Tuesday, December 23, 2008

so so ugly

I got in a fight with a dinner plate...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The day TJ saved Christmas

This year I've been rather practical when it comes to Christmas...some might call it Scroogey...but I'm going to stick with practical.

The first chance we had to buy a Christmas tree was this last weekend - since we'll head down to TJ's family Christmas Eve and then to UT the day after (for Nicki's wedding!!), the tree would have been up for approximately 1 week. I just didn't think it was worth the effort: Practical.

Luckily we had another kind of tree at our house already - the kind you dry pasta on. So TJ dressed it up and declared that he had saved Christmas!

Lights in the Heights

Its a Heights tradition - every year they close down two streets and all the houses get decked out with christmas lights and decorations, they put out cookies, there's a little parade, a stage on the esplanade and shows on all the houses' porches -- bell groups, school choirs, kids tap dancing, jazz groups, and then a bit later the bands come out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I wanted it to be memorable??

TJ turned 30!
To celebrate we had a party of course. But I wanted it to be extra special - not only was he turning 30, but it was his golden birthday too (30 on the 30th ). Talk about pressure.

So I had this great idea - instead of lighting 30 candles, I'd get 30 sky lanterns (they're like mini hot air balloons) and have all our friends help us send them floating up into the sky.
Great idea, right? WRONG!!

So I bring everyone out on to the front lawn and explain how it works...people start lighting their sky lanterns...
A few of them make it up into the sky ...

But it was too windy and the next thing you know there is a sky lantern stuck in our neighbor's very large, very leafy tree. It was too high up for us to do anything about it so we all just watched in horror until the sky lantern burnt itself out. Luckily nothing happened. Then we just put everything away and went back inside. I was so embarrassed!

The night was certainly memorable - just not quite in the way I had planned.

Did you know?

There's entire websites devoted to telling you all the discount/promo codes that are available on all the online shopping sites...


Thursday, December 4, 2008


my heel fell off my shoe today! somewhere between the parking garage and my office i lost my heel. maybe i'll retrace my steps and go look for it at lunch time. stupid.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

These old things?

I just knitted them up over the weekend.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

quote of the week

We took the youth out this morning and on the way the kids in the back of the car started talking about the movie Saw IV -

Me: "Hey! Isn't that rated R??"

YW (genuinely proud of herself): "No - I've never watched a rated R movie. It was the unrated version."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kitchen Table 2.0

So maybe we're in a DIY phase...

This weekend we looked around for some more hand-me-down-got-for-free-at-a-garage-sale-when-we-were-students furniture to paint (turns out our house is still full of it) and landed on the dining room table.

A few of the things we wish we'd known beforehand:

1. Spray gun is essential (we used it for the black paint but not the primer -- you can still see some pretty healthy brush strokes when the light hits it)

2. Satin finish would be best: We did coat 1 in glossy, then coat 2 in flat. oh well.

Overall I still think its an improvement!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


After a few weeks of having traps in our attic, with no results, the critter company decided to put some traps along the outside of the house. The first night we caught one cat and one raccoon (reluctantly, I let the cat go, hopefully it stays away now). The second night we caught two possums, one mom and one baby. It would have provided more than a few meals for a family from Arkansas. All and all, we are feeling pretty good about reducing the population of small mammals living in, under and around our house.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Suggestions Please!

I have very, very straight hair. I would like to sometimes have curly hair. About every 6 months I try something new, 45 minutes later my hair is flat and straight again, I get frustrated and vow that I will never try to curl my hair again.

Putting the curls in is not the problem -- its keeping them.

So its that time of year again. Enough time has passed that the frustration and disappointment from my last experience have faded and I'm ready to experiment again. I refuse to believe with all the advances in sciences we have made, that there isn't a product out there that can keep my hair curly for longer than an hour. (Hair spray and mousse so far haven't been up to the challenge).

Any ideas?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wild Kingdom

A few weeks ago, we woke up to some loud crashing in our attic. After we heard it again a while later, we broke down and called a "critter control" company. We figured we may have a racoon or a possum. While they couldn't find anything living up in our attic, they left a bunch of traps. Every few days I check the traps, but so far, nothing.

Last night we were talking to our neighbor, leaning against our tree, when he noticed something in the tree above us. I guess that means we were not hearing things after all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Things I've learnt in the Kitchen (recently)

1. Baking powder does go bad.

This was discovered Christmas morning - the first year I spent Christmas with my in-laws and insisted that I would make Christmas breakfast for everyone.

2. The temperature of the butter matters.

This was discovered last night. Just making some regular peanut butter cookies that I've made a hundred times. But my butter was frozen so I just zapped it in the microwave and poured it in melted. 30 minutes later I poured the cookie dough into the bin.

Just thought I'd share, in case someone else is as clueless as me in the kitchen. Maybe this will save your next batch of cookies!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yes, I'm posting about a television show

This week on Project Runway they narrowed it down to the final three. Kenley, who is horrible to everyone, and who has made some awful things in the last few challenges, managed to get through to the finale with her wedding dress (last pic below).
As one of the judges pointed out -- its incredibly similar to dresses recently shown by Alexander McQueen (top 2 pics).

They are the same dress! But she still got through!
I'm feeling a lot more indignation about this than I'm comfortable admitting. I might need to stop watching so much television.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Because I read too many design blogs



TJ: "Its like clown furniture."


Last Sunday, instead of going to church, our Elder's Quorum and one youth headed down to Galveston to help gut houses. It had been two weeks since Ike had flooded the island and there were only a few days left before houses would have to be condemned for mold.

It was a good time; its always fun to get an excused absence from church. We had a brief sacrament meeting in Galveston with about 200 other yellow-shirted volunteers from various stakes. The week previous we had gone out with the Helping Hands crew around our ward area, however, Galveston was a world apart. The devastation was so entire. Basically, every home on the island needed to have most of their possessions thrown away and their walls and floors ripped out. The mold in the homes created a terrible smell, only topped by the smell of experienced when removing refridgerators (I've determined that prior to evacuation orders, there should be a "clean out your fridge order").

We got to meet a lot of great people down there and provide some much needed service, I'd take that over Sunday School, any day.

A boat in the median of the freeway

Saturday, September 27, 2008

we go to all the best places

Last night we went to a mexican restaurant. At the bottom of the menu there was a disclaimer that said:

"Beans may contain small rocks"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tetris Anyone?

For some reason when I drive by our Houston Offices I get a strange urge to play tetris.

Anyways, we are really glad to have power now. Although we feel kinda guilty as so many other folks around us still don't. The power is only on for half of our street. We offer to have people over, but mostly, when they hear that our cable and internet is still out they lose interest. We are still on the hunt for a place to watch Heros tonight. Ironically, we could go over to our neighbor's house; he doesn't have power, but he's able to get his DirectTV going with his generator (stupid Comcast).


When I got home from work on Friday the open refridgerator was beeping. It was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Speak for Yourself

Not so bad? Its been a week without power, and according to the electricity company our zip code will have power restored "some time after next Monday". Some time AFTER next monday??? What does that even mean?

I think its time for the Campbells to take a little vacation!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not So Bad

Today, Danielle and I headed back to work. My downtown office is pretty smashed up (floors 11-14 of the picture below), so I'll be sticking up here in the Woodlands Office. It actually feels kinda nice to return to the normalcy of working. Funny that it takes a major natural disaster to bring about that feeling.

Things have improved significantly since Saturday. We still don't have power at home, but a cold front moved in and the tempature has been in the 70s. Its been cool enough that we've had to sleep with extra blankets at night. Now that I am no longer sweating at night and have mostly gotten over missing the best BYU football game in a long time, I feel much better. (That will probably last until I have to buy gas one of these days, most lines top two hours).

Another positive byproduct of this experience is that we have gotten to know our neighbors really well, which is something we've been wanting to do for a while. We all got together on Monday and worked on clearing our street and each others yards. I've decided that chainsawing makes for the best neighborhood bonding. Also, I must say that without TV entertainment our social lives have improved a lot, we have had friends over or visited friends every night. So things are not so bad.
Now, our next project will be to try to use some of the wood from our fallen trees to make some cool piece of furniture. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Here are some pictures of the aftermath.

Notice the ladder in the shot below. We learned a lesson that you should leave electric gates open before a potential power outage.

Hurricane Ike

We survived!

I have to say that even after all the hype we heard beforehand, Ike definitely came on stronger than I had expected. It was a long and sometime scary night (nonetheless, Danielle did manage to sleep through most of it, she values her sleep a lot). The wind shuck our old little house and the sky repeatedly shone bright green with explosions from the transformer station near our house.

By morning, we could tell were very lucky. In our front yard, our two big sycamore trees had blown completely down (roots and all) , however, they had fallen away from our house. Had they fallen the other way they would have flattened our house as they were about 70 feet tall. It took a few hours of chainsawing with our neighbors before we were able to clear enough of one of the trees to get a car out of our driveway. We were similarly lucky in our backyard; one of our trees feel toward our house but got one of its larger limbs stuck on our neighbor's shed stopping its fall.

We are still without power, and may remain so for quite a while. However, we found a Borders with power and wireless, so we are pretty happy. We will hopefully post pictures soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here it comes....

Apparently Ike is dead set on visiting Houston. Sounds like my first hurricane is going to be a good one.

Check out what we did to our little house:

I helped!

So now our house is like a cave on the inside and there's going to be lot's of fun holes to fill around all our windows when this is over.

We had our dinner outside (while we still could) and took turns picking which tree limbs we think aren't going to make it...

Friday, September 5, 2008


We have a racoon living in our attic.

Well, we think we have a racoon living in our attic.

I woke around 4am to a significant amount of scuffling and bumping - at first I thought there was someone in our backyard. Then we figured out it was coming from above us. Whatever is up there has a decent amount of weight behind it.

My solution: Call an animal control company and let them do what they do and take care of it.

TJ's solution: Venture up to the attic himself and take care of it like a real man.

Oh dear. I'm not sure this is going to end well...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Granny in Training

Yesterday I learned how to knit! I went to a little shop downtown that is devoted to knitting to look for a beginner's project. The shop lady ended up giving me an hour+ lesson and I'm so ready to go now. She started me out on a scarf to practice my stitches, which is a little less exciting since I'm pretty sure I didn't wear a scarf once last winter. But once I've got that down I'm going to be knitting everything.

You needed a new sweater for christmas, right?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Coming Home is Great

When I got home, TJ took the afternoon off work and brought me back to a house that was spick and span with fresh flowers on the table and fresh fruit for us to eat while we spent a lazy afternoon watching movies.

I need to go away more so I can come home more often!

Going Home is Great

I spent the last week at home and it was so great!

First, I met these two lovely ladies at the airport and we all flew home together...

Then I spent a lazy week at home where I got to stuff myself silly with all the amazing things mum kept baking. She quite outdid herself. She also designed and made the bridesmaids dresses for my sister's wedding and fit me for a tailored dress to wear to work that is going to be hot. Not too much for me to live up to then(!)

Also got in a few days of shopping in London - with ice cream sundaes for lunch, of course!

Since Nicki's fiance was in town there was touristing going on too --- we all went along with them for the day in Cambridge. Punting on the Cam never gets old.

I made this last pic bigger so that you can see the facial expressions --- that's the pole you push the boat along with in the background by the bridge. Corinne is politely trying to hide her giggles behind her hand, Kevin's not bothering to hide his, and Dad is thinking "come on!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

everyone moves to Utah eventually

Robert is leaving this week to move back to Utah...Which got me thinking about people that live in Utah, and seriously - everyone ends up there sooner or later. As of a couple weeks ago, both sets of grandparents on the Saltzman/Page side and all my uncles and aunts (ok - except 2) now live in Utah . And now the Campbells are starting to go that way too!

I guess consolidation of relatives is a good thing - makes it easier to visit?

Bye Robert -- Sunday dinner won't be the same without you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm going home in 2 days -

indian food and oxford circus here i come!

Friday, August 15, 2008

new record

While the olympians have all been setting new records, tj's been setting some of his own:

Last night he didn't get home from work till 5 a.m. - and when I left at 7:30 he was up already working on his computer...Sounds like we are going to be spending our weekend asleep!

Monday, August 11, 2008

new job

1 yr later I've decided that ligitation is definitley NOT for me. Things I've learned as a litigator?

1. How to stand my ground (and take some of the other guy's if he'll let me)
2. Not to believe anything until its in writing and signed.
3. To have thicker skin
4. To be incredibly blunt (currently working on unlearning this one)

Enough of that! Now I'm going to work for the private sector of a bank where (fingers crossed) people will just be nice and smile and laugh all day long. :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It is a Real Sport!

When I was in high school I was on the trampoline team. Some people have laughed when they've heard this. Other's have gone so far as to claim that its not even a real sport. (TJ)

Please click on the link below:


Its in the Olympics!

What are the Olympics if not an athletic contest? And what do althetes play? Sports.

I rest my case.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The day we were on Project Runway

Not really! Silly. We just pretended that we were.

Robert got us a subscription to the magazine Ready Made last Christmas. The one that just came showed how to make cute curtains for $30. I want cute curtains for $30!

We've also been watching project runway and they look like they're having so much fun. So we went off to the fabric store and spent ages finding the perfect fabric. Which we did. It was so perfect. I called the guy over to cut us some and right before the first snip suddenly realized I hadn't checked how much it cost. So I asked.....and then we went home. Without any fabric.
Oh well - it was a nice idea.

Saltzman's in H-town

All the Saltzman ladies (minus one) came to see me!

We ate at all our favorite places that are texas-y and attempted to do something touristy. NASA was fun for the first 1/2 hour....a little less fun after that(!) Next time we won't bother and we'll just go to a waterpark.