Coconut Rice Pudding

Since I have become sensitive to lactose I sadly have had to veer from foods, particularly desserts that are dairy based – RICE PUDDING being one! It’s the ultimate comfort food and incredibly nostalgic. I have childhood memories of meals served with rice my Mom would take the left overs and make this. Then recently when I lived with my Grandparents during my 6 month stint of unemployment I realized how much of a family tradition this dessert really is as my Grandma would whip up a batch of rice pudding after a meal of stir fry or chicken and rice.

It occurred to me I should attempt substituting the regular and evaporated milk with coconut. apprehensive as to how it would result I was very pleased and it was very delicious. I will definitely be making this again.



Pardon the very unprofessional and slightly blurry iPhone photo


Coconut Rice Pudding:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a near boil. In a larger, (2-3 quart) saucepan combine cornstarch, salt, and sugar and blend well. Stir in hot milk, stirring constantly over medium heat until thick and smooth (this took longer than I predicted it would – perhaps 15 minutes? You definitely want to be sure this mixture gets thick) Add rice and reheat to a full boil. Remove from heat. Pour a little bit of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs while stirring rapidly. Return egg mixture to hot mild and rice and stir until thickened – this will take only a minute or two. Remove from heat. Stir in spices and vanilla.

I like to dash a tad of extra cinnamon and shredded coconut flakes – but thats just me.


Yields 8 – 1/2 cup servings




Its the year 2015. Do people still blog? Is it what the cool kids still do?

I ask because in the last couple years I have let this site collect dust and spammy comments, I have realized I’m not even the same person. I’ve discovered many new hobbies I would love to share on a platform such as this – its just hard to know what direction to take.

Should I focus on my newfound love for family history? Share my love and practice of calligraphy? Use this space as a travel journal (since I’ve got wonderlust like you wouldn’t believe) ?

Its going to take me a while to find my niche. There’s so much I’d love to share, and I’d love to do so without making things too eclectic and hodgepodge.

I’ll take a break and think this through. Be back soon.


Bundle of JOY!



I am now an auntie! Let the cuddling, kissing, spoiling, baby-talking, and constant photo taking commence. I love this little girl so much  – sometimes I feel like my heart could burst. She has such distinctive facial expressions for such a tiny little gal. Her favorite one to pull is an inquisitive little scowl. I break out laughing every she does it. I love leaning back into a recliner, and resting her on her tummy on my chest – she snuggles right up and lets out adorable little snores and grunts. And there really isn’t anything better than the new baby hair smell. I call her “bright eyes” – when she decides to open them they sure are wide. I think they are blue…I’ve heard infant eye colors change. I don’t even know what else to say, I think I am realizing how much of a miracle babies are – such tiny, dependent, precious newcomers.


Since it seems to be a trend that I post on this blog biannually, I might as well type until I’ve had my fill. You may not hear from me until 2014.

October 2012, already?!

Fall has arrived! I love everything about this time of year – the sweatshirts, scarves, pumpkin & spice smells, SOUP! (thats all I seem to crave for lunch at work) and the biting chill in the morning which is remedied by a warm car ride into work.

Actually, that brings up a tender subject. My car actually took a serious beating two weeks ago. Some scum bag hit my little Yaris whilst I was sleeping, and drove off either extremely inebriated or completely  devoid of a conscience. So while I am waiting for the $9,000 worth of ordered parts to be installed  – I’ve been taking advantage of the very efficient and eco friendly option of  riding the bus and walking.

But this has actually been a VERY GOOD THING for me. It has given me chances to notice the little joys of fall – such as the crunching leaves, walking while listening to such songs on my iPod that put me in a fall-ish sort of mood (not quite sure why old jazz does that to me?) and creative neighborhood halloween decor. Admiring all of these things actually prompted me to spend some serious time with my camera.  Prior to my car mishap I felt like my life was just the same old, same old, and lack luster. Its funny how the universe understood  and threw all this excitement into the mix.

Life’s been good though! I enjoyed myself at the downtown farmer’s market yesterday (featured are my Honey crisp apples I purchased – they were so fresh! )

Just for fun, leave a comment on my blog….just so I know there are other readers besides my Mom ;)

(….love you, Mom)

Fuzzy wuzzy was a peach….

Pardon me while I wipe this peach juice off my cheek….
I just ate 4. in a row.

I climbed a tree and picked some lofty ripe ones in the backyard yesterday afternoon. I had my own little bushel basket… if only I owned a pair of overalls and a straw hat….

For some reason I kept singing Big Rock Candy Mountain in between picking and hiding from dive bombing hornets. My subconscious always seems to find the perfect soundtrack for whatever I do.

Aside from cultivating the agriculture within, I’ve been trying to kick start (is that even a word?) my creativity. I’ve felt too much BLAH and not enough joy in the daily little things. I’ve just had this nagging tug that this has to change. I used to make a list of all the things that made me smile throughout the day – so here is a tiny bit of last this past week’s list:

  • Meeting up with my sister for an impromptu lunch date and  feeding bits of our sandwich to a mangey, yet adorable baby sparrow
  • Having a random conversation with a 2nd grade Harry Potter  lookalike boy while we were both waiting for our bus. Cute lil’ guy…
  • Attending traffic school and listening to a little old retired cop move matchbox cars around on a magnetic chalkboard intersection on an easel and made sound effects like a 2 year old. Spunky old men might as well be comedians – everything that comes out of their mouth is funny.
  • Walking through malls (esp. Bath & Body Works) and smelling cinnamon, pumpkin, Pine tree aromas – FALL IS ALMOST HERE. I can’t wait.

A recap of my life’s recent events:

* I am currently EMPLOYED!!!! I try not to bring up too many personal details, but this is a BIG deal. And when I say BIG I mean, I smile more, emotionally eat less (thus I have eliminated some excess poundage), and that feeling of butterflies with teeth gnawing at my insides has now desisted. I absolutely love my new BIG GIRL job. I have my own cubicle – with my name on it!!!!, a name badge with a free train and bus pass, and the very best part of it all? I have now come to a solid belief in prayers and that they are heard. Although I have had much love and support, these last 5 months have not been the most pleasant. Lots of tears, doubt, and 20 plus interviews. It now makes perfect sense to me why the sobbing and wailing to my mom about my latest post job interview rejection was necessary. My perfect job was on its way. If I ever had any doubts before, I now know that the Lord hears me. My heart is so full right now. I walk down the halls of my office grinning because I feel so so so blessed.

  • My favorite quote that I probably recite to myself subconsciously is “Everyday do something that scares you. ” And recently I’ve had this gnawing fear in the back of my mind. Its something along the lines of


fearoffailuregetinthewayofthethingsIlove!” (try reading that!)

But simply stated, sometimes you just have to MAKE YOURSELF go and do, no matter how sick to your stomach you feel.   So I took my friend’s – Jessica and Cameron’s engagement pictures! (which have never been easy for me) Way to kick fear in the face!

  • I’ve taken a few trips to Lagoon Amusement park over the last few months. First as a birthday present to my sister and another as a fun girls day with my little cousins. We won Smurfette dolls, shared funnel cake and got sopping wet from head to toe – about 4 times in a row. It makes me feel like a kid again!

  • I’ve decided that I MUST participate in one of these before I leave this life!

Some things I have learned about love

  • When I look for love in unlikely places, I usually find it.
  • Smiling at strangers really helps brighten my dull mood days.
  • I’m learning its not selfish, but very important for me to put myself first. When I take care of my own happiness and needs – that love and happiness pours over into the lives I come in contact with.
  • If I walk with my head just a little higher than usual, I can see the world better (literally and metaphorically)
  •  Some thing I always noticed: in yoga (studio or DVD) the word “Namaste”  is said towards the end of the session.  I found out that in Sanskrit it’s translated: “The spirit in me sees the spirit in you”.
  • “Love comes when we least expect it, when we are not looking for it. Hunting for love never brings the right partner. It only creates longing and unhappiness. Love is never outside of ourselves; love is within us.” – David G.
  • I was venting to a wise co-worker a while back. I told her how I only believed I was beautiful when I looked in the bathroom mirror – but once I left the security of it I felt like this monstrous blob that everyone pretended to like. Due to this belief I would run to the bathroom multiple times throughout the day to check if I was still the same girl in the mirror. My co-worker set her paperwork down, took her glasses off and stared intensely at me. She said: “You are always going to be that monstrous blob until you see Annalise through God’s eyes”.

Conversations at a Beauty counter

Me: “Excuse me, do you sell any peel off masks?”

*Shanna, a middle aged Caucasian woman looks up from the shelf where she’s stocking product*

Shanna: “Um….? what do you mean?”

Me: “You know, you put them on your face, they dry fairly fast and then you PEEL them OFF? Gets rid of dry skin?”

(geeze, it looks like I’m doing a great job at selling this product to myself)

Shanna: “Oh. Those. Well here’s one. * she hands me a small tube of orangish looking gel labeled $50.00 *  ” But the only other one I can think if is the “Black Mask””

Me:  “black mask?”

Shanna:   “Yes.  Hey SHAWN !!!”

 *She yells towards the back of the store*

*in walks an attractive affrican american guy*

                “Show her the “Black Mask””

Shawn: “OH. I get it. Get ME to advertise the black mask….” (in a slightly annoyed tone)

I force some awkward laughter as I look at the sleek black tube he hands me.

I quickly scan through the ingredients and then squeeze a little on my finger to test the consistency. Out oozes this heavy, jet black  slimy sludge which causes me to exclaim: “WOAH!”

Shawn: “Wha?”

Me: “THATs……”   *I was searching for the right word, disgusted by the texture, but completely caught off guard by the unusual appearance for a facial product.

“Thats really BLACK! I guess I was just expecting it to be  white…..”

I trailed off as the reality of my words left me  dumb as a mime while I started waving my hands around in an attempt to apologetically backpedal.

Oh no. This. isn’t. HAPPENING!  Its like one of those dramatic slow motion sequences  in movies, each of my words are coming out far too slow as his eyebrows are slanting downward even faster.

Shawn: “What’s wrong with BLACK?!!?”

I honestly cannot recall what came out of my mouth next.  “Eeeeek!”

I’d like to think it was something like: “Oh this mask looks so lovely and unique but I don’t think it’s what I’m looking for.”

Instead I think it sounded close to: “Oh, no…you see lots of masks like people with different skin colors I like masks and black and white ones and people too…are you going to hurt me?”

“All the World’s a birthday cake….

….So take a piece, but not too much”

– George Harrison

 April 9th, 2011 

Day # 9,131 of my lovely and fortunate existence:

I sat up. yawned. rubbed my eyes. stood up. did my routine “rawrrrr” sound as I stretch and do some conglomeration of a yoga pose.

Then  in my head I hear:  “(na na na na na na) You say it’s your birthday It’s my birthday too–yeah!”

I instantly grin and do a little jig, which is cut short when my eyes behold NOT the expected beams of sunshine and flitting sparrows – but flakes of SNOW.

I stare at a select few flakes, hoping that my slight rage will melt them. Nothing.

So I cope. Its something I’m actually quite good at. Its just not something I feel that I should have to do on MY DAY. There are  few things in my life that I feel as strongly about now that I did at the age of 3, and April 9th is one of those.

Its a day where my mom gets out the birthday table cloth, hangs up the birthday banner on the wall, and stacks my gifts alongside the cake she finished while I was sleeping.  I miss those days.

But I still find every possible opportunity to shamelessly blurt out “It’s my birthday!!!!!!”

It was a great day. Carissa and I went to the Bijou Market, craft fair. It was so full of lovely creations of paper, fabric, antique metals, and glass. I nearly bought a lamp which the lamp shade was covered in worn, yellowed novel pages. I ended up buying some more of these adorable earrings. We have great memories of flea markets and craft fairs and I think it was just the thing we needed.

What’s the next best thing to do on a day solely devoted to ME? Eat cake of course. I had heard marvelous things about “Cupcake Chic” in Orem and I figured it was a perfect time to explore it. We bought a dozen and shared them amongst friends. Oh – and they are by far the BEST cake I have ever eaten in my life! ( ‘cept yours Ma’!)

Flavors? Coconut, Peanut Butter, Strawberry Vanilla, Red Velvet, and German Chocolate.

I also got an iPhone 3G S. I’m pretty happy about that. Now I’m one of those cool people on the AT&T ads.

I can physically feel this birthday.    25 .    That’s 1/4th of a century! Yikes. I think I better start writing up my bucket list!

I look at my hands. They look the same as though I was 15. And still no wrinkles.

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes, everyone!

Commercial Faves: My Best of List

Sadly this will be a reflection of how much time I spend on the couch, but as of late, I heart commercials. Its also very odd to admit that you enjoy the time multimillion corporations rip you from your beloved tv shows in 10 minute increments and then proceed to trick you into the latest, greatest, and sometimes lamest things on the market (the shake weight, come on. and don’t even get me started on the latest Purina cat food and Arby’s commercials!)
So the various companies that have my fond attention should be extremely proud of themselves.

Whenever I see the lil’ AT&T monsters on commercial break I find myself nearly clapping my hands with child-like excitement. In terms of cuteness, its a toss up between the lil’ pink monster or the blue one…

I love some commercials solely for the music playing in the background.

Since I don’t have the “Shazzam” song finder app on my phone, I Google things like: “Song on Viagra commercial 2011”. Yeah… I actually did that. It was Muddy Water’s “Lightening”…..” in case anyone was wondering.

I’m currently in the attempt of playing this one by ear on the piano

Catchy tune. I do a little 30 second aerobic jig every time I hear it.  Daily Exercise?  check!

As much as I wish this song was not so widespread and excessively used (does that make me a hipster for saying that? I seriously loved this song before half the world knew about it! ) , I still enjoy it and the commercial.

And commercials brimming with originality and charm:

The best part about these old spice commercials? The ingenious creativity of it all.

I love Subarus and the idea of dogs driving them.

Thanks to this Egyptian cheese commercial I now know how to escape any  life threatening encounters with Panda bears

And last but not least, I love this Halloween commercial from 2010. My brother likes to walk around saying: “Let me help you” in perfect imitation.

How spring-y of me

I reconvened with an old bestie of mine yesterday. We sat down and ate some California-ized Mexican food over the span of  2 hours. Its amazing how much diet coke I can consume over that period of time and my bladder not explode. Its something I cannot help – I have to get every delicious soda fountain drop possible from that $2.50 paper cup.

While we were talking and reminiscing  over the good ol’ days,  I started making a “Things I will never do again, and things I will do more of” list. Some things are simply acquired by coming of age, while others are from my own shameless absurdity. Maybe I’ll share it sometime.

Spring is here and that really does something for my sanity and soul.  Today I was so impatient for the buds on the cherry tree to open that I decided to climb on up and wait.  Warning: sitting in a tree and daydreaming can turn you into a character from Where the Wild Things Are.

While I was perched in my tree I met a little lady and asked if she wanted to stay.  She said she had better things to do.


And I do love hanging laundry on the line! Oh my goodness. It makes me feel so cheery? domestic? frugal? green? I think all of the above. Clothes pins are just about the cutest things ever made out of wood.


“THAT” guy

My good friend Laura and I have inside jokes.  Our talk has recently revolved around extreme baby hunger (I will just leave as to who does anonymous…it’s NOT me) and texing back and forth: “I NEED A MAAAAAN!”  So this post is reminiscent of those times where I wonder “is my soul mate really out there, or has he already died?” The only solace I find is making such lists and blog rants. Enjoy Laura! This is for YOU.

**ahem…** clearing throat

Bookish artistic type in the black, thick rimmed glasses, please!

Dare I say there are men wandering the planet that care more about the history channel than ESPN?  And also be heterosexual? I submit that there ARE! And I will find that man.  There’s something insanely sexy about a guy who says: “hey, did you know that the Lion King is essentially the Shakespearean play Hamlet but with really big cats?” What can I say? I like a guy who knows facts,history, trivial pop culture, infused with humor and wit. Oh and music men! My heart once melted and turned into a puddle on my lap when I heard a guy sing: “Baby it’s cold outside” strumming his ukulele and singing the female solo in a comical falsetto.  The way to my heart is through a little song, dance and smarts.

Its really all in the little things:

There is something endearing about a guy who holds on to grade school memorabilia, sticks to his  little traditions and rituals, and takes great joy and excitement in recalling memorable events.  I can also foresee this quality to be much desired once we have children. I can just see him now, excitedly running around the living room Christmas morning,camcorder in hand  ooohing and ahhing over the treasures in the kiddos stockings as if  he saw them for the very first time.

He gives me side aches:

I need more laughter in my life. I know I want to live with and grow old with someone who makes me snort, pee my pants, and squirt beverages out of my nose for my entire life. I want the randomness and Silly, completely made up games as we are grocery shopping. Fun, stay-at-home nights where we’d youtube demonic baby laughs, horrible eighties commericals, and unreal Japanese game shows.  I definitely need someone to accompany me with one of my favorite television pastimes: The worst of [movie & music] countdowns. Someone who will undoubtedly agree that “Turn on Your Heart Light”, “Key Largo”, and “Tonight I celebrate my Love For You” are some of the “awesomely worst love songs” ever made, as we cackle at the music videos which were responsible for such placement.

Who am I kidding? All my life up until I turned 15 I dreamed of being Mrs. Han Solo.

But I realize I need a man who without hesitation will tell me how much he loves me back, instead of just saying: “I know”.

I think I just found a new blog post title for next week. “Celebrity man crushes I once had and still harbor”

Hobbies I meant to adopt last week:

find the world’s best lemonade

join a punk band and be the chick on the synthesizer

fall in love with a guy with a Jewish looking nose who makes me laugh

cradle a Westie puppy

perfect the art of sarcasm

learn to play chess

move to Minneapolis

expand my creativity

Experience a freak accident (safely) and be a guest on Regis and Kelly

expand my perspicacity

Read the entire dictionary and throw in clever, astute vocabulary into casual conversations

Obtain a cloak of invisibility

Break  addiction to Law & Order: SVU so my dreams may be more pleasant.




Instead I had a root beer float every night this past week,  submitted a bajillion applications for employment and watched far too many re runs of Matlock and I Love Lucy.


Since There’s No Place To Go…..

Ummm….”frightful” is hardly the word I would use to describe the weather. How about horrifying? gastly? hiddeous? monstrous?

Yeah – I like monstrous. Thats only 13 degrees below, folks.

I opened the back door to set some drinks out to chill before dinner. My hands were slightly wet from just washing my hands, I set the bottles in the snow, lost my balance and grasped the door to catch myself. I instantly felt my hand fuse to the frosted metal door – so I quickly yanked my hand free and let out a painful yelp as I saw a patch of my flesh left behind. Jack Frost is a MONSTER!

On a happier note: Merry Christmas, world! There’s a Christmas song ( I can’t remember the name) that goes: “Its that time of year when the world falls in love…” So very true. There is cheer everywhere you go. I love how this time of year helps my appreciation grow for the Savior as we celebrate his birth. I was listening to the line in Silent Night “Holy infant so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace…” I try to imagine how adorable his lil’ face must have been. I also wonder about the star that shined that night. Most people know how obsessed I am with constellations and planetariums – I wish I could have seen it!

So once again – Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!!

Some Rudolph cookies I made – very fun to make and give away to friends! It’s just a regular old peanut butter cookie recipe. As you pull them out of the oven, be quick to put the eyes, nose, and antlers on the cookie – otherwise they wont stay put. Make sure you buy the mini chocolate chips for the eyes, and experiment with the different ways you can cut the pretzels up to make various shaped antlers!  Happy holiday baking!

Living in a Winter Wonderland.

Woah! Three blog entries in ONE week. Uncanny! My only explanation for it: This time of year INSPIRES me in every way possible. From the ornaments on the tree, to the glittering frost on the evergreens in my yard. If you’ve been dying to experience firsthand the song “Winter Wonderland” , just spend a Christmas with me in Alaska.

I’ve been playing Christmas songs on my harmonica. A few months ago I decided to pick up a few new hobbies. I asked my Dad where I could get a harmonica, and he gave me two from his boy scout days. My first song I planned to learn was “Moon River”  – and I can play it now. Horray!

Other random Christmas thoughts:

  • I can’t help but feel a little like a jerk whenever I hear “Last Christmas” on the radio. I feel like it’s directed at me. I broke up with someone last Christmas.
  • I’m happy those lil’ Clemintine oranges are in season! I always get tons of them in my stocking and I save the “lil’ cutie” stickers from them and stick them on friend’s and family member’s foreheads.

Beauty Surrounds

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural,  which is infinite, which is yes.

– E. E. Cummings

I love the smeared, brush stroke appearance of whispy clouds…maybe God has a paintbrush.

Drops of morning dew on grass make me think something magical happened overnight.

Just some scattered bits of this past week:

  • I’ve had a reawakening regarding the Beatles. My awesome co-worker, Kaye lent me her complete Beatles anthology a few weeks ago and all I can say is I’m in L-O-V-E. I’ve always thought they were a phenomenal lot of talent – but my adoration for their work has been taken to an entirely different level. I could see myself being one of those screaming girls in 1966..haha, maybe, maybe not? Gerorge Harrison has a big place in my heart for many reasons. He’s MY Beatle. “Do You Want to Know a Secret” is one of my favorite songs because its completely adorable and its his song. But if you want to hear my entire shpill about George- just ask.


  • Its really fun eating jelly beans in the dark….just fyi


  • After much pursuasion by my Mom, I’ve decided to try drinking what are called “green smoothies”. Its a combination of LOTS of spinach, kale, and whatever leafy greens you have – and then mix in whatever fruit you have. Believe it or not – they are yummy. I’ve actually found myself craving them.


  • I’ve decided these are the latest hobbies I’m attempting to pursue: Origami, natural architecture/Land art (look it up – its amazing!) welding, film photography and the harmonica. That should keep me busy for a while.


  • I’ve become a light junkie. I’m absolutely fascinated with light: sunrises, sunsets, moonlight, ect.. I love observing how it falls on objects, fills spaces, shines through things. This of course is all due to my constant viewing through my camera lens, and because of that, I think I’ve discovered a new definition of what I consider beauty. FOG is my latest obsession….picture this: a field in the woods with occasional trees scattered throughout it. Dawn is just about breaking, making the sky a sherbet-y color of pink and orange – and there’s a very thin veil of fog hovering over the ground. The sun pierces the fog and turns it into this glittering dance!  Maybe its just me – but when I saw that sight yesterday morning driving to work, I about died. It was so heavenly. I’ve discovered the term for that time of day is known as the “gloaming”. I just thought gloaming was the name of a Radiohead song – but it means: dusk, or the twilight hour.


  • Its mind boggling how amazing and clever the human body is, and how it knows how to heal itself. I recently pulled several muscles in my body. It was very painful for a while. But with a little time and TLC, I was good as new. I love my body!

Searching for Bluer Pastures

Hatcher Pass is my “happy place”. The last time I was there I was 11 and I remember even then how beautiful it was. I even have a necklace that is a postage stamp of Hatcher Pass. This trip was all about the blueberries! We ended up with about 10 gallons. We probably could have made that 11 gallons if I did more picking, than eating – but hey, how often do I get to do eat my breakfast off bushes in the great Alaskan wilderness? Its pardonable.

“I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland. I read the book recently. For some reason I couldn’t stop laughing at the very casual mention of Alice happening upon a caterpillar sprawled out on a mushroom, enjoying a hookah. Lewis Carroll either had a unique vision for his tale, or was on a serious acid trip. Either way, I love it.

So much to learn from it.

“I have an excellent idea. Lets change the subject.” – The March Hare
“Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction.” – Doorknob
“Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it…” – The Dutchess
“I Give myself some very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.” – Alice