Friday, June 29, 2007

Who knew milk was so important?

Being poor college students, we cannot currently afford to be very lavish in our food spending. That means a lot of pasta roni, soups, and salads for us. To break the monotonity, though, we aim to try and make one new special meal about every two weeks. We want to do it once a week, but so far just have not. We received some great cook books from Shane's family (thanks again) that are a bunch of 5 ingredient recipes, crock-pot magic, and bisquick recipes.

The bisquick one has been the least used so far so for tonight we chose from its pages. We cooked Mexican Corn and Bean Cakes and will tell y'all about that because the rest of our lives are boring. We thought it would give us something else good to write about on here plus if anyone thinks it looks good, then ask and we'll happily provide the recipe. On with the grub!

First off, I will explain today's title: who knew milk was so important? We started off mixing the bisquick, corn meal, and egg whites to make the pancake things. We mixed it all together and the batter did not look so pretty. You know there's a problem when the recipe says "pour batter into skillet" and we were stuck with dry crumbly dough. Not much pouring here.

"Maybe it just looks gross now," we thought. So we started cooking it up and these are the beauties that came out:

Nice, huh?

I could not for the life of me figure out how it was supposed to be moist with only 3 egg whites for liquid. Then, on closer inspection, we realized that we were supposed to add a cup of milk. Whoops.

We remade the recipe and here are the new and improved pancake-things:

I promise there is also more to the recipe than just pancakes. It is almost like a pancake sloppy joe sorta. Each serving uses two pancakes, one on bottom, then spread with refried beans, topped with another pancake, and then capped with a chunky salsa, corn, and cheese mixture. Here is the final product:

All told we enjoyed it very much. My only complaint was that the pancakes were slightly on the dry side (I'm used to drowing my pancakes in more syrup than cake!). We corrected that by pouring a little Ketchup on it and voila. Overall I give them a 7.5 out of 10.

But life lessons are so much more than just eating a good meal. Shoot, now we know just how important milk is and have some good duck-food at the same time.

This is up there with that one time about a month ago that I almost set the oven on fire. I walked into the kitchen to check on my cookings and realized that I couldn't see the kitchen window 10 feet away from me through the smoke. I believe the conversation went something like this:

" we have a smoke detector?"
"Yeah, why do you ask?"
" reason...on an unrelated note where is it?"

Then I rushed off to unplug the battery. Don't worry, she very quickly realized what was going on. The food was perfectly fine and tasted great, some dripped onto the bottom of the oven though and smoked out our apartment. For a while it made our apartment smell like we smoked two packs a day. We just prayed that no ward members would come by and visit during that time.

Praise the heavens for Febreeze! Spray on, freshness-lovers, spray on!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What happens in Vegas

I guess I will break the common terrible jingle that you hear about Vegas by talking about our experience instead of letting it stay there.

First off, a picture! Here we are at the bridge outside the New York New York. After being in REAL New York, I must admit they did a fantastic job reinventing the feel of it.

This next one is for Leanna...that is unless she isn't a huge fan of Egyptian stuff anymore, in the which case, she can just ignore the next few, or deal with them. Here we are with a giant statue. I'm trying to look like the statue, but apparently I didn't do so well at letting Crystal know that was the plan because here I am trying to look rigid and statue-like and she is just looking beautiful instead. You can't win 'em all.

Also, while we're on the Egyptian theme, there were these really ugly goat horse things next to the big statues. Plus I don't think many people have met Nate and Jess before so here's a picture of them. Can you tell Nate's in the military?

Oh right, I'm supposed to be talking about Vegas, not just showing pictures. Crystal did a fantastic job at telling most of it so I'll see what I can add.

I'm supposed to mention the food part of it. Everyone who reads this is well aware of my obsession with eating delicious food. It will come as no surprise, then that I absolutely loved the food part of Vegas. Super quality super cheap buffets everywhere. If you know when you want to eat too, you can get even cheaper. There were places offering steak and lobster buffets for 8 dollars each as long as your willing to eat between 9 and 11pm at night. We decided to go to the Excalibur for lunch. Mainly because that's where we were when we were hungry. I can describe the buffet as incredasweet with all the options I could want. I ate everything from a Mexican taco to orange chicken and italian sausage. They even had roast beast and all the salads you could imagine.

Then I found the desert bar.

We started out by bringing just about one of everything over to our table. We all tried them and found out what we each liked best. Then we went back and I got multiples of everything I liked. That means three more carrot cakes, some eclairs, brownies, and cookies. Not to mention the ice cream. In all likely hood, I ate my cost (and Crystal's!) many many times over. After our delicious meal we had to wait around for another 10 minutes or so for everything to settle before we moved on.

One more Vegas comment is that it forced me to walk properly. Being rather tall, I learned in New Jersey that I have to watch the ground when I walk. It has a nasty habit of jumping out at me and tripping me up if I am not constantly on my guard. Kinda causes disasters when you're trying to keep street cred in the ghetto otherwise no you get no teaching. I continue my down-trodden way of walking today. Well, in Vegas, we very quickly learned NOT to look down at the ground when walking on the strip. I kept my eyes up thinking that would be better. You all know that didn't last long at all. So I spent the rest of the time looking straight forward or at Crystal. Never fear though, I've resumed my awkward gait now that we're home.

Now for one more picture. We had to go for the classic picture of Las Vegas. You can't even make us out in this picture, so this one is more for the scenery. Notice the strategic positioning of the camera so as not to include the giant video display directly across from "Vegas Vick".

Monday, June 25, 2007

We made 40 bucks in Vegas...

This weekend we went to Vegas with our friends, Nate and Jess. Nate is from Vegas- so we were fortunate to be able to stay at his parent's house for free- meaning: this trip was going to be pretty cheap.

We left at around 6pm on Friday- seeing as both Jess and I got off of work a little after 5pm. We packed our bags and of course our "goodies" and we were on our way. After stuffing our faces and a pit stop later we arrived at around midnight. The glow of Las Vegas was amazing. It definitely lived up to the hype of the "city of lights". We realize that most of you have already been at least once- so this is no news to you- but we thought it was cool.

Anyways, after driving down the strip to see all the lights we went to Nate's parent's house- dropped our stuff in the rooms, brushed our teeth and flopped into bed and before we knew it- we were up again. We left the house around 10am and it was already 90 degrees! We decided that we would hop from casino to casino so we could cool off and get waters.

We started off at the Belagio and headed down the strip from there. The themes in the buildings were amazing. We hit the Luxar, excalibar, NYNY, Paris, Mirage, tahition, treasure island, MGM Grande (which is where we got $40), caesar's palace... You have to remember though, I am 4'11". I was with people who were about 6' tall (or taller)- meaning- when they sped up just a bit- I'm running along side of them... no really. It was quite embarassing- usually when we were crossing an intersection. It's alright though- I got more exercise, right? I guess it'a a good thing I was jogging a bit- I never had problems with the sketchy people on the sidewalk trying to hand out "things".

Before I bore you- I will explain how we got $40- and we weren't even gambling! When we walked into the MGM a guy hounded us with free tickets and we took them not really knowing what they were. We had to go watch a show for a half hour and then rate it. We figured that we had been walking long enough- so sitting in the AC would do us some good. We got our tickets checked by this lady and we sat down in a room and watched the most boring show in the entire world. It was a new Saturday Early Morning show in NY- I like the news and things like this- but this was horrible. I fell asleep! Afterwards we had to fill out a survey about the show and what we thought. Then we were told that we were eligible to get $20 ea. We went to another room with a crazy lady and sat at computers and she treated us like we were 4yrs old. It was the 4 of us along with a few old people. the survey was all about how we felt about people keeping track of what we watch on TV and what we do on the internet. At the end, Jon walked by when I was about to finish and he pointed at my screen and the lady almost ran him down because she thought he was answering something for me. Then she commented on how we were from BYU and how she had this friend who went there and got married, dropped out and has like 6 kids. She was gloating in glory that she was 30, single with no kids and having the time of her life- so she said. This left us feeling a little awkward... but she handed us envelopes- each with $20 cash! So all in all- we only spent $40 for our whole trip. :-)

I will let Jon write about other stuff that we did including the buffet- because we all know how much he loves food, I'm still not sure where he puts it all. We made it home safe Sunday evening and we had a blast.

Here are some photos.

This is us pretending we got to go to disney land... close enough. :-)

And of course... the Ocean 11 picture... almost. :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lousy Interweb

If we are ever able to maintain internet for more than two days a week I promise we will be slightly more frequent in the posting department. That being said, I will briefly give our plans for the near future:

Viva Las Vegas
Nate is from Vegas so we are carpooling down there with him and his wife, Jess. We'll spend the weekend there staying at Nate's parents house. Then we'll explore vegas and all the free stuff etcetera. It will be an opportunity for Crystal and I to visit Vegas for the first time for each of us for (I use "for" too much) really cheap with a great guide.

Partying with the Big Wigs
Crystal gets to go to a welcoming party with Comcast a week from today. She impressed everyone at her interview and now gets to shine at her little party. We also went to Comcast this Tuesday to drop off Crystal's new license (she's finally a full Criddle!) and social security card and they were amazed again (they are really excited for her) so I'm not too worried about her party.

That just about sums up the big exciting parts of our lives. Vegas and Crystal's party, though I don't get to go to the second one. Life is wonderful, we are happy, and things couldn't be better.

Except maybe our internet...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Living Room Version 2.0

Being newlyweds, it's understood that we like to snuggle. That being true, we have still been hoping to get a new couch with slightly more room than our loveseat. We like the love-seat and we like to snuggle, but let's face it, I'm an ogre and take up mucho spaco. So we were elated when our hometeacher called last night and asked if we wanted his old couch (they just bought new ones). It came with a slip cover, which I had previously no idea what they were, no matter how many explanations C gave me. I just always imaged the water/child proof plastic covers that made my life terrible in the no AC summers of New Jersey. Here is the picture of the new addition to our living room. I swear it's no where near as ugly as it looks in this picture I took...I'm just a terrible photographer. And we need to readjust the cover after sliding it around all morning.

We understood the dire need for the cover when we peeked underneath and found this beauty. Now I know I'm all retro and plaid can be cool, just remember, that's the back corner of the couch and the nicest looking section of plaid, or "Gangham" or "Gig'em" or something as Crystal says it's called. Whatever that means. The rest of the couch is more worn out. The cover's nice though! We went to target today to look into getting a matching cover for our loveseat and were shocked to find them costing 80 dollars...So we just bought a new scrub brush for washing dishes and left with our tails between our legs.

Now that we found ourselves with two couches in our living room, we needed some remodling. In hindsight we should have taken 'before' pictures to throw in with our 'after' pictures, but looks like y'all dodged that bullet. Now that we have moved everything around, we are proud to present our living room version 2.0.

This picture is superdark because of the light coming into the window but atleast y'all can see where we put both couches. The loveseat now resides under the window. That's Crystal's hard earned diploma in the top right. Those are also new curtains we got for like 4 dollars at walmart. If you also look next to our door you will see a contraption holding our mail. At Ikea a couple weeks ago we found it, it's actually a "kitchen pot lid holder", though we can't for our lives figure out someone would use it for that purpose, but it holds our bills (with dates to remind us every time we leave the house), movies to return to blockbuster, etc. Handy.

Here I am standing in the door looking in. On either side of the clock is the Family Proclamation and our wedding certificate from the temple. Also, as you can see, we moved our massive entertainment center (thanks again beth!) to being perpindicular with the window.
Continuing on you have the piano with all Crystal's piano books, she is currently using and goiug through them, we just had to close them when we moved the piano from under the window. Also, notice the bouqwteyiwet also known as crystal's flowers adorning the piano making it look nice. We also put our reception flutes and a picture of us feeding cake to each other there. Now that y'all are all gagging I'll move on.
Please ignore the supre messy computer desk and kitchen table. In the process of moving, many things were displaced and we have yet to return them.
One last apartment picture is taken from just in front of the computer showing all the open room we still have now having two couches. Go us!
And one last picture overall is to show just how spacious the new couch is. Here it is with me laying on it to show off it's length. Oh yeah, and I'm fanning myself with all the money we saved from getting the couch for free...yeah...that's right...all ones, baby.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tonight, Jon and I decided to support a good friend of ours that is currently in the play, "Your a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" at BYU. The play pretty much stuck to the comics and they did a good job at it. However, I wanted to note their costumes. First, the set was a GIANT Lego set and that was really neat. Their clothes were made out of foam and so were their wigs. In the picture above that is "Linus" and "Lucy" Lucy was played by our friend, Makenna. The boys wore shirts that went to their knees and then shorts under it and it made them look like kids. the girls wore dresses and big bows in their hair. their shoes were also really neat- they were big and squishy. And of course, Snoopy was very lively.

Other good news: our friend, Jordan called us today and told us that he and his wife are getting rid of their couch because they are getting new furniture. So, we're getting a really great couch (3 seater) for free!! It beats our ugly love seat that sinks to the floor... hehe. Well, it was in an apt. of boys before it landed up in our living room- what do you expect? So, we're moving that in tomorrow morning- we're really really excited. So now we have to rearrange our living room again. We have our piano, a book shelf, our entertainment area (thanks Beth!), a computer desk and filing cabinet and i'm not sure how we're going to move everything around. So, Jon is sitting here hammering away at 10:30pm at our bookshelf that's falling apart- it's a good thing we're in an apartment complex because no one is going to hear us and come knocking on our door yelling at us. eh, it's alright- it's a Friday night- that's our only excuse.

Then tomorrow- we are going tubing down the Provo river with our friends, Nate and Jess. We've never been- it should be fun. It's supposed to be really hot tomorrow- i'm just afraid of how cold the water will be. At least I don't have to work, right?


A better, longer post will be up either later today or tomorrow. We apologize for the delay to all you dedicated fans. You see, our internet has been down since Sunday and just now came back on.

Needless to say we are counting down the days and excited for when our benefits finally kick in and we have far far better internet for free.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What would have been

For our first planned date together (way back when, I know!) I had invited Crystal to go bowling with me. At first, blinded by my good looks and charm, she accepted. After I left, however, she developed second thoughts. Not about my looks of course, but about bowling. So she used her womanly wiles to convince me that we should go putt putt instead. For anyone who does not know what "putt putt" is, it is better known as mini-golf. Putt putt is just funner to say.

So we had an amazing time, topped off by a game of pool in her apartment clubhouse. I have since told her many times that it was her madd skillz at pool that made me fall in love with her. In honor of that lost first date of bowling, and for lack of better ideas for activites, on Friday night, we decided to relive "what would have been!"

Crystal spend no less than 10 minutes preparing me for her expected failure at bowling. "Last time I bowled, I only scored a twenty!"(in a high pitched girly voice). She vowed that she they only have candlepin bowling in NH, not 10 pin. Candlepin is a bizarre form of bowling. The ball is the size of a croquet ball and you get three rolls per frame and the pins look like candlesticks...hence the name, I'm sure you figured that out though.

I took the opportunity to give Crystal a 20 second lesson on how to hold a bowling ball and which fingers to put in which holes and where...after she broke a couple fingernails holding it wrong. She then proceeded to rock my world in bowling. The second game she even led for like the first 5 frames. That is until I hit all those strikes. *rubs fingernails on chest in bragging fashion* Yeah all those strikes means one.

Anyways, all told it was a fantastic fun time, and I made sure to inform her, that if we had bowled for our first date, I would have fallen in love with her madd bowling skillz and broken nails.

Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures at the alley, so I am including a few from our summer including our lagoon trip.

Here's my windswept beauty at Galveston

Next comes the pictures from out hotel when we went to Lagoon. Here you see the fantastic photographer

Here I am finally in front of "Ye Olde Blacksmithe"

I know these pictures are pretty repetitive, but here's Crystal from the top of the Ferriswheel, beautiful area surrounding.

And last but not least, we have this little gem. This is what we found in our dumpster yesterday. Complete with lights and tinsel and those wrap-around wreath-things. Now I know that it's good to keep the spirit of Christmas around at all times, but come on. That's a real tree sitting in the trash can that's been rotting in someone's apartment for the last, oh, 5 months. Let's keep the spirit, and not the tree.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Go benefits....

Today was my interview with, Comcast. The interview started at 3 and went till 5pm- not to mention- I got there at 2pm because there was a storm and wanted to give myself plenty of time to get there (aka: read Harry Potter in the car). It was a group interview, so that was a little different. It went very well though- I will spare you the details and just cut to the good part...

I got offered a position on the spot!! After all of the group stuff we got to meet one-on-one with the people we were working with and after my interview- they sent me back into an office and then came back 5 minutes later and asked me back into the previous room and they offered me a job then and there. I start training on July 16th. It's 7 weeks of training- not to mention it starts at 6am!!! BLEH! Oh well, so... Jon and I are REALLY excited! YAY!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

All we want is your free crap

Everyone always hears about how bad the presentations for timeshares are. They show a video and then pressure you immensely making sure everyone in the room hears about when someone else buys. The point is to make you feel like "everyone else is doing it so now it's your turn". Why do people always attend these things then one might ask. The answer is in how they give away free stuff for going. The catch is they try to guilt and pressure you mucho. After reading this introduction and the title to this post, I'm pretty sure everyone has figured out that Crystal and I just did this, but before you tell us it was a bad choice, let me first tell you all about it.

Crystal and I were already planning on going to the Anniversary Inn later this year, hopefully close to our anniversary of course. For anyone who doesn't know what Anniversary Inn is, it is bed-and-breakfast themed hotel rooms meaning your room is just like being in a log cabin, or on a jungle safari etc. They are just fun. We heard about the time share thing when we were at Lagoon last week and had a quick little discussion among ourselves. We figured we're planning on going to Anniversary Inn anyways, and this way, we would be able to do it for free if we listen to their little shpeel. We knew there would be a lot of annoying pressure to spend our money, but let's face it...we didn't have money to spend anyways so how can their offer be even the least bit tempting?

True, eh?

So we agreed and yesterday drove up to South Jordan for "The Presentation!" Bum bum BUUMM (scary music)!!! We also had to drive up there anyways because it was the same exit Crystal needs to go to her interview on Wednesday and we wanted to scope out the drive, so everything really worked fantastic-like.

It started off with us meeting our representative for 5 minutes so he can try and figure us out and prepare a personal package to butter us up with. Then we go back to a big room for a group presentation and video about how amazingly awesome using timeshare is blah blah blah and if you don't purchase, then you obviously don't love your family. It really wasn't too bad though. After that little shindig, we return to our representative who is anxiously awaiting us.

He proceeds to try and show how not buying is a crime and asks if basically want to remain criminals or buy his little package. We shot him down nicely. Nothing he said really bothered or even slightly enticed us. You know we did something right when at the end of his offer he says, "You know, I feel like there's just this wall that I can't overcome." We just thought to ourselves, "We really just want your free crap."

Don't worry, we were very kind and polite in adamantly refusing their offers. There are far more important expenses for us in the next 5 years then trying to payoff a timeshare. Besides, it's more fun to visit family.

And now that it's all said and done, I must say that I'm really glad that we did it. The pressure wasn't nearly as bad as we expected, and I ate plently of free hotdogs and chips to make it worth my while. We learned several things:
1. Information about timeshares which was interesting though not really tempting right now
2. has no clue where comcast is (but we do now!)
3. And we just saved ourselves about $150 by spending 90 minutes saying no.

Friday, June 1, 2007

No more riding on flat tires and a hopeful job

So, for the past month I have been applying to a lot of jobs. One of the ones I applied to was Central Utah Clinic. I faxed my CV and resume and then called about a week later and left a message. I have since called a few more times and left messages... no one has called me back- very professional. I also applied to Comcast. I did this online and there wasn't a contact name or number. I was getting a little worried about it and all the numbers I had found to call was to a representative and they were no help at all.

Then today- Jon and I went on a bike ride. It was really exciting- we finally got an air pump so we're not riding on flats anymore (It's like riding on squares!). When we got home I found a message on my phone and Comcast had called with a contact name and number. I called back and... I HAVE AN INTERVIEW ON WEDNESDAY!!! I'm so excited. I hope that I have a chance. Pray for us! yay!!