Monday, December 31, 2012

Aviator Glasses on My Face, Tambourine on My Head, and Confidence in My Heart

I've been thinking a lot about how I've changed over the past year. So far, I've come up with little to share, but I did dig up this beauty while cleaning. 

In eleventh grade, Ms. Sanderson, my favorite English teacher, assigned us to describe ourselves using this Mastercard ad. Hopefully it's big enough for you to catch the detail. I'm surprised at how little things have changed since then.

Friday, December 28, 2012

This Cookie Dough Cake Is An Event

Perhaps you'll remember how I made Super a 108 Oreo Cake to celebrate his successful completion of midterms?

I knew I needed to top myself for finals, so I made what Brother Joseph said is "not really a cake, but an event." It combines all of my favorite things: cookies, cookie dough, chocolate chips, and good frosting. If you're wondering where the no-egg cookie dough goes, it constitutes the filling between the cake layers. And yes, it's as lovely as you'd hope it could be.

If you'd like to make your own, check out the tutorial from Tip Junkie. Her buttercream frosting recipe with the cake has become my new favorite. It's far superior to any other I've tried. Beyond that though, here are a few suggested changes to the tutorial though.

1) The cookie recipe she gives is not my fave. You could easily substitute whatever cookie recipe you love most, which I recommend. We did however use walnuts in the cookies, which were graciously grown and donated by Super's cousin. Super contributed to his own cake by cracking walnuts with his bare hands. Here he is modeling his red hands. The pictures don't really show the new texture of his palms, so you'll have to just trust me that this cake resulted in battle wounds.

2) I often skip out on the mini chips, but they really do work best in the cookie dough. Big chips tend to make my teeth hurt. So if you're like me—cheap with over-sugared teeth—spring for the minis.

3) This cake tastes much better once when given a few days to sit. So plan ahead and let the flavors percolate to perfection.

Flinging chips on the cake. YES.
This cake took at least 8 hours to make, but I think it was worth it. It probably wouldn't have taken as much time if it weren't for the fact that Super's house is too cold for butter to soften. I doubt you'll have this problem though.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Quote Preserved

About this time last year, I was hanging out with this young, fashionable, and lovely lady named Bekah:

Not sure what's happening here.

About this time this year, some people thought the world would have ended. I never bought into that scene, but I've been collecting some good jokes about it in my head.

Bekah's wins first prize, for its overall awesomeness and editor appeal:

"Apoc-ellipsis, the dot dot dots of the universe."

Runners up? "Get busy or die Mayan." And the advertising gimmick of the local personal injury lawyers: "Were the Mayans right? Get your will today! No payments until after Dec. 21!" The logic of this claim baffles me.

Also, you can see one of Bekah's photographs of F. Scott Fitzgerald's house in my Stowaway article here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"One More Sleep 'Til Christmas": Branches, Hard-won Wreaths, and Words to Warm Your Heart By

I've been wanting to share some of our holiday pictures. There was mucho decorating going on this year, compared to the meager decorating of years past. I'm proud of my effort, which was largely multiplied by the efforts of Super's roommates.

Our Christmas branch, as Brother Joseph calls it, was saved from the dumpster just a few days before everyone left town for break. You'll notice the rocks and clamp at the bottom of the tree. This lovely setup was engineered custom for our tree. It's holding up marvelously. Isn't he so cute? I find it really funny how Charlie Brown's Christmas makes it okay to have a sparse looking tree. Just call it a Charlie Brown tree, and you can get away with anything.

My family's tree is pleasantly plump. No Charlie Brown for us. We do however have a strand of green, red, and white lights that is ancient. It plays the first ten seconds of every Christmas carol known to man, and I love it (including its repeating carols that chirp out) more than any other decoration.

I ventured out at the opening of Trader Joe's in Salt Lake. Sadly, I found nothing I was that excited about except this lovely, lovely wreath. It was well worth all the elbowing and crowding going on in the place.

May you all have a very warm and bright Christmas. I'll send you my well wishes with one of my favorite scriptures from Peter that doubles as my own testimony of Christ:

"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."
-2 Peter 1:16-19

No Christmas is complete without all or at least some of this; the words are there for singing because you know you want to.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spanish Fork Christmas: Just as Good as I Remember

The month is rapidly dwindling down to January (though it feels slightly less rapid after that Mayan thingy). There are still so many great Christmas things we'd like to do!

Luckily, we got this one great one in: the Spanish Fork Festival of Lights! My family and I went to this when I was young. Of the twenty or so years the festival has been going, I attended within the first five or so. I worried I'd be disappointed with the display as an adult, especially since I thought the lights at Thanksgiving Point were lame.

But not so my dears. No lameness here! The Festival was perfectly thrilling and festive. Go while there's still some semblance of snow!

Here's the info. Happy light-loving!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Tribute to Jane Austen

Yesterday, Jane Austen—dearly beloved by many—had a birthday (shout hooray!). I wish I could fully describe all of my feelings about Jane Austen in words, but I'd rather tickle your senses with videos, pictures, and at least one story over the next month or so.

First, a video: Jane Austen Fight Club. My birthday gift to you and Jane. If we didn't have Jane Austen, we'd never have this video, and that would be a true loss to society.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Yogiting: the act of using your editing books as a yoga block.

This, folks, is a true story. I was desperately trying to do this free yoga video without the proper equipment. I had to resort to sitting on my Chicago Manual of Style and my Webster's Usage Dictionary.

That's a real yoga block.

These are not. That is also not a real person.
Figures flex like normal people not like yoga people.

I don't know if this is qualified to go on the "you know you're an editor if" list. Anyone else done this or anything stranger with a style manual?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday to-do list

1. Lay in bed. Check.
2. Clean. Check.
3. Attempt to save the world by perfecting blueberry muffins. Check.
4. Get back in bed. Check.

My day is done.

Want to try saving the world via muffin too? Here is the number one secret: get a muffin top pan. Give into the fact that the top of the muffin is the best part, and grab one of these pans. I got my mom two for Christmas last year, and then I took one back from her this year. I'm so good at math; it's remarkable.

I just used the WinCo blueberry muffin mix; added random amounts of lemon juice, nutmeg, and vanilla; and then made a little crumble by microwaving a few tablespoons each of butter, quick oats, and brown sugar. You can't really have too much crumble on here though.

Have I perfected the muffin? Not at all. But man, that was easy and pleasing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Explore, dream, discover with Stowaway magazine

Last winter semester, I worked editing Stowaway magazine with a whole staff of awesome people. I think our issue turned out splendidly. This really is a great travel magazine for those who want a view of the world without the price or experience of tourism. The articles have lots of tips on how to really dig into the sands, the foods, and the thrill of a place.

You can find my articles on pages fifteen and twenty-three and my editing everywhere. I'm also a big fan of the articles on cooking with quinoa, kayaking the Bahamas, finding your roots, and working on organic farms—all great traveling ideas, except the quinoa; it's just tasty.

There's lots more where that came from. Other issues available at

Monday, December 3, 2012

A quote preserved

As a follow-up to my last post on editing, I give you the following profound words from Super. Please fill in your own theme music.

"Every day I'm proof-er-reading!"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

You know you're an editor if

You know you're an editor if

1. you're already aware there shouldn't be a colon after if in the sentence above
2. you've already found an error or two in this post that Chicago wouldn't sanction
3. you didn't find all the errors and went straight to Chicago 6.121 to double-check
4. you see more possibilities in these cake pans than the average baker
This woman is an editor. She has schwa earrings.
5. you don't believe any of that crap about split infinitives or beginning a sentence with but
6. you wanted to cry joyfully when you first learned about old-style numbers
7. you could actually find a need for ten of these magnets
8. you support the return of the interrobang (well, not all editors do; but they should)
9. this video by College Humor speaks right to your soul

Also, you're an editor if you want there to be a number ten on this list. But alas, I have left you hanging like a dangling modifier.

On a related note, I hate it when there are typos and other errors on my blog. Should you find one, feel free to point it out to me. I'll be sad at my original failure. But I will correct it, and the world will stand greatly improved.

If you'd like a grammar question answered, ask away! I will write a post just for you.

There are so many other things that could go on this list. What would you add?
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