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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

my current craving.

 
Lately, I have been needing a regular caffeine fix before I go to work. 
I feel like ther e aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do school, work, sleep, study and having fun,
Or atleast that's what I tell myself when to spend an extra $4 a day. 
I’ve slowly but surely have been turning into a Java Jo’s addict, I practically stop by all the nights I have work.
I’ve woked my way around them menu trying different drinks everytime I went.
But I’ve recently found one that I have been hooked on.
I just cant stay away from the Iced Chai Chargers at Java Jo's. 
It is seriously the best 'dirty chai' I've ever had. 
And gives me a little more energy that I need to finish my day
They basically took two things that I love {coffee and chai} and made it into an awesome cold drink! 
 I still find myself craving it everyday
And it hasn't been a really great habit... $4 adds up...
rough estimate that's atleast $20 a week that I can be spending on other things. 
Like going to dinner with a friend or seeing a movie or it could go towards a new top.
Although knowing me, it will probably fizzle out soon.
Ever since I’ve come to the U – I’ve slowly but surely have gotten addicted to Diet Coke.
I never even used to drink those when my parents bought them back home.
But ever since I’ve moved here its become my beverage of choice.
Lately I haven’t been feeling like having Diet Cokes, But I’m sure I’ll be back on that grind fairly soon.
I love going to sev {7-eleven} and getting big gulps of diet cokes with my girl friends.

Parents as Parents

I recently heard a podcast about whether or not the Disney princesses are good role models for young girls.  It discussed how these cartoon characters can effect body image and self-worth, and whether Disney is attempting to enforce specific gender roles.  The podcast reviewed a study that surveyed girls ages three to six.  They showed the girls pictures of ballerinas of varying body types and asked the girls to identify the ones they felt looked most like princesses.  Most chose the skinny ballerinas, and the researchers theorized that this was because they had been influenced by Disney's animated ladies.  The study, however, did not account for the other types of re-enforcement the girls might be receiving or not receiving at home and at school.

One example they provided was that Belle in "Beauty and the Beast" attracts Gaston with only her outer beauty, and that this sends the wrong message to girls about the importance of looks.  I felt that they failed to recognize that Gaston is the dim-witted villain in the story and that the Beast actually appreciates her literary intelligence, but more importantly it seems that parents now want the media to raise their children for them.  Why aren't parents teaching their children that they should value character, intelligence and creativity over outer beauty?  Why have parents assigned Disney, or any other form of children's media, the task of instructing kids on how to be their best self?

When I was growing up, my parents took their role very seriously.  They set expectations and guidelines for me to follow and always enforced those ideas themselves.  If there was a movie they didn't think supported those ideas, I wasn't allowed to watch it.  My parents also took the time to educate me on the fact that movies are not representative of real life, and that there are more important things than being pretty.  I watched Disney movies and never had conflicting body image issues, and never felt that all I could accomplish as a female would be to get married.

Here's another example.  A few months ago, a woman's group wanted to sue Hooters because they felt it wasn't child appropriate.  If you have a problem with Hooters, then don't take your kid there!  Set the example for you children and uphold those rules yourself.  That's what being a parent is about.  Don't expect society to do the job for you. 

Spring Fashion.

I am really looking forward to spring fashion and getting out of this cold weather wear!
With spring comes whites, florals, sandals, and this season - the brightest colors out there...

WHY WE LOVE IT
(MaxMara, Jil Sander, Lanvin, Prabal Gurung)

I love how the colors can be completely opposite on the color spectrum and although they are bright, it works. I love Lanvin's flowy overwhelming red and the fact that they break it up with a brown belt. Head to toe color can be something other than black!!! This is absolutely exciting...pastels can get so old and I can't wait to incorporate this great DVF dress I bought months ago! It is bright, bright, BRIGHT orange!! I bought it at Nordstrom on sale and although it is not my typical style, I can never pass up a good deal!!

http://c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000xvNZNlGvWfY/s
(This is the only picture I could find of my dress online...Dang it looks good on her, I hope I can pull it off!!)

Anyways I just love Spring Trends and of course I had to look to Nordstrom for advice on what's hot and what's not this season! Nordstrom is all about keeping up with the latest trends and it's a good thing they do as they are only really great department store in Salt Lake City. Nordstrom is all about...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_AvQlaj96gXc/TBbRN-aFgiI/AAAAAAAABPA/bO2IMrMmoJI/s1600/white-denim.JPG.jpeg
White Denim

http://www.gap.com/Asset_Archive/GPWeb/Assets/Product/498/498716/main/gp498716-01p01v01.jpg
The Classic Trench

http://imagethumbnails.milo.com/008/967/066/290/8967783_10450066_290.jpg
And Safari Inspired Pieces

I love spring fashion and the feeling of spring. I think spring is inspiring - I know I'm more likely to get dressed up cute and go to class in the spring when the weather is nice. It's the perfect time of year when the sun is finally peaking through your windows after the long cold winter. You can run outside again, you can walk to the store, and you can get some much needed vitamin D. Springtime is wonderful and the fashion of this spring 2011 should be the best yet. I love getting my March InStyle in February because it gives me plenty of time to prepare my spring trends. Spring is all about being fresh and having great style is always fresh.



leadership convention in ohio.


I spent this past weekend in ohio at a leadership conference for my sorority and i was amazed at how these 48 hours really inspired me. We had many different speakers about how to improve our club on campus but most of the things they were telling me were great life lessons that I am going to be able to use forever. One speaker inparticular talked about achieving Social Excellence. she spoke about the importance of communication and NO not communication through technology but old fashioned one on one communication.
 here is just a little glimpse of what she spoke on:

Social Excellence: a state of perpetual authenticity, generosity, curiousity, and positivity.

she explained how we have 5 seconds to make a first impression and only 30 seconds to change it.  isn't that true? its definitely something to think about.

Authenticity: there is no better person to be but yourself, be the best version of you when you are meeting someone. Don't try and mold to someone else because you are the only person like you so SELL that. 

Generosity: Give someone your time, give every single person the benefit of the doubt. If you are showing positive generosity the person is going to be more interested in talking to you.

Curiousity: learn stuff because you are curious. be curious. expand past your boundaries to learn a LITTLE more. she told us a story about how every time she is on a plane she sparks up conversation with the person next to her, not because she is bored but because she is interested. maybe you wont have anything in common with the person but why not enjoy the time you are spending together instead of sitting in silence or never really knowing. she challenged us to spend 60-80% of the time listening because in all reality a persons favorite subject is themselves...sad right? but true. so feed their ego.  Every single person we encounter has something they can teach us.
"Listen to everyone as though they are wise"
on my way home from ohio i challenged my boundaries..and spent 3 hours talking to the man next to me... we had NOTHING in common except maybe we both liked to ski. but it sure made the flight go by faster. 

and lastly,
Positivity: Be positive, why not? make a positive impact on everyone. show them who you are. 
"Make every single person you can spark up a conversation feel even a LITTLE bit better"
 Ask open ended questions. Let them answer and learn from what they are saying.

this poem may seem a little girly but it really sums up what i am trying to say. to be a little more positive or just a little more open to things we arent used to doing...so sorry boys... you can still read it if you want :) 

If I had my life to live over again,
I would try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this time.
I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
And watch more sunsets.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and less imaginary ones.
But I have had my moments.
And if I had them to do again, I would have more of them.
Fast moments, one after another.
Instead of living so many years…
So many years ahead of each day.
If I had it to do over again,
Next time I would start barefooted earlier in the spring.
And stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hookie much more.
I wouldn’t make such good grades, except by accident.
I would have more headaches,
And drink more tomato juice.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
And I would pick more daisies.

-Chloee Drews-

My love for HGTV





My new found love and hobby has become interior decorating and watching shows on HGTV. Turning homes from dumpy to cute is so interesting and fun to watch. The show Design on a Dime is about how people set a budget to update and add spice to their home decor. Usually the budget ranges from a couple to a few thousand depending on the desire of update you want to accomplish. This show gives people simple and cheap tips to follow to really make their home sparkle. For example, painting your kitchen cabinets a teal blue and doing a new thick linoleum wood for the floor coverings can really change the feel of an outdated kitchen.


Basically there are five different styles of decorating. They are Contemporary, Traditional, Modern, Eclectic, and Transitional. I find my own personal style to be Modern and Traditional. This channel gives me ideas to recreate in my own home. When I buy home decor I love shopping and looking around in stores such as Z Gallerie, Pier 21, Tai Pan Trading and Hobby Lobby. I also enjoy "making over" furniture. I browse around in the KSL furniture section looking for old, cheap furniture such as a coffee table. I love turning that coffee table into something new by staining or painting it. I just found an end table on KSL for $10 and am working on painting it white and then running sand paper over it to give it a stressed, vintage look. Also, recently I worked on making my own accent pillows for my couch. I find accent pillows to be over priced and I can't always find the design I am looking for. So, I decided to make my own! I went to Joanns and picked out some fun fabrics. I then just made a pillow case so my old couch pillows could fit in them and then sewed it shut. I get compliments all the time for my pillows and all it cost me was the cost of the fabric.

Season of Decisions

Do you ever feel like there are seasons of decisions? What I mean is that quiet can come for a long period, but when one big decision comes, the next and the next is right after. "When it rains it pours," right? Is this true for you? This seems very true for those who are graduating. It is the nature of life's direction. We are forced to stay in the same place or keep moving on to something new, upon our decision that forces things one way or another.
Starting November, I was faced with my first decision: will I try to cram 21 credits to graduate in May? Where will I apply for internships? Will I apply for an overseas internship? When I return from overseas will I stay in Salt Lake or move back to California? Should I look somewhere completely new to live?
I know that there is a season of change upon me. It is scary and exciting and overwhelming. How do I know the best decision(s)? This is a common question many college graduates are asking themselves. I strive to foremost follow my heart. I have already found this to be so challenging in the economy we are in. What I mean is that there is the pressure to take the first job offered, and not necessarily what will get my blood pumping. I already turned down a "good" job, and am having doubts about it, but I also know that this is an opportune time to find something that I will have a passion for as well. All of these questions really come down to TWO questions to make the post-graduation decision. They are as follows:

  1. WHERE do I want to live?
  2. WHO do I want to work for?

Which question do YOU think is most important? Which should be asked first to determine the other?





I want spring to come FAST!

I can't believe this is the last day of 60 degree weather this week. In two days it's going to be cold and wet again. Yuck! I want to run barefoot in the grass and dig in my garden. Studying outside would be sooooo nice. I love variety but cold weather gets old very quickly. However, I do have some fond memories of rainy weather. Last November I was able to fly to New York with my daughter. I had never been to New York and I was so excited. It rained while we were there.
I work as an Independent AVON Representative and I won a video contest in October. The prize consisted of a large chunk of change and a trip to New York to visit with Suze Orman. Can you believe I actually won! I was one of just five representatives in the U.S. who won the trip. We each got to bring a guest. I have four children and they all voted and Michelle got to go. She loves New York and it was so nice to have her to show me around.
When we arrived we were met by a limo driver! Everything was so elegant. Our hotel was beautiful. Just two weeks before we were there, President Obama stayed there! How cool is that? All of our expenses were taken care of. We just needed money for souvenirs. AVON really pulled out all the stops for all of us.
Meeting Suze Orman was amazing. She is brilliant and so sharp. She looks much younger than she is. (She must use AVON!) Suze is the official financial advisor to AVON Representatives and we always get financial advice but it was incredible to be sitting across the table from her, receiving information given just to me. Who would think that little old me would have such a life changing experience? I have always loved AVON because I have been able to make money and enjoy a lot of freedom. However, this experience showed me even more how lucky I am to work with such an amazing company. Let me know if you want to know what Suze said to me. Looking back, rainy days really do have silver linings.

I am so sick of hearing about Jimmer...

Ok ok...I have to admit that I am (even though I am a die-hard Ute fan) fairly proud of the BYU men's basketball team and all of the success that they are having this season. It is a great thing for a school in the state to be doing so well and even better for a school that is connected to such a little-known, little-understood religion. However, despite all of their success, I am constantly reminded of why I absolutely hate BYU fans. Not even hate, loathe is probably a more fitting term, detest would work as well.

You see, it's not just that they are fans of our rival school, and I pretty much have no connection to that school at all, BYU fans are a different breed. They feel like their players/team/fans are invincible because of the "holiness" of their school. It's that prideful, self-righteous attitude that makes me loathe the star player of the BYU Cougars, Jimmer Freddette.

First point, who names their kid Jimmer? Is he a small cricket who grants wishes to a puppet who wants to be a boy? Oh wait, that would be Jiminy, and he's much cooler anyways. Second point, last thing BYU fans need is another person to idolize. It seems like everyone in P-Town has jumped on the Jimmer bandwagon, and the godlike comparisons are hard to avoid. It has gotten so out of hand that there is actually a fan page (not odd for a star athlete) that actually compares Jimmer as something like..."the best thing since sliced bread", hardly! Here's a couple other quotes from die-hard Jimmer fans on the facebook website:

"The Jimmer can count to infinity, starting from negative infinity" (really people?)

"And there went a fear of Jimmer throughout all the land; yea, a cry went forth throughout the land—Who can stand before the Jimmer? Behold, he sweepeth the earth before him!" (this comment actually makes me physically ill)


Dear Elder Jimmer,
You are hereby called to serve as a point guard in the National Basketball Association. You are assigned to labor in California Los Angeles Laker Mission. It is anticipated you will serve for a period of 72 months." (there are just not even words for this, I am speechless)

More ridiculous comments can be found on the facebook fan page. I am not a fan of "The Jimmer" as he is now known, but it looks as if he's here to stay awhile, at least until he goes to the NBA. What remains to be seen though, is what he actually does there, because the NBA is a totally different ball game (no pun intended) than the NCAA, especially Mountain West Conference, BYU Basketball...

Again, best of luck to the Cougars, I wish them well on their journey during March Madness (heaven knows the Utes aren't going to do much)...but please, for the love of everything good, appreciate the team and the game, not the idolized play who, before 2 months ago, was virtually unknown to the Cougar basketball world.

stares on valentines day

So I recently became single and yesterday was the first valentines day in long time that I was single. My really good friend ( who's married ) and I decided to go get sushi last night because his wife had to work until 10 pm. We know the owners of a really good sushi place in Sandy and they told us that we could just show up whenever and not have to wait for a table. We jumped on the opportunity to go out because we didn't have to wait at all to be seated. He brought his one-year-old daughter and she kept us entertained all night.
Throughout the night, we got more stares than usual. Him and I used to be roommates and would go out together all the time. At first, we figured that everyone was just looking at his adorable daughter. About an hour into us being there we decided what some of the stares had to be. The two of us, both males, were out together on valentines day together. My buddy came up with the bright idea that some people were probably thinking that we were a gay couple with a daughter. This idea got us to talking about the movie, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry." So the rest of the night, all we did was quote lines from that movie and had a blast. I never thought that I could have that much fun on valentines day being single and hanging out with another guy. By the end of the night, all of the good quotes from that movie were exhausted and we couldn't stop laughing.
The owner bought most of our sushi and we had a pretty big bill just from the beer alone. All in all, it was a great valentines day and neither of us had to be romantic with a girl and we got to dress however we wanted. Although it's always nice to get all dressed up and take a girl out, it was a huge bonus not to have to do it last night. There were no flowers, jewelery or chocolate bought and we figured that our beer and food were cheaper than having actual dates. It was awesome.

The Best Man

My dad is the greatest dad ever! He is the most genuine, loving, kind person I know. For Valentines Day he gave me and my brother a build-a-bear. Mine was a love bug. It made my day. I thought it was a really cute idea and the thought was there. All my life my dad has always been there. He coached me through basketball, softball, and volleyball. I grew up playing sports and being by his side. He not only taught me sports but the important life lessons along the way. He is the one that made me dream big and told me that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. Most of our time together was spent together at sports events. Either I was playing, he was playing, or we went to a sporting event. No matter what we were always there for each other. He is always there to help you even if it's staying up late with you to help you with homework or a paper. He likes to volunteer at his church fixing things for the building and giving up his free time to help others.
Now when you first see my dad you wouldn't see a big loveable teddy bear. He looks intimidating and scary to a lot of people. He's 6'2" and a skinny guy. And when he's not smiling he has a serious look on his face but its not because he hates the world or anything that's just his serious face. Once you start talking to him you get to know that he's really a nice friendly guy. One time at high school registration my dad went with me and was waiting at a bench while i was in line. My friend was scared to talk to him but as she walked by he said hello and they started talking. After they were done she came up to me and told me how nice she thought my dad was. My dad was pleased to hear that my friends don't think he's a scary beast. I guess with this post I just wanted to tell my dad and share with all of you how much he means to me. He is the greatest guy in the world and I couldn't of asked for a better example and loveable man in my life. He is my hero and I love him so much. I know Valentines is over but it's never to late to tell someone you love them.

Wedding Planning

I got engaged on January 28th of this year and I was so excited to get started on my wedding plans. When I was younger I wanted to be a wedding planner so I have always had a lot of ideas for what I want for my own wedding. That was until I started actually planning. Since my fiance and I are both from San Diego that's where the wedding will be which makes it really difficult since I don't live there. It is also difficult because my fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding while living in separate states...not fun! So as of right now these are the issues; my mom and I disagree about EVERYTHING, the guest list is out of control, I have to work with a budget, I live 600 miles away from where I will be getting married, I have become addicted to wedding blogs, and my wedding colors are unique almost too unique because they are difficult to find in anything and especially together.

So the first issue; my mom and I disagree about everything. We are totally different from each other which normally is fine until now she wants a say in everything about my wedding and we are having a hard time finding some common ground. Another issue is that she took over the guest list and decided to invite everyone she has ever met. We currently have 322 people not including any of my sorority sisters (I have 90 of them) or any of my fiance's friends or family and she thinks she's already done a lot of downsizing. Normally I would think its totally fine that means more presents (haha) but the problem is that the maximum amount of people we can have at our venue is 300 and she will not budge. So basically we have to hope that around 100 people don't come so that we will be able to use our venue, which is sad. Another of my issues is the fact that i have become totally addicted to wedding blogs and trust me there are hundreds of them out there. It is a serious problem because I see things I like everyday and I change my mind all the time about what I want for my wedding.

The distance is also another problem because I have to find all my vendors pretty much by the internet so I have to go off websites which is not always the easiest thing to do. I also only have a week at spring break and Presidents day weekend to meet with vendors, look at the venue, taste catering, choose a DJ, meet with my florist, pick out invitations, pick out suits, decide on a cake and spend time with my fiance. Too much to do with not enough vacation time to do it!

Is it still cool to be a Gleek?

So I just watched the most recent episode of Glee and through the whole episode I kept asking myself why I am I so bored. First of all, you should understand that I became a huge fan of Glee by the end of the first season. I loved how each character on the show had their own quirks and I loved the anticipation of finding out what song they were going to sing next. Don't get me wrong there are still aspects of the show that I still love. For example, the mutual hatred between Sue Sylvester and Mr. Schuester is still funny and entertaining. Kurt still has his moments, but it is totally different now that he is in a different school and in a different glee club than the rest of the leading cast. I now find myself wanting to see less of Finn, Rachel, Kurt, Sue and Mr. Shuester and wanting to see more of Brittany, Santana, Puck and the rest of the Glee club that doesn't get much airtime. And I know it is only a matter of time before these characters become boring to me as well.
Every show gets to that point where it starts to overstay its airtime nobody starts to care what happens anymore. But for a show as popular as Glee to start to run out of steam in only the middle of its second season, it's crazy!! Maybe it has to do with how it started so great so fast. I mean something starts out so good, how do you keep it going? How much longer are the creators of this show going to be able to keep the energy and excitement up?
Another that I have a problem with this show is how cheesy, abnormal and awkward all of them look while they are singing. This show is becoming more and more like a drawn out version of High School Musical, and let's face it without force that Zac Efron had on teenage girls that phenomenon would no have lasted as long as it did.
Who knows, Glee could last for another five years (I seriously doubt that would ever happen), but you never know if American Idol could last for ten years, Glee might be able to overstay it's welcome as well.
Are you still proud to be a Gleek, or are you ready for another phenomenon to be a part of?

How to make a fool of yourself

I want everyone to know who might read this, that this story is 100% true. Nothing has been exaggerated or overblown. The year was 2002. I was a junior in high school. There is a tradition for high schools in this great state of Utah concerning dances. When either asking or answering someone to a dance you must do it in some outrageous way. My friends and I loved this and took every chance we had to go all out. This time was no exception.
Each of us had been asked but we wanted to answer as a group. My dear friend had a wonderful idea. A giant poster would be placed on the doorstep of the girl with a big fishing net. The poster would read, " These are my fairies count them one by one. See if you can catch them and read the note on their little bum!" From there little cut out footprints would lead the girl to us group of guys who were dressed up in tights, tutus and fairy wings. The girl would have to catch us with the fishing net and try to get an answer from one of us. The plan was to do this same thing to each girl. We just didn't know that our night would be cut short.
Another friend of ours wanted to come along but was out with his family and needed to meet up with us. We told him to meet us at the 7-11 at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We parked our car at the front of the store and waited for him. Now, mind you, we did not have any other clothes on at this time. We didn't think we needed any. We thought we were going to just do this and go home. Then our friend showed up. He pulls up in what we called the Fun Shuttle. It was a 1993 Chevy Astrovan. This is when all hell broke loose!
As he pulled up he wanted to jump out of his car to say 'hi' (He at least had some shorts on). But as he did this he forgot to put the car in park. He got out of the car it began to roll forward. So as he is trying to get back in, say hi to us and put the car in park, instead of pushing on the break he pushed on the gas. The next thing I see is the Fun Shuttle jumping up the curb and right into the front door of the 7-11 store. Somehow he was able to turn the car so it didn't go right through the store. Instead, it was parallel to the storefront. After that he smashes into the big cement garbage can and it goes soaring in the air and slams to the ground. He then gets high centered on the can. He tries to get off it and stars flooring the gas. When his tires finally catch, he peels out and hits another car in the process making it do a 360.
After that we did not know what to do. We didn't have any clothes! Sure enough the police came and we tried to tell them what we were doing but did not believe us and made us walk the line and do the Breathalyzer. Of course we hadn't been drinking and they us go. And yes we did get some pretty weird looks. To top it all off, after all the dust had settled we got together in the parking lot and one of the other guys said to our poor friend who just created mayhem "Sorry about your car man but... that was awesome!"

It's all about coffee.

Coffee. The rich, dark, piping-hot elixir that binds all college students. I admit, I LOVE coffee. It's become as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth or checking my email. If there were a way to permanently attach my french press to my hand, I honestly would consider it.

"So, what's so great about a bitter-tasting, murky cup of joe?"

Being a barista, I've surprisingly been asked this questions more times than you may think. What is so great about coffee? Caffeine is generally the answer for most people, but not for me. Although the energy boost is an incentive to chugging down a cup or two before leaving the house, it's definitely not the main reason I drink it. I drink it because I like the flavor. A good cup of coffee should be nu†ty and full-bodied and complex. The aroma should linger in your mouth and nose long after you take a sip. But, this type of experience doesn't come out of a 99 cent jug of day old drip coffee from 7-eleven, sorry. If you truly want to taste, smell and experience coffee the way it should be, here are a few pointers:

1. Know where the coffee beans come from. If the roasters are local, they tend to baby their product. It's a competitive market out there, and in order to go up against the bigger companies (Starbucks) and survive, they need to have something even better to offer. Have you ever noticed how bitter Starbuck's coffee and espresso are? It's because machines oversee the roasting NOT actual, hardworking people. The senses are a huge part of properly roasting coffee beans. Machines can't smell when the caramelization stage is reached. Bottom line, respect in the roasting process can be tasted in the final product. Go local when you can.

2. If you're brewing from home, use a french press or a percolator. Yes, I realize brewing coffee this way is much more labor intensive, but the pay off for your patience is worth it. A french press requires a course grind. The coffee grounds steep in the water for several minutes, allowing their natural flavors and oils to stay in your coffee rather than get trapped in a paper filter. It does take a bit of practice to get the desired strength, but once you have it down, you'll never go back to drip. So, buy a local bag of coffee beans and experiment with your new french press!

3. Find a few local coffee shops in your area. Keyword here is LOCAL. I know Starbucks is seemingly ubiquitous, and thus, their coffee is readily available. But, compared to some of Salt Lake's best local places, Starbuck's coffee fails. Don't fall into the "caramel macchiato" trap. It's a made up drink, people! A traditional macchiato is far from the sugar-laden latte of Starbucks. Okay, it's sweet and fattening and some may say delicious, but it's an insult to coffee's flavor potential. So, like my suggestion to buy local beans, buy coffee from local coffee shops. The quality is always so much higher, and they don't tend to stray from the traditional. If your heart is set on a sweet coffee drink, try a regular latte or be bold and go for a soy cappuccino. Steamed milk and soy have a natural sweetness that doesn't over power the flavor of espresso.

Here are some suggestions for excellent local coffee shops in the Salt Lake area:

The Rose Establishment - 235 South 400 West
This place loves coffee just as much as I do. The design of the actual shop is adorable, and the drinks are very well made.

Salt Lake Roasting Company - 320 East 400 South
This is my favorite place to study. I can spend hours here sipping coffee and eating some of their house-made pastries.

The Coffee Garden - 898 East 900 South
This coffee shop is sophisticated and cool. It's a popular hang out for both business people and Salt Lake City hipsters. Their baristas know what they're doing.

Alchemy Coffee - 390 East 1700 South
Although this place is rather small, it is cozy and often quiet. The design is very eclectic and the employees are very friendly.

So, the next time you reach for that grande caramel macchiato, remember these tips to reach coffee nirvana!

Blogging: Is it here to stay?

Blog
–noun
Aweb site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations,
opinions, etc.,and often having images and links to other Web sites.

Blogging has become a huge part of the way that I communicate. Almost 3 years ago I started a blog with the sole purpose of not having to talk to my family on the phone. Really, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. If anyone in my family of 8 called wanting to know about what was going on in my life I would direct them to my blog. If you have a question or want to tell me something, there is even a special place where you can leave your questions or comments...I will get back to you as soon as I feel like it.

3 years ago I was a single guy living in Las Vegas working as a valet at some of the hottest spots in town. I had so much to talk about, like the time Mike Tyson came out of a night club so drunk he was falling all over himself and the small group of people he was with. In that moment, I fantasized about how it might have been the one time in my life I could go over and punch Mike Tyson without him being able to do anything about it. Did I call my family to tell them about it...Nope.

Since then I gave up that job to go to school here at the U. I got a part-time job working in the Student Services building making A LOT less money. I did however find my wife, which really put the kibosh on my single lifestyle. I really shouldn't complain, she is playing the role of sugar momma perfectly. Needless to say, my pool of ideas and experiences dwindled and became a lot less interesting.

Anyway, after getting married my blogging took a new direction and I had to write about girly stuff (like how romantic our Valentines Day was) to appease the Mrs. And now that her parents were apart of the viewership, I had to tone down the content a little too.

Blogging is fun, it is a way to get your ideas out there without having to argue with anyone...like your family.

How do your blogging experiences compare?

Eating Local in Salt Lake City - My Top Five Picks

I'm always searching for local Salt Lake City eateries that are unique, charming, and of course, serve delicious food. I've narrowed down my top five local picks.

Best Brunch - The Wild Grape

The Wild Grape offers decedent flavors, local produce and high quality cuisine at affordable rates. The brunch menu features small plates, soups, salads, breakfast specialties and sandwiches. I suggest the huevos rancheros The Grape's benedict or the brioche French toast. My personal favorite is the huevos rancheros, a fresh take on the classic with beautiful presentation. For brunch they offer many different fruit flavored Bellini’s. The next time you're going to brunch with your girlfriends or looking for a nice ambiance, check out the Wild Grape, 481 E South Temple.

Best Saturday Lunch - Tin Angel Cafe

Driving up or down 4th South, you might not notice the Tin Angel Cafe, directly across from Pioneer Park and West of the Vespa shop. At first glance, you might not think it's anything special. I didn't until one Saturday afternoon I was amazed by the quality of food, service and unique environment. Their menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and stews. My favorites include the house roasted lamb ciabatta, chicken and cambozola baguette, wild boar stew and Moroccan spiced shrimp with farfalle pasta. If you like lamb, you have to try to the lamb ciabatta with slow roasted lamb, feta cheese, balsamic red onions and pesto. I savored every last bite. The ambiance is extremely funky and inviting with the owner's handmade jewelry displayed on the restaurant walls.


Best Pub Food - Desert Edge Brewery

The Desert Edge Brewery seems to go unnoticed at times when compared to popular local favorites like Squatters and Red Rock. Just because they're not as well known does not mean their food and brews do not compare! The Desert Edge, under the same ownership as Red Butte Cafe, offers tasty sandwiches and entrees in the Trolley Square shopping center. They have TV screens for the sports fans, and a quieter low-key area for those that want a different dining experience. They feature a daily hot and cold pasta offered with their legendary French onion soup.

Best Romantic Dinner - Fresco Italian Cafe

Fresco Italian Cafe, located in the 15th & 15th district, offers delicious Italian cuisine in a very charming and quaint location. The restaurant holds less than 15 tables, making every dining experience unique. I had the rosemary brined ballard farms pork chop with yam gnocchi, brussel sprouts, bacon and buttermilk sauce. I was more than impressed. The executive chef even visited every table at dinner to get customers feedback. The menu also has pastas, risottos, antipasti, soups and salads. Fresco Italian Cafe is the perfect romantic date.

Best Pizzeria - Settebello Pizzeria

Settebello offers true Italian thin crust pizza. As an Italian, and a lover of Neapolitan pizza, Settebello pizza meets the criteria. They have the classic margherita with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. My personal favorite is the Diavolla (Italian for devil) with tomatoes, salami, red bell peppers, garlic and mozzarella. After you enjoy a real Italian pizza, you can also experience Italian gelato at the gelateria next door. For your next Italian meal check out Settebello!

Thank You Kind Man

Well, I can't really think of anything very deep or interesting to talk about since school has been taking over my entire life lately and that's all that is on my mind! BUT this last week I had a cool experience that got me through the week. I love when something happens to me that pulls me out of my crazy self-centered lifestyle and brings me back to what should really matter in life. It might sound kind of silly, but it had a cool impact on me.

Since my days are constantly back and forth from school to work and back to school, then back to work, then back to school to study, I am constantly on the move. But don't worry, of course I am constantly arranging my activities around when I can eat. Yes, you read that right. I don't arrange eating around my day, but I arrange my day around eating! It's pathetic that my meals are my most exciting part of my day. The worst part is that my schedule only allows me to eat and run, so I always look forward to deciding where I want to go to grab some delicious, unhealthy (but that’s not too important), treat for the go. On one of my scrumptious eating breaks, I decided to grab a subway sandwich. After I had waited in line for about twenty minutes, gone through the process of making my sandwich, and then preceding to check out, I realized that I had forgotten to take my wallet out of my backpack to put it in my purse. So, there I was at the checkout counter, wallet-less drooling over my yummy sandwich that I couldn't buy, when a man behind me offered to pay for my sandwich. Really? People are really nice enough to think to do that? Oh how I loved him at that moment.

I think these are my favorite moments in life. Not because I got a free sandwich, which was pretty great too, but because someone actually took the time to think of someone else. I need to do this more.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Class Blogging

Writing a blog is to share your thoughts and ideas regarding a specific topic. For example, blogs are independent and are considered Web-based journals containing opinions about anything and everything. Journalists, public relations and marketing professionals are quick to dismiss the importance of blogs because they often insist on comparing blogs to magazines and newspapers. But the blogger’s usual focus of promoting a single point of view is dramatically different than a journalist’s goal of providing a balanced perspective. However, blogging provides experts and wannabes alike with an easy way to make their voices heard in the Web-based marketplace of ideas. Companies that ignore independent product reviews and blogs discussions about their service or products are living dangerously. The challenge for marketers and PR people is to make sense of the voices out there and to incorporate their ideas into our own. Organizations have the power to become tremendously rich and successful by harnessing the millions of conversations found on the Web.

As a starting point, all marketing and PR people need to go to blog search engines and run a query on their organization’s name, the names of their products and services, and other important works and phrases such as executive’s names and competitor’s names. This allows you to see if any of the 112 million blogs that it tracks have any information you need to know. Google Blog Search is another popular blog search engine. Remember the more sophisticated marketers can then start to analyze trends. So become an expert in what’s being said about your organization on blogs. There has never been a better time for marketers to get a true feel for what’s going on in the real world. Bloggers provide instantaneous and unsolicited comments on your products, and this free information is just waiting for you to tap into it.