Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What is Relay For Life?

Hey everyone.  My area’s Relay For Life is happening soon… Friday, June 10th to be exact.  I have been participating in this event since 2000, when my sister was pushed around the track in a wheelchair during the survivor’s lap.  She was so sick back then.  That first relay was so inspirational that my friends and I decided to start a team the next year.  I have been on a Relay For Life team now every year except for one exceptionally busy year. So yeah, I guess I’ve been participating in the event for going on 10 years. 

People ask me all the time about Relay For Life.  I get questions like, “What is Relay?” or, “Do you have to walk all night?” I think this video answers those questions better than I ever could:

If you are interested, you can donate to my team here.  Most towns or communities also hold their own Relay For Life event.  I recommend getting involved.  It is a lot of fun and it’s for a great cause!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Modeling Chocolate

Have you ever seen that show Cake Boss?  I love it.  Buddy is the best.  Anyway, while I was watching it, I noticed that they use modeling chocolate all the time.  I became curious and decided to find some of this modeling chocolate for myself.  At first, I decided that I was just going to go to Michael’s to buy some, but they didn't have any.  I decided to try to find some to buy online.  It turns out that it isn’t very easy to find a place to buy it because it is so super easy to make.  So yes friends, this is a little post on how to make it yourself.  It really is easy… not healthy, but easy and fun.

You will need:


  • A bag of chocolate chips.  I like the white chocolate because you can easily dye it, but you can use any kind of chocolate chips.
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • Gel food coloring.  You can’t use food coloring drops because it will cause the chocolate to crumble.
  • 027

    Just pour the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, and melt them.  IMPORTANT: Make sure you melt them at 50% power so that you don’t burn them.  You can also use a double boiler if that’s what your little heart desires.


    Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, then stir the chocolate for a bit.  Then, put it back into the microwave AT 50% POWER for another minute and a half.


    When it’s all smooth and melty, add the corn syrup.


    Then stir it up, stir it up, stir it up, up, up.  Sorry, was having a little too much fun right there.  At this point, I like to put the chocolate into the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes just so it hardens up a bit.  Take this time to drink some tea, or do a dance, or call your mom, or idk, stare at the fridge or something.

    Now is when the fun part begins.  You get to make cute little projects of your choice.  In honor of Memorial Day, I decided to make a little flag.

    modeling chocolate 002

    You can add some color to the entire batch, or if you want to play with multiple colors, separate some chocolate out.  Add the gel food coloring and mix it around until your chocolate is all colored.

    modeling chocolate 006
    Cute.  Here are my little red, white, and blue balls of chocolate.

    modeling chocolate 007modeling chocolate 008

    modeling chocolate 012modeling chocolate 014

    modeling chocolate 015

    Ok,ok, I know it doesn’t have 50 stars, but that would’ve taken forever, and it has 13 stripes ok? Geez.  Now go and make some cute little creations and have a Happy Memorial Day!!!

    Here are a few more little guys:

    Modeling chocolate 007

    See ya.  Happy Memorial Day!

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Farmer’s Market

    Ahhh… Saturday.  It’s a day off of work, a day to sleep in, and for those of us in Idaho, a day to enjoy the Farmer’s Market.  I love the Farmer’s Market.  I love that you can buy products and produce directly from the artist or grower without having to pay a middle man.  I also love shopping outside.  I just love being outside in general.  Oh yeah, and while you’re shopping outside, you get to listen to live music.  What could be better than that?

    farmer's market 012

    farmer's market 014

    farmer's market 018

    farmer's market 019

    farmer's market 021

    farmer's market 022

    farmer's market 023

    farmer's market 025

    farmer's market 028

    farmer's market 030

    Most towns have their own Farmer’s Market.  Go and support your local artists, musicians, farmers, bakers, and crafters.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    The Early Beginnings of the Jazzercise Squirrel

    Hey Everyone.  Allow me to introduce myself.

    My name used to be Chip.  In my old life, all I was ever known for was cracking nuts, and even then, it was usually only during the holidays.  I was unappreciated and hardly ever used.  In fact, my old family cared about me so little that they threw me in a dumpster… you know, one of those green boxes.  I thought I was done for until, much to my surprise, a man who was throwing away some garbage of his own spotted me lying right on top of the pile.  He reached in, grabbed me, and later gave me to his daughter Karen.

    I have been living with Karen now at various addresses for close to twenty years.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s been great, but part of me has always been scared of being down in the dumps again (literally and figuratively).  That’s why I decided to make a radical change.  I decided a squirrel named Chip is too ordinary, too easy to throw away.  I need a new alias.  Which is why, from now on, I shall be known as: The Jazzercise Squirrel (note the headband and armbands).


    It will now be my life’s mission to remind Karen to eat healthy and to exercise.  Someone needs to keep her in line.  And I will make sure to look good doing it.  Well, maybe not as good as these people:

    I could never find a leotard that would fit me.   But don’t worry, I will strive to do my best job motivating a healthy lifestyle, and cracking a few nuts in the process (I’m talking to you, Chris).  I won’t let anything by me.  I’ll be watching.

    The Jazzercise Squirrel

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Happy Birthday Granny Ruth!

    My husband’s best friend in the whole, wide world was his Grandma Ruth.  I was lucky enough to meet her when Chris and I first became friends in the year 2000 (hehe… how many of you just thought of Conan O’Brien?).  She was a HUGE part of our life.  I knew, without a doubt, that if I were ever a horrible enough person to make Chris choose between me or Granny, I would lose miserably.  She had a heart of gold, a thick German accent, and was full of piss and vinegar.  We lost her last November and we miss her terribly.  Our life now has a hole in it, and it feels sad and strange.  We are doing our best to fill that hole with happy thoughts and memories of her.  Today is her Birthday.  I have been thinking of her all day, so it seems appropriate to make today’s blog a short photo tribute.

    Grandma Ruth 050

    Here she is… The lady, the legend, Granny Ruth.

    Grandma Ruth 031


    Camper dogs cats november 049

    Grandma Ruth 008

    Grandma Ruth 051


    Grandma Ruth 006


    Grandma Ruth 054

    Grandma Ruth 055

    Grandma Ruth 057

    Grandma Ruth 002


    Happy birthday Granny Ruth.  We love you, and we miss you. 

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Hey Jealousy


    Let’s be honest people.  We have all has our moments of jealousy.  Normally we are jealous of some celebrity’s body or that girl’s hair that works at the salon.  Sometimes we are jealous of someone’s house, or boat, or job, or dog.  I have even found myself getting jealous about someone’s car, but honestly that doesn’t happen that often.  I’m not too into cars.  Until today.  Wait, wait, wait.  Let me clarify.  This is not even really a car.  It is just a sweet ass vehicle that I think is sooo stinkin cool.  Let me show you what is parked in my neighbor’s driveway:


    Army Rig next door 002


    Army Rig next door 003


    I have never seen a vehicle like this before.  My husband tells me it’s a Dodge WC-54 World War II field ambulance.  I WANT IT!!! It is the strangest thing for me to be jealous of, but can you blame me?

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Contest Winner

    Congatulations to Kim for winning the $30 Pampered Chef gift certificate from my fundraiser contest.  Thank you Kim for ordering products and for supporting Relay For Life!

    True Story

    One of the best parts about working with kids is hearing some of the funny things they say.  They’re hilarious, obviously.  How else could Bill Cosby have made an entire show out of little people’s ramblings?

    I student taught in a kindergarten class for a semester.  It was a really nice day, so we decided to eat our snack outside before recess.  Naturally there were crumbs left on the ground.  And what always comes around when there are crumbs of food anywhere?  That’s right, those flying moochers otherwise known as seagulls.

    So anyway, after recess the kids are lining up to go inside and the seagulls are swooping around eating the leftovers.  One girls looks at the birds and says, “They are so cute.  I want to take one home for a pet.”  The girl standing directly behind her looks at the birds and says, “Yeah.  I want to kill one and make it into shoes.” 

    People, this is too good to make up.  This little girl is either slightly disturbed or she is a fashion designer in the making.  Classic.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    It’s Ok to be Jealous

    The Hunger Games is one of my favorite book series.  I picked up this book, and literally could not put it down until I was finished with the first two.  It was torture when I had to wait six months for the last one.  If you haven’t read them, I have to ask, “What have you been doing, living under a rock? Go! Go get this book Right Now!”
    So imagine how happy I was when my sister-in-law gave me this:

    may 2011 050

    That’s right… A signed book plate by Suzanne Collins. And yes, It’s real ink, not some photo copy.


    may 2011 051

    I debated as whether I should put it in my favorite book of the series Catching Fire, or the first book The Hunger Games.


    In the end, The Hunger Games won out.  I think the book that started it all deserves to have the prized signature.