick blip about the holidays.

We spent Christmas Eve doing some baking.  I made two of the Sal family traditional treats:  pecan sandies and candy cane cookies. We also tried homemade marshmallows.  Last year my VT-ing partner made some and they were delicious.  Mine didn’t turn out like hers so maybe we will have to try a different recipe. 

On Christmas we had dinner at Devin’s parents’ home after which we did a gift exchange.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure where all the pictures went from all of this.

For New Year’s eve we were supposed to have everyone over to our place to play games and eat lots of good food.  For some reason, the plans got changed at the last minute.  There was a lot of confusion whether or not anyone should bring food and by the time we figured that we should, Costco was out of EVERYTHING.  Bummer.  So we ditched the party, went to Taco Time and went to bed.  Fun.

Speaking of goals

Last semester was not one of my favorites and that is probably an understatement.

The goal: survive

Grades: pass just enough so it counts

(in other words, no less than a C- in each class). 

Oddly enough things just seemed to work out.  From the extreme curve on tests (often exceeding a 10% increase which I gladly accepted) to “free” points just for showing up.  I admit, I was overwhelmingly nervous about my grade in one of my classes.  It is always scary when you check your score for a final and see “58%” next to your ID number. (not that it’s happened more than once…or twice). But when a 58% turns into a 73%, I’ll take it.


So, to sum things up the goal was a semester GPA of 2.0.  The results?  (drum roll please….)









3.13!  Two B’s and a B+, baby! 

Yeah, I’ll take that.