Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chobani yogurt

So, ever since high school I've been getting free stuff for helping with Buzz agent marketing campaign things. They should probably pay me money, but hey, free stuff with no legal commitment. For this campaign I got to try some Chobani yogurt from our local Smith's.
woo free yogurt
Here's my rundown of the four yogurt products:
  • Chobani flip: It looks like some kind of indulgent dessert and costs $1. Cheaper than a donut and probably healthier. It is awful. The chocolate pieces tasted kind of bitter to me, even though I double-checked that I didn't get the coffee flavor. The pretzel pieces were an interesting idea, but seemed cheap. There's no flipping involved so I'm not sure why it's called a flip. I'm not a fan of sour and chocolate. 0/5
  • Chobani kids: I thought they tasted weird, but they couldn't put any fruit clumps in them. It's a yogurt snack-thing that needs to be refrigerated, which means it has active cultures (I'm not so sure about the shelf-stable stuff). My daughter, Piper, is a big yogurt fan and liked these. I thought the Spiderman tie-in was tacky (what do spiders have to do with yogurt?). Also, my daughter could use the extra fat, what's with all the low-fat yogurt? 3/5
  • Fruit on bottom yogurt: Tastes like any kind of lowfat yogurt... full of artificial stuff to make the yogurt have a creamy mouth-feel without the fat. There's only so much you can do with lowfat yogurt... 3/5
  • 100 calorie yogurt - I'm afraid to try it. :-(
Well, we've established that I'm a complete yogurt snob. I recommend any kind of plain full-fat yogurt. If you're in Utah, Moutain High is super delicious. Best mix-ins: Lemon curd, nuts and honey, and fruit. If you're desperate jam will do in a pinch. Piper loves this yogurt mixed with any flavor of baby food.
we love this yogurt

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Walking on the Provo River Trail + cake

The past month or two I've been walking a lot on the Provo River trail with Piper. Almost every time we see something new and exciting. If you just want to see baby pictures they're on my photo blog.
some shelf fungus appeared on a tree after it rained

a dead Monarch butterfly! At least I think it's a Monarch.
I meant to identify this flower after our walk... I never did X(.
the views are amazing
morning clouds in our neighborhood 
there's a part where the river trail goes under a road that has openings of different shapes. The diamond opening was by far the favorite of spiders! You can't see it very well but there were 12+ spiders in this one opening. Test of courage!
There's a spot where 30-40 ducks regularly congregate and sleep near one of the parking lots. We call it "duck city."
Leopard slug
UFO cloud!
we get tons of these bugs around our house... are they mayflies?
There is a house along the trail with a very duck-friendly yard and regular morning feedings (usually between 8-9). This must have been before the feeding and I counted at least 60 ducks gathered here. I call it "ducktopia" because I keep wondering if they're going to harvest any of those delicious-looking ducks. 
Another yard near the trail houses two horses and a donkey. Koko and Piper were pretty interested in meeting it.
look carefully--there's a moth in this photo!
I looked up the tree that is everywhere on the river trail and it's a Fremont Cottonwood tree. Duh! I feel like I should know this stuff by now. Is there a remedial plant identification course I could take?

I started taking Piper to the library and I read a few issues of Otomen, which they have there. Here were two parts I thought were pretty funny (in the first two, the friend is thinking up an excuse to leave so his friend can have a good date or something). In the second two, the traditional swimsuit fan service is completely undermined, to humorous effect.

Okay, now for the last few photos I wanted to share:
sometimes I have really high-calorie snacks? This is goat cheese, cashews, and honey.
I made caramel for a cake I baked
This was the cake before I frosted it. It looked better after the frosting, but I forgot to take a photo.
I baked a cake! It was this salted caramel cake from the Cook's Illustrated magazine. It was actually one of my "little goals" I mentioned in the previous post. The part I messed up on the most was cutting the two layers in half and getting them to line up. Otherwise it was just a matter of following directions, although I was glad I started in the morning, because with all the cooling times of the cake, caramel, and frosting it took almost all day! I have a lot more appreciation for the work that goes into making a cake now.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

little goals

This week I've been happily exercising--walking, biking, yoga-ing, and ellipticalling. I felt inspired by an essay in the new Fresh Courage Take, in which a stay-at-home-mom feels more purpose and joy in her life my making little life goals about things other than keeping her kids alive. I have two physical health goals I'm working towards: I want to bike to bridal veil falls and back with Piper, and I want to hike Mt. Timp. I'm thinking I should have some intermediate goals too. I'd like to try out the Murdock river trail on my bike, and I'd also like to hike that mountain up Provo canyon again.

I and some of Adam's friends have been working on a video game project we've entitled Midnight Blues, and for a while I was writing away at things like backstories and lore. Right now I'm not really sure what the most productive thing I could do one it is, and it might just be to wait until the engine and art and story are a little further. I know I'll be a lot busier towards the end of the production cycle (assuming we can finish it) when I head up the PR/Marketing front of things. I feel like writing the story is a lot more interesting to me, but someone (i.e., me) has to do the less-interesting parts of game manufacturing in this situation. In the meantime I can work on other things!

Admittedly I haven't been doing very much creative stuff. I did design a little overcoat in Animal Crossing, among other things:

I've also been planning and cooking dinner each night, which is a good habit to be in. I have some other goals to try to make things I haven't made before. Life is pretty good.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Shameless terrible food photos

New post over on the private photo blog! Also here are some other photos.

I thought this typo was funny. From Last Window.

We had an open house and these were the foodstuffs. 
Oh and some healthy stuff too.
We went to La Caille for our anniversary! I think this is the beet salad, which was really good. 
I had the Boston salad
Adam had... some kind of seafood thing. I think that's Halibut.
Peking duck! I was delighted to find duck on the menu since PF Chang's no longer serves it.
And Pavlova for dessert.

When summer is or isn't relaxing

I feel like part of my identity has been taken over by my offspring Piper. I think it's pretty common--on Facebook many women with children have children with them in their profile pictures, which I think is indicative of how it affects a caregiver on an almost subconscious level. I am down to one breastfeeding a day, and I'm kind of looking forward to being more separate from Piper. It feels like she will always be clinging to me and wanting something of me.

I thought I might be one of those moms who wants to breastfeed their baby for a long time and hold them all the time, but I'm not. I think I might be a bit opposite that, actually. I might have mentioned this before but I feel like I'm trying to optimize my parenting to not include effort from me. I like Piper just fine! I just have other things I want to do. Sometimes I feel like I'm not savoring the baby moments enough, like I'm going to miss her being a baby or something, but I think that will be nostalgia and not actually wanting to go back in time. Although right now I am remembering how much time I had to myself when she was sleeping half the day!

The main thing I do that is not related to childcare and housekeeping is to consume media like books, TV, and videogames. My life is pretty good, so I don't feel like I NEED to "escape" it, although sometimes I feel like I'm trying to forget about my daily responsibilities for a few minutes (and is that so wrong?). I also like feeling like I'm a part of a common experience with popular media and sometimes it gives me something to talk about with other people. I know that if I spent more time on creative pursuits like writing or even doodling I would probably be happier about how I spend my leisure time! I guess that's why I'm writing this blog post.

We are getting Google fiber internet today! We had Utah Broadband (UBB) for about 3 months until we could get fiber installed. UBB had great customer service and they were able to install their antennae on our house pretty quickly. We got their lowest tier which is $40 a month and sort of okay. With the faster internet we won't have to think ahead of time for game downloads and I'll be able to stream TV in higher quality.

Last week my family on my dad's side had a family reunion. Adam took the week off and we tried to hang out at the Timp lodge where we had the reunion as much as possible. I enjoyed seeing my relatives and getting to know them a bit better. I have to admit though, it wasn't exactly a relaxing vacation. Lots of people helped with Piper pretty much constantly, and the rest of the family took care of the majority of meals. So I'm not really sure why it was stressful? Besides the fact that we ended up keeping Piper up late every night and she missed some of her naps. I keep telling myself that my "time off" is more like the time that everyone is on-schedule or at work and my "crunch time" is when we're on vacation or when we have company, but it still always surprises me how not relaxing it is to simply have people over (but I enjoy having people over!).

Friday, May 01, 2015


There's a new picture post over on my family blog. We moved and it was pretty stressful, but we had lots of help. My parents visited and helped unpack more things and my in-laws helped get our former house ready to sell. Piper is crawling around and getting into everything. We've been buying lots of new stuff (bedding for the guest room, rug for the library, a more childproof media stand) and I feel bad about being such a consumerist. I haven't been exercising every day like I was, and I feel like I should do that more.

I've been helping with a new game project with my husband, two of his siblings, and some friends. I kind of feel like everyone has something important to contribute except for me, but Adam is hoping I can help everyone stick with the project long enough to complete it. I guess in the past I have excelled at being consistent and persistent. But ever since I dropped out of graduate school, I feel less obligation to finish things. On the third hand, I know if I'm determined I can stick with something.

Meanwhile, some other pictures that didn't make the "family photos" cut:

love slow-cooker meals but can't stand the smell? My neighbor has the perfect solution.
gnarly dude
I found a fungus in our new backyard! I'm not sure what it is, if it's even a mushroom. It's rigid to the touch.

sunsets here are pretty great too
saw lots of this field crescent butterfly on a hike

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New photo post; cuttlefish video!

Here's a new post on the family photo blog. Lots of pictures and videos! Here are some that don't have humans in them:
we visited California in December
these clouds are cool
rainbow from our backyard!

Here's a video of a cuttlefish from our aquarium visit if that isn't exciting enough:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Marriage survival-sim I helped with is now live!

Hi friends and family!

Our Personal Space, the marriage survival sim I helped write with my sister, is now live! Download it here for Windows, Mac, Linux, or Android. I wrote about my experience writing/designing the game over on The Ludi Bin, my gaming blog. There are many genres of videogames, and in this one you don't have to worry about jumping over things or shooting anyone. But you do have to worry about how your choices will impact the other characters! Please let me know how you like it, if you play it.