{throwback thursday}: sales

So for a season of my life I went door to door to businesses selling online advertising.  It was a very interesting time and I really enjoyed meeting with so many different people.  I found that if you show up at their business in person they tend to be more receptive than if you cold call, so door to door I went.  I originally started here in St. George, we each having our assigned areas and then ended up in Cedar City for the summer that year.  It was amazing getting out of the heat and commuting up there so we took it a step further and commuted all the way to Parowan for a couple of weeks.

Parowan is the most random little town.  If I ever wanted to write a novel, it would be there that I would hibernate for writing.  It's full of crazies, bed and breakfasts, small cafes and a few other small businesses.  So much of the small main street is original, and I love it!

One of the days I was there I wandered off the main road and found a small motel.  You guys, the cat lady from the Simpsons lives there!!  I'm not kidding.  An old woman with crazy gray hair was chasing cats around speaking in an unidentifiable language.  And entire flock of ducks was also making their way down the overgrown dirt road that separated the two rows of motel rooms.

Oh!  Google Images...there's a picture!

the picture pretty much sells it, right?
So, being the young and non-intimidated idiot that I was I decided to knock on the office door.  Sometimes I look back at my days in sales and thank heaven I'm still alive and safe.  Who in their right mind drives clear up to Parowan, finds the most dark and secluded motel off the beaten path and then decides to go to there?  Yeah...

I knock on the door and I kid you not, a wall of smoke wafts over me as the door opened.  In front of me is a youngish man with an old t-shirt reading "hippies stink."  (they do).  His first words:  "Hey!  Look at you!  Look at me!  Look at me looking at you!"  (In my mind I think I was grateful that he was a friendly stranger).  I introduced myself and the product I was selling.  He said some other very hilarious and only mildly-coherent things here that unfortunately time has taken from my memory.  He had no internet access. (I would be willing to bet they probably still don't have internet access).

An entire flock of wild turkeys then decided to migrate through.  Seriously.  Squaking, feathers and all.

Typically I would meet people and set up appointments to come back and go over the full spiel.  So I asked if I could.  No.  He then asked if I had any lit.er.a.ture...pronounced just so.  Not if I had any more information, but if I had any lit.er.a.ture.  I did.  And I left it.  He made sure to get my personal business card as well (I was hesitant, but thoroughly entertained and curious at this point enough to risk prank calls or stalking..who knows)

While our exchange took place we gathered an audience of the motel's inhabitants.  Old men playing cards, a toothless woman crocheting, and of course the cat woman.  She actually growled at me from behind her bike (like I was going to steal it) as I left.

I'm sad to say I never heard anymore from this.  It was quite the exchange.  We were recently up in Parowan on our way up the canyon and all of a sudden this memory flooded back to me.  Luckily I scrawled down a few tiny details on a notepad because I thought the entire thing was so funny at the time.


{holidays}: stella's birthday

My baby is 1.  I still can't believe it.  It's like we've always had 2 children, but at the same time sometimes in the mornings they're a surprise like "who let these children in our house??  where did they come from?  why are they waking me up!!!?!"  It was so fun putting her in the same onesie that Paisley wore for her 1st birthday!  And of course Paisley had to be all fancy too in her cupcake dress.  It is nearly impossible to get a good picture of the two of them...oh well.  Their Daddy is their most favorite person in the whole entire world, and as you can see they LOVE HIM SOO MUCH.  He gets smothered every day he comes home.

her most favorite place in the world

The cupcakes and her cake were a comedy of errors.  As you can see, everything looks extra homemade!  The vanilla cupcakes came out perfect-they rose beautifully, they didn't burn and everything was looking like it was going to turn out amazing.  So I made the cake.  I wasn't sure exactly how much batter a 6" round took so I looked it up and it said 2 cups...I'm thinking that's for 2 rounds (because it was for a 2 layer cake)...and maybe I just can't read...either way me and Wilton are in a fight.  The first cake layer came out huge and took a long time to bake...so I attempted to even things out with the 2nd layer and do less...I don't know, either way I ended up with severely unequal, uneven layers, but at least they weren't burnt and they tasted good, right?

I then started making the frosting.  I LOVE fresh strawberry frosting but it is a bit temperamental.  I just made it a couple of weeks ago and it turned out perfect, thus renewing my strawberry-frosting-making-confidence.  my mistake.  I didn't realize this wasn't stiff enough until after I was halfway through frosting the cake (which I did let cool plenty long so I at least get stars for that, right?)  Getting an already broken and misshapen cake to shape up is difficult with good frosting, and I would say impossible with runny frosting. Into the fridge it went.  Unfortunately I'd already put the other portion in the bag for frosting the cupcakes so the cupcakes also went into the fridge with the hopes of freeze-framing the frosting.

Determined not to let the same thing happen to my chocolate frosting I made it ridiculously too thick and could not even get it to come out of the bag!!  (Once again, put it in the bag before confirming consistency...ahh, life lessons).

In the meantime, for one reason or another ALL of my chocolate cupcakes came out caved in and stuck to the pan!  The second batch was SO stuck I couldn't even get them out of the pan without completely destroying them so I gave up.  I can't really complain too much because as long as it all tastes good, I will always stand by my baking...I just can't always promise perfect presentation.

watermelon is her favorite

I love how well this captures my siblings and their significant others.

sexy man.

We're going to look back and call this Chad's beard phase.

Paisley's newest boyfriend.

I LOVE that we have room for people!!

She loved her cake and had no problem dunking her own face in!  She was so excited!!

It was delicious, malformations and all.  Thanks to everyone that came to celebrate our little Stella!


{the house}: befores & afters, part 1

This post has been a long time coming...and I still feel like it's a bit anti-climatic.  We're just not done...BUT we've come a very long way from where we started, so that's wonderful!!  I'll start with the girls rooms, because I feel like they are the most finished:



before & after

Now, we never actually got to see the house with furniture in it-these are just pictures from an old listing in 2008, but the paint and wallpaper were the same when we bought it as when they originally listed then.  Paisley's room had navy blue blinds, Stella's were bright red.  Both had wallpaper borders across the top and Paisley's had a waistcotting around the middle.  Stella's room actually still had that shelf hanging on the wall (it's at DI, if you act fast you might could snag it!)  We've scraped down the wallpaper, pried off the waistcotting, scrubbed, scraped and repaired the walls, taken down the popcorn ceiling and repainted both rooms.  Thankfully, they had replaced the whole house with new carpet before we bought it!

The living room is really difficult to truly capture, but it's one of the main reasons we bought the house!!  It's very large and split in half with a cut-out wall.  It actually used to be a living room and formal dining room, but we changed it into a living room/music room.  We love it.

before-gotta love this plaid blue carpet!

music room before (from a different angle)

As you can see, the carpet makes a huge difference!!  I'm so glad it was replaced before we bought it because we love it.  The fireplace originally was brown and the walls were dingy yellow.  The entire house was popcorn ceiling, so all of that was scraped down and redone.  We primed and painted everything, repairing and scrubbing as we went.  Luckily none of this living room was wallpaper, but most of the rest of the house was or at least had borders!  We painted the fireplace gray and I'm really thinking I want to do some sort of an accent wall in here...but I'm so scared to paint any other colors!!  We don't even have pictures in the frames yet...it still feels really unfinished, but we're getting there.  I'm so hoping to have a mantle built before Christmas, but we'll see!

This is my laundry nook.  I loved this house because instead of having seperate rooms it really has nooks.  Everything is open and connected, but at the same time everything has it's own place which I LOVE!!  We are so happy about our craigslist find of new washer and dryer!  I'm sold on front loading!

Below is actually my office where I'm currently sitting...writing this for you!!  I love it because it's part of our family room so the girls can be playing and watching movies and I can be working and cooking and watching them all at the same time!  I also love the window so I know which chicken I need to go rescue when Paisley is loving them too much.  I might paint it...I can't decide.  Jon says our house needs SOME texture-I can't just paint over everything!  Which is probably true.  I just think it would be soo cute gray or white or even navy or something.  We'll see.  I'm kind of thinking that most of the pictures will actually end up as "befores" in the long run...
my office.  i love.
I have big plans to blog about chickens and birthdays and such...someday...someday!


{babies don't keep}

    Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
    Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
    Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
    Sew on a button and make up a bed.
    Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
    She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
    Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
    (Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
    The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
    And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
    But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
    Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

    The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
    For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.