Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a proud Christmas moment

This year, as far as the holidays go, I'm trying to do things grown-ups do. You know, sending cards, making treats for neighbors. We've been getting treats from friends in the neighborhood for the past several days and while a love a good soft ginger snap, or beautifully frosted sugar cookie, I wanted to do something a little different to give everyone a break from the sweetness of the season.

So I came up with pico de gallo. And little cello bags of tortilla chip strips. Yum. I spent most of yesterday afternoon slicing, dicing, chopping and mixing. In the end, I think they turned out kinda cute.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Highlights from the Recent Past

Here are some of the things that have been keeping me busy:
  • I turned 28 about two weeks ago. I didn't think about it until just now, but we celebrated with cuisine from the two countries I've lived in for extended periods (outside the US) - churrasco from Tucanos and a liege waffle from Bruges Waffles & Frites. I've also been treated to family dinners and friend lunches. All lovely!
  • Spencer got me a kitten for my birthday! After much debate, I decided to just name her what I'd been calling her all along - Pumpkin. She's pretty much doubled in size since we got her. She's been a joy and such a good little companion to me during my lonely work days at home. She spends most of the day curled on my lap while I type/design/fill orders.
  • Sugarhouse Ink has been BUSY. I couldn't be more thankful. December has been a record month and has grown significantly over last year.
  • I finally got some furniture for our living room (aside from the couch we already had). With the tree up and the new additions, it's definitely feeling more homey!
  • We had two of my college roommates and their husbands over for dinner last week. It was so great to spend the evening with Jenny and Nigel (visiting from Boston) and Whitney and Jeff (who live in Provo and I don't see enough for being so close!).
  • Just as I completely stopped running (for sub-freezing temps and/or lack of motivation), Spencer and I got word that we got into the Moab Canyonlands Half Marathon. We signed up twice before and weren't selected , and now I'm wondering why we kept trying. :P Training in freezing cold of winter? Training in busy season? Training while the days are the shortest and the coldest? I'm not sure what we were thinking. Race day is set for March 20th.
  • Every Christmas Design Mom hosts Christmas giveaways with really big prizes. This year I won one of them! $250 to Cambria Cove... still trying to figure out what to buy. ($100 cheesecake anyone?)
  • In an attempt to be a real grown up, I've been gathering addresses for Christmas cards. I just haven't designed ours yet... It may end up being a New Years card instead. (or a Valentine?)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the name thing

Do you read Design Mom? It has been one of my very favorite blogs for a long time. I have always loved the names of her kids, so when Ask Design Mom Week rolled around, I decided to ask her where she found her inspiration. And she answered! I had to figure I wasn't the only one wondering what the stories were behind Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar and Betty were.

Monday, October 19, 2009


One of the things that feels more and more like it's fading into a former life, is my relationship with music - namely my constant search for the new, the chill, the undiscovered, the raw; the subtle harmonies and rhythmic acoustic goodness that were ever so sweet and constantly bombarding my hard drive, overflowing with itunes playlists.

I used to look forward to Tuesdays - new album release day - and would purchase new CDs (so old school, right?) or download entire albums so I could hear songs in the context the artists intended. Tomorrow is Tuesday. And I don't know a lot about which albums you should be anticipating, but aren't - except for one. I've long been a fan of Kings of Convenience, and their happy, honest, understated music is coming together once again after a nearly five year hiatus. Declaration of Dependence debuts tomorrow. Check it out.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Bright Star

I just got home from the movie Bright Star. I knew nothing about the film before seeing it, but would have to say Abbie Cornish's performance was fantastic. Add her to the short list for deserving a nomination this year. Her character made me want to sew all of my own fashion-forward clothes - ok not really, but they were stunning none the less. The movie leaves you somewhere between deliciously depressed and in a post-Keats euphoria. So, so good.

Also, Toots was my favorite.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Designs In My Shop

I don't usually plug my shop on my personal blog, but I've been working hard on lots of new designs and thought I'd share a few.

Here are some of the latest birth announcements
And some new Christmas card designs
If you're really interested in all the latest, you could sign up for the newsletter, twitter stalk, check out the blog, or become a fan on facebook. Also, I've started selling digital print-your-own designs on Etsy. Ok, enough of this shameless plug... time to get back to work.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

here comes autumn

The only thing I find moderately depressing about autumn is that the days start to get noticeably shorter. The rest, I can definitely live with. My love affair with autumn is no secret. I savor every chance to bask in the glory of the season we call fall. The crisp air, the cooler days, the beautiful rusty colors of pumpkins and apples and gourds, the celebration of harvest and smell of spice, the foliage, the fresh start of a new school year... I just love it all.

Back when we got married, some generous soul gave Spencer and I a gift card to Williams Sonoma. Of course nearly everything in their store is delectable and tempting, but I knew I'd probably end up spending the gifted money on something more spontaneous than practical. When I stumbled across these pocket pie molds yesterday, I knew I had found my treasure. {I bought an apple peeler/corer too, for good measure. I'll be a mini pie making fiend!}

Thursday, September 10, 2009

128.65 miles (of training)

A long time ago I set a goal to run a half marathon. I tried twice to run a Utah race, but due to it's popularity and my lack of luck, I was never selected to run it (it was lottery style). When my sister made plans to run a race in her new hometown on her birthday, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to train for one myself.

Amanda and I ran the American Discovery Trail Half Marathon on Labor Day and had a great time. We were both pretty nervous in the days leading up to the race, having never attempted such a feat, but everything went really smooth and we had a really good race.
This is right before the race while we waited in the infinitely long bathroom line and tried to warm up and stretch a bit.
Waiting for the starting gun...
Coming around the final stretch (trying to give a thumbs up)
Just after finishing
All done!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Made My Day

Despite all my best efforts to coupon, I've never been able to score terribly amazing deals with it... until now. I just have to share because I'm so excited about how it worked out!

At Target, Dreyer's ice cream is on sale for $2.50 per 1.5 quart. A decent deal.
But, they also have a deal going where you get a $5 Target gift card for every 5 tubs you buy. That brings the price down to $1.50 per tub. A pretty good deal. My sister Amanda told me about a coupon she found online for $1 off of one tub. Print if 5 times and you get each tub for $.50! I thought that was a total steal until last night when I was at Dan's and saw a tear-off pad in the freezer section for a $4 rebate when you buy 4 tubs of Dreyer's ice cream... which can only mean two things: 1)I had a freezer cleaning party this morning to make room for my new acquisitions 2) Dreyer's paid me $1.50 to take 7.5 quarts of ice cream off their hands. Hooray!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

the butter to my bread and the breath to my life

Last night Spencer and I went to see Julie & Julia. It was charming and fun, as expected. Meryl Streep was the perfect choice to play Julia Child and I wouldn't be surprised if she gets an Oscar nomination for her performance (surely she deserves it). I came away from the movie hungry and happy, and with a renewed sense of confidence to try difficult things, particularly in the kitchen.

But perhaps my favorite aspect of the film was how it portrayed marriage. It wasn't the glitzy, glamorous rendition that Hollywood so often feeds us. Instead it showed spouses encouraging and supporting one another in their pursuits and on to success, even despite the frustration, challenges, and setbacks that they each confronted. Patience and humor were trademarks of their marriages - and fine french cooking to boot.

Maybe it stood out to me because it's something I have been thinking about lately. It seems that more than fairy tale or Jane Austen ideals, marriage is two people simply going through life together. And the best choice you can make is someone who will cheer you on through it all, even - and especially - when you're determined to do something daunting.

Without saying too much about my husband's saintly qualities (watch the movie and you'll understand why I'd avoid the topic), I'll just say I made an excellent choice.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I heard about tumblr a while back, but didn't think I needed yet another blogging device. However, I signed on recently and have found it extremely helpful in cataloging things I find for the house. So I've created a tumblr account as a morgue for all of my homemaking daydreams. The only crummy part is that there doesn't seem to be a comment feature. Either way, feel free to check it out: http://sarahcarioca.tumblr.com/

update: I figured out a way to add a comment feature. So comment away!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

on top of old faithful

We just returned from a fantastic summer vacation. The whole Evans clan got together for a week in the Tetons and Yellowstone. The weather was perfect, the cousins got along great, the sights were spectacular, and the activities were swell. Looking back on it, it's crazy to think of just how much we packed in to one week:
We navigated our way to Wyoming
Motor boated and canoed around Jackson Lake
Took way too many photos of cute nieces and nephews
Took a wagon ride at the Bar J
and enjoyed a scrumptious meal and show there, chuckwagon style
Floated the Snake River
and spotted local wildlife
Boated across Jenny Lake
and hiked to Hidden Falls
then to Inspiration Point
and back in time for Craft Night
We saw gysers, and mud pots and hot pots galore
Including, of course, Old Faithful (several times since we stayed at the Inn)
And lots of bison
And we even managed to get a few great family photos

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lova La Vida

Normally it has to be Sunday for me to listen to Jon Schmidt. But throw a cello into anything and I'm hooked. If there's one instrument I could go back and learn as a kid and stick with (so I could be really great as an adult) it would be the cello. It adds such a richness to any piece, don't you think?

historia da missao

Back when I got off my mission in 2004, my mission president challenged all of us to write our Historia da Missão {mission (hi)story} that we could keep as a solid record of all of our experiences. Throughout my life, and especially my mission, I have been an avid journal-writer. Even though I had several journals full of my daily musings, I thought it would be great to have a more consolidated record of those 18 life-changing months.

I started by writing a consecutive list of topics I wanted to cover - receiving the call, my areas, companions, baptisms, funny stories, etc. I began to write and before I knew it I had over twenty pages of material. I still had several topics that I hadn't even begun to describe with the detail I wanted to remember. And as the days and weeks and months went by, I slowly forgot about my Historia.

Until yesterday.

I was going through the external hard drive, looking through old files, folders and documents and there it was. I started reading through it and was surprised at some of the things I'd already forgotten - like when my district in the MTC set the record for eating the most bowls of cereal on our last p-day before heading to the field (oh, the shame!) - but with a renewed enthusiasm to get it done. I realize that as more time goes on, the clarity of those experiences will continue to fade. So I'm going back to work. I've pulled out all the journals, letters, and photos I could find. It will be a big project, with lots of scanning, writing and editing, but I'm determined to get it done. And when I finish, I'll reward myself by getting it all put together in a pretty, bound book.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ready for the pickin

I'd say my spinach is about ready, wouldn't you?

poplar as a chair

Back in the depth of gray winter, I decided to spice up my life by taking a community class with my friend Mandy. We took "Make An Adirondack Chair" at West High. For seven weeks we spent a few hours each Thursday night in the wood shop transforming raw lumber into beautiful Adirondack chairs. The price for the class has since gone up, but at the time $35 to walk away with a handmade hardwood chair was a steal by any comparison. Overcoming my fear of most power tools was just a bonus.

Halfway through the class I decided to make two chairs (who wants to sit alone?) and thus walked out of the last night at the high school with my arms full of jigsawed and sanded - but not quite assembled - chair pieces. Over Memorial Day weekend I finally found some time to put pieces together and Mandy helped me remember the final steps of assembly the other night. I'm very close to finishing the second chair as well, but for now I guess I'll be sitting alone.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Part of you History #4

In the spring of 2002 I was gallivanting around Europe studying the history of art, eating chocolate and pastries at every opportunity and trying to dream up a scheme that would let me land there for a longer period of time in the future. In particular, I had fallen in love with Brugge, Belgium and all of its charm.

From my journal May 24, 2002

This morning at breakfast we were not greeted by the sweet little lady who usually serves us. Instead a grumpy man who looked very unhappy was manning the tables. We knew we would be on the go all day (leaving Brugge and traveling to Amsterdam), so we each grabbed an extra piece of baguette and left the breakfast room. Unfortunately, I was the last to leave which meant that I got chased out of the breakfast room by the grumpy old man yelling in broken English, "Excuse me, you eat what you want in here. You take, you pay!" He repeated it a few times while he stared down at the floor and I just said, "Oh, well we didn't know." "You take, you PAY," he screamed, "and tell your friends too!" What do you do? Baguette in hand, I climbed the stairs to my third floor room to let my roommates know what was up. He ended up charging us each four euros. At that point I was like, "Brugge, you're done" but then we went ouside to walk to the station and I fell in love with it all again.
{photo I took in Ghent, Belgium}

Friday, May 22, 2009

the kitchen

Nothing says 1954 like knotty pine! Of all of the areas of the house, I think the kitchen got the least amount of TLC and updating from the previous owners. We do have a nice tile floor and back splash, and granite tile counter tops, but to me the cupboards are a little dated. I'd love to refinish or paint them at some point, but that's not really at the top of my list right now.

We do, however, need a solution for the windows. Here are some photos of what the kitchen looks like now. Oh, and our everyday dishes are fiesta ware in lots of colors with most of the kitchen accents and serving pieces in red.

So if you've got great fabric ideas for the roman shades, let me know!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

house projects

There are a number of things I hope to do in the coming months to take our new dwelling from house to home. For now we've just been trying to keep up with some of the challenges that inherently come with home ownership - from finally discovering that a plastic dinosaur lovingly left half way down our toilet pipes was what caused it to stop flushing, and finding a loose wire nut that kept half of the house without electricity for a few days, to warding off termites that decided to make their home (and feast) in our garage, we (Spencer, mostly) have been pretty busy. There have been more surprises, but I'll spare you. Here's my latest in house projects:

Edible Garden: One of the things I've enjoyed most about owning a home is having a yard. We have two lovely mature ash trees in the back, plenty of grass, and a retaining wall that creates a lower section of the yard. It's been the perfect spot for a garden. I've planted 16 square feet of veggies, plus some more traditional rows. It's been fun to care for the plants and watch them grow. So far, I think they're making pretty good progress.
Roman Shades: Another thing I'm thinking about are the kitchen windows, which face west. This means lots of great light, but it can also be a really hot and blinding place to spend the late afternoon. To help filter the light and keep the kitchen cool we have plans to put up some shades. At first I was thinking about a bamboo shade, but then I saw this idea to DIY roman shades with the fabric of your choice.The key would be finding just the right fabric. Thoughts?

go big or go home.

What about if you want to go big at home? I love our new house and it's comfortable neutral palette, but making the place "ours" has been more of a challenge than I anticipated. Of course to do this, I need a few additional pieces of furniture, photos printed for all of our empty frames, and the courage to actually hang something on the wall.

I wish I had enough courage to pull off something as stunning as Design Mom's most recent project: painting the piano (green!!!!)
I've been wanting to set up a little "music nook" in our basement where our piano (came with the house!) and guitars reside. I intend to hang some of the postcard prints I bought at the British Portrait Gallery - oh-so-many-moons-ago - of some of my favorite musicians from the other side of the pond and those "let it be" lyrics scribbled on a napkin. But don't you think painting the piano some bold, glossy color would make it all the more interesting? Yeah, me too.

Oh, and you can read more about Design Mom's endeavor here.

Friday, May 08, 2009

last night

The weather here lately has been stunning. The grass is green, the sky is blue, and the air is warm. Last night when Spencer got home from work, we had a picnic on our backyard lawn before walking along one of our favorite streets, admiring the blossoming trees and listening to the stream, heavy and full, gush out of the canyon. Season 1 of LOST had finally arrived at the library (to help convert Spencer to my latest addiction) and I was anxious to pick it up. Of course we scoured the music collection as well, selecting a choice few jazz, classic rock, and indie artists that will accompany us in the car for the next few weeks. We walked home and chatted with dear neighbors from our old ward (two whole blocks away) as the sun slowly dropped. We came home and Spencer popped Gladys Knight (his pick) into the stereo. We danced in the kitchen to Midnight Train to Georgia as the very last speckles of sunshine freckled the room and finally fell to night. It was just one of those nights... when for a moment, all seemed right with the world.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sarah Likes To...

I just had to do this.... My friend Erika posted this on her blog and when I did it myself, it was too funny not to share.

All you have to do is google "[your name] likes to" and then post the top ten results. Here's what happened when I did my name:

1. Sarah likes to smell Colleen's armpits (mmmm, teen spirit)
2. Sarah likes to move it (as in, "I like to move it, move it")
3. Sarah likes to suggest a lot of naughty little taboos (yeah, so?)
4. Sarah likes to be in control and she appears to have some issues with attachment. She can exhibit temper tantrums, be defiant and uncooperative.
5. Sarah likes to share the wealth, too. (when the wealth comes, I'll be all about sharing it)
6. Sarah likes to ROCK.
7. Sarah likes to pet cute creatures, even if they are just pictures.
8. Sarah likes to shop.
9. Sarah likes to... Eat! (too true)
10. Sarah likes to clap her hands and say her first word, "yay!"

You should try this. Especially you, Mollie. ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

garage sales

Garage Sale-ing is one of those scrumptious-in-theory past times I have yet to fully embrace in my adulthood. I remember tagging along with my mom when I was a kid, and her being a total pro at scouting out the best finds and making great deals. Growing up, much of our home was furnished with cool garage sale finds. And for a long time, I've wanted to make it a part of my Saturday morning spring thru autumn routine. Mostly because it's one of the only venues were you can find furniture items not made of particle board or veneer, but still in my price range.

Which leads me to announce with excitement, my recent discovery of a cool new tool to help in all of our greatest garge sale scouting aspirations: Yard Sale Treasure Map. It finds garage sales in your area and you can add any others you find through your local classifieds or craigslist. Then it maps out your day for you. Click print, grab the keys and you're on your way to finding treasure.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

happy earth day.

You might not expect to hear that from me since the whole green movement typically has me gagging. Don't get me wrong, I believe in doing good things for our planet... I just don't like the whole approach that most of the marketing/hollywood world has taken. bleh.

Anyway, I do love this beautiful place where we all get to live. Enjoying the intricacies and majesties of the earth makes me feel closer to God. It's pretty, pretty great.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the absence.

I realize that I haven't been blogging very much for the past few months, and I think I'm going to try to get back into it. A few nights ago, Spencer and I were discussing some possible reasons of why I've stopped blogging... here's the synopsis:

Content - Sure, we bought a house recently (which is really cool and I need to post more about) and have been trying out Square Foot Gardening and composting for the first time (these things are supposed to sound potentially interesting) but it's also been winter and I don't feel like I've done anything exciting since the first three snowfalls.

Time - The majority of the time I spend on the computer these days is usually in some effort to keep my business rolling. And before that, it was all about finding us a crazy amazing place to live.

Bitterness - I realized that lots of people out there were making lots of money blogging about the everyday... This made me a) not want to read their blogs anymore (even though I was already hooked like a good reality tv show) b) not want to blog since I'm not making any money from it myself. Silly, but kind of true.

Relevance - I think that one of the reasons I began blogging in the first place (other than documenting my life, and my love of writing and photographing) was to have relevance to some external audience. Since getting married, I have a captive audience to report my daily randomosities to; the blog has become a bit less useful in this capacity.

Mainstreamness - When I started my blog way back in the day, blogs (or at least personal ones) weren't so... normal. I don't know, I just tend to have a hard time with certain things that everyone does/reads/listens to (still haven't read the da vinci code or twilight series) and now it seems like just about everyone has a blog.

Despite all of that, I am hoping to make my little corner of the online world all shiny and new again. Until then, check this out - one of the funniest things I've read in a long time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

two cool things

It seems like these days everyone is trying to do what they can to make or save a little extra money. I always figure that every little bit helps, and it's just a bonus when it doesn't require me doing anything extra. That's why I'm excited to share two recent discoveries: swagbucks and YouData. Swagbucks is just a search engine where you earn swagbucks for searching. Just like you normally search. When you get about 45 swagbucks (in about a month, depending on how often you search), you earn a $5 gift card to amazon (or lots of other places - amazon is my fave since they have nearly EVERYTHING). YouData earns you cash for looking at ads that are catered especially to you. You fill out a profile - a MeFile - and then ads are generated for you according to your profile. When you look at an ad you get money. When you click on it, you get more. They make deposits every Saturday into your paypal account. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So, I've been kind of busy

I've never had such a long blogging hiatus. My apologies. Perhaps my absence is justified by the fact that my life has been completely consumed in the process of purchasing a home. In less than 48 hours, we should officially be homeowners! We'll definitely post some photos when we get settled in, but for now, a few from the MLS:
(we are super stoked for the big backyard and mature ash trees!)
(and for the newly updated bathrooms)
(and cool built-in bookshelves around the stone fireplace) (and hardwood floors!!)

In other news, I've been busy shaving my husband's head (on accident), getting ready for the move, trying to find renters for our condo (if you know anyone who might be interested, let me know!) and prepping for a lesson I taught in church on Sunday. After compiling all my notes on my laptop and needing to print from my desktop, I unintentionally emailed my lesson to some mysterious Sarah McSomething instead of myself - someone I probably did a craigslist transaction with many moons ago. Oh well, at least now she knows all about living in peace and harmony with others. Can't get angry at me for that now, can she?
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