Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell twenty-twelve

Some amazing things we did:
Went to Hawaii TWICE to visit my parents
Got a second puppy and haven't regretted it at all (except for potty training)
Got a new car-love our Jetta TDI-along with the car payment
Found a piano a new home in our family room

Some things we weren't expecting to do:
Both left the medical field after many years of employment
Both got new secure and satisfying jobs
Both got promoted to higher responsibility jobs

Some things we didn't accomplish this year and want to next year:
Buy a house
Join the military
Do more outdoors activities- camping, hiking, fishing, shooting, cliff jumping
Get and stay healthy-get in shape and no ER visits like this year

Here's to 2013, and may it full of many many other great things for our family!!!

p.s. also get new family pictures taken-these are from 2011!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Say What?: Proper Denim Care

This one was a reader request, even though its not a health concern it is a general concern of anyone who wears jeans, which I can safely say is practically everyone. Since I work in the fashion industry I see jeans that sometimes are upwards of $150 go out the door and come back destroyed because the customer wasn't aware of proper denim care. If you love those designer jeans (even if you aren't willing to spend more than $20 on jeans) these tips will make any denim last much longer, and to help keep their color and shape.

The True's I found that were only $30! Ignore the unmade bed and laundry please
  • Firstly you should know a lot of denim doesn't come pre-shrunk so if you are having alterations done to them you need to take them home and wash them first. They won't shrink more than half an inch at most, just don't wash and dry them in scalding water. 
  • Also for designer jeans that use real indigo dye (Hudson's and True Religion's particularly) it is critical to lock in the color by washing them alone with one cup of household vinegar in moderately cold water. This will help lock in the color so those gorgeous Hudson's don't fade. This also applies for any dark or bright colored skinnies you might have that you don't want to fade.
  • A seriously common misconception is how often a pair of jeans should actually be tumble dried in the dryer vs. hang dried. The rule of thumb is about every three washes, you need to tumble dry your jeans to help them re-shrink to their original cut so that they don't stretch too much. I've had customer's complain that their $100+ pair of jeans stretched out a size larger. I've even had one person say three sizes! Denim is temperature sensitive and responds when it is warm. As you wear them they are warm and stretch with your body. When you dry them because they have no resistance the heat helps them re-shrink. When you hang dry them they are not exposed to any heat and therefore do not re-shrink. 
  • Make sure that you are hang drying your jeans two out of every three washes on a drying rack that you can get from Target, Walmart, or Bed Bath and Beyond. They're about $20 but totally worth it and they last forever. If you hang dry your jeans frequently the denim will last longer then if you tumble dry them each washing. This is because the denim fibers (especially if they're 'stretchy' jeans) wear out from re-shrinking under intense heat from frequent tumble drying. 
  • Lastly as you should already know good denim stretches to fit your body as you wear it between washes, great denim (designer denim) is meant to fit your body and 'mold' to it inspite of washes. Don't be worried if your denim stretches somewhere you don't want it to like if you tried to do the splits in them and the inside leg is now baggy (I've personally never tried to do that). A quick solution to this is get that area wet with a squirt bottle and throw it in the dryer for ten minutes and it should be back to its normal self afterwards.
I promise if you follow these denim care rules you will be proud of that designer denim, you'll even be confident in those jeans if they're not designer! And they will last two to three times as long if you follow these tips. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Small Explosion

occurred at our house today. Our heater is an older gas driven heater and the pilot light often gets blown out accidentally so we have to relight it. Well before I got ready to go to work I felt it was just to darn cold in the apartment (a balmy 65° and dropping) so I wanted to get it relit.

Long story short I did it wrong and next thing I knew there was a flame ball exploding in my face and the smell of something burning. Jared rushed over when he heard me scream, and asked if I was OK and started pulling bits of curled white something off my head. I realized it was my burned hair! Once the damage was assessed my eyebrows were essentially gone, my eyelashes are halfway gone, and I now have a nasty widow's peak at the start of my part and a small bald patch.

White ends on both my eyelashes and eyebrows are burned parts

See the white curls? Yeah that's my burned hair. Check out that bald patch at my part!

Looks like lots of mascara, eyebrow liner, and thick headbands to cover the evidence for a couple weeks until it grows back. As the hubs said, "way to take one for the team! At least the heater is now on". He was of course joking (kind of). I was honestly very lucky it didn't make the whole house explode and my face didn't really get burned at all except my forehead a little. I have now learned my lesson about matches and gas.

Please tell me I'm not the only person whose ever done something so stupid as this?

Smith's Christmas 2012

We had a lovely Christmas, and hopefully you did too. We got up early and helped the dog's open their stockings and then opened up ours. My gifts were all picked out by myself, Jared just wrapped them so I wasn't expecting any surprises but he never fails to do a surprise gift on Christmas morning.

Aspens angry bird toy

an SR22 to be my concealed carry once I take the class 

After we finished our own little family Christmas gift opening, we went up to my parents for our traditional Christmas morning luncheon of egg's Benedict and Wassail and exchanged gifts. I got not only a new Dyson vacuum but also a wonderful jewelry box. Afterwards went to see Les Miserables. Honestly I was only semi impressed by the movie but maybe that's because I wasn't comfortable and I had to go to the bathroom twice. There were some wonderful moments but a lot of watch checking dullness as well.




Afterwards we hurried to the Smith's house and had Christmas dinner. I made my amazing Cherry Pie and we exchanged our white elephant gifts then watched Brave. I forgot to bring my camera to the Smith's, so I have no pictures of the Smith side darn it.

  Delicious looking huh?

Overall a wonderful day, and I surprised Jared with quite a few things we was not expecting at all including Black Ops 2 and some blue suede shoes. He's going to be the best looking date ever!

P.S. it's totally crazy to believe that this is Jared and I's FOURTH Christmas together! Where has time gone?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wishing you and yours a Merry Little Christmas

Today is truly one of the most magical times of the year, not only because you get to watch little children's faces light up with absolute joy, but you get to see all the good that is done in the world because of the season. You also get to give gift to loved ones and those you care about.

But hopefully you haven't forgotten the true purpose of this special day, and the real thing we are celebrating. Happy celebration of Christ's birth. What gifts have you given him?

Merry Christmas from the Smith's

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Say What?: holiday hazard

They're back!

Now that I'm just a working gal, and am done with classes on campus I decided I really wanted to bring back Say What? posts because I had so many people who got a lot out of them, just like I did. So say hello to the return of this Thursday treat! Given the time of year I really wanted to do a holiday applicable subject, and I feel like the most common hazard that many don't think about during the holidays-but they pay for after the parties-is food poisoning!

The real issue here is logistics of the food and how long it is in the 'danger zone', which is room temperature or anything below 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If your guests are bringing food and have to travel for more than two hours (bless their cotton socks cause I would never go that far for a holiday party) and their item is not kept hot the whole time, or their chilled item thaws to room temperature it will need to be reheated to at least 165 degrees to kill any bacteria that could have grown on the way. Likewise if the guests are two hours late to the party, their food can't be only kept in a 'warm' oven but needs to be reheated to 165 degrees or more. Also buffet style foods should NOT be kept out for more than an hour.

Any foods containing eggs need to be reheated to 165 degrees no matter how long they've been at room temperature to prevent salmonella, as well as turkey must be reheated to prevent Campylobacter, which is the most common source of bacterial diarrhea. Also make sure that if you actually cook your stuffing in the turkey to rinse it out prior to putting in the stuffing because bacteria can transfer into the stuffing and will then also need to be reheated if it falls into the danger zone for any amount of time. Plus cold stuffing is nasty. Happy holidays, and remember the goal is to not make family members sick with your food unless you really don't want to go or something like that...just kidding!

Don't the holidays just make you fat happy?

If you have any other questions or ideas for Say What? posts that you would like answered please email me at

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Santa came early

with THE BEST gift ever to a woman whose lived in an apartment for far too long!  Jared and I both loathe doing the dishes, and its been a constant source of fighting since the day we said, 'I do' in regards to whose turn it is to do them. We actually even had a neighbor from our first couple months of marital life suggest we get a countertop dishwasher but we just waved her off. However after 2 and 1/2 years since we got married (crazy its actually been that long) and all that time having to do the dishes by hand, I finally said enough. After lots of research into countertop vs. portable dishwashers I found that the most reliable/liked/recommended machine was this beaut. It's even EnergyStar rated!

So as an early Christmas present from my parents+myself, I ordered it and yesterday it arrived in all its glory. I set it up today and did my first load. Let me tell you, I am in love! Complete and utter adoration for this machine that eliminates my time being spent in front of the sink.

 the boxing, almost as tall as my kitchen table!

Which Aspen of course made into a new play-toy immediately

So far absolutely no regrets, in fact I'm seriously wondering why we didn't listen to others advice and get one sooner. Either way now that I'm done with classes at BYU (only online courses to finish now) I'm basically just a workin' gal while Jared still has school PLUS work, which means by default I'm now responsible for all the chores. Let's be honest though, that's kind of how it was before....just kidding honey. Anyways, now I can concentrate on more important things and our dishes will actually be sanitized and squeaky clean. Thinking about getting one? It's definitely worth the money if you foresee apartment living for the next couple years!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adi's tricks: it's nice to meet you

Maybe, if you bring me treats I'll be courteous enough to shake paws with you after I stop jumping up trying to lick your face. Maybe. Better be some good dog jerky. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Year's Gone By

I've been harassing Jared with Christmas music since FM100 started their 24/7 Christmas song marathon and I have to tell the truth: I love this song!

Mainly because it totally reminds me of the completely unrealistic gifts I asked for when I was growing up. Pretty sure I asked for a horse one year, and another a robot. I'm quite sure my parents got a kick out of reading my letters to Santa.

Was there anything completely absurd that you asked for as a kid?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Clothes-aholic in reform?

I have to admit, whenever I see the hoarders shows on TV I think of my own closet. I can honestly say I have clothing from Junior High still in my closet because I emotionally can't part with them. People, that's from TEN YEARS ago! So can you imagine what all I have that's less than ten years old I have yet to get rid of that's taking up closet space. And with my job at Nordie's my closet is expanding even faster then I'd imagined. So it's probably not shocking when I tell you that I also had to take over half the laundry room to hang clothes since they won't fit in my closet anymore (in my defense we have a TINY bedroom closet). 

I'm not exactly positive why I have such a difficult time getting rid of old or out of date items, maybe it's the fact that trends reappear every twenty years or so and I'm hoping they might come back into fashion? Or maybe it's because when I was growing up my parents never wanted me to get rid of anything that still had some use left in it? Either way a D.I. run was necessary. I spent over three hours cleaning out and sorting into every corner and depth of my closet. And guys, it was pretty sad.

Adi and Aspen displaying just how large ONE bag was in real life size. Awesome models don't you think?

I'm pretty sure the D.I. guys were thinking I was moving or something based on how many clothes I was getting rid of. Or that I was just crazy. But either way now I have SOOO much more room for new (more in fashion) clothes that I actually like to wear. And I don't even have to use up my laundry room space anymore!

This is just ONE bag from my closet clean out

So, I hereby swear that clothes I do not wear at least once a year without shame* will be removed from my closet and sent where they will do more good than collecting dust.

Am I the only one with this hoarding of clothes issue? My husband thinks its just me, but I can't be alone in this right?

I am Melissa, and I am a clothes-aholic. And I probably will never reform based on where I work...

*i.e. worn in public confidentally

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Adi does tricks

and she does them dang well. I figured it was time to show off my dog training skills again (Let's just say I could be renamed the dog whisperer, or something to that effect). Adi actually learned this trick almost a year ago, and it brings a smile to everyone's face. Mainly because she looks so innocent while doing it :)