Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our California Adventure!

As many of you may know, Jer and I went to California last week to celebrate our recent graduation. My parents very generously helped us with travel to get there and then bought us 2-day park hoppers to Disneyland and California Adventure. Needless to say, the combination of time with family, beautiful Santa Barbara, and Disneyland was more than heavenly.

One purpose for coming was to see Anna in her play Tarzan at her high school (my previous stomping grounds.) The play was spectacular and Anna did an AMAZING job as the leopard, gorilla and some sort of half animal called an Okapi :o).
 This was the first time Broadway had released the rights to a West-Coast High School to do the play and they went all out. They brought in pros from L.A. and everywhere to make this possible, just look at the costumes, props and scenery.

 And here we are! So fun to finally be able to support each other. We have both been so busy with our separate commitments that Anna and I have hardly been able to come see each other perform. This was a treat to say the least.

Before we hit up D-Land we hit up one of our favorite Spots:
The Habit in Old Town Goleta. This is one restaurant that was a regular hang out for my friends and I (pretty much all of them worked there except me :o)) There is never a trip to SB that goes by where we don't visit this blessed joint.

We spent a wonderful Sunday with my family and then headed out to good ol' Anaheim. Jer's Aunt and Uncle Kim and John were so generous to let us stay with them in Corona while we spent our two days at the parks. It was really fun to visit with them for a little while on Sunday night.

We chose to do a full day in each park because we figured that would be most time-efficient. The weather was awesome, not too hot and not too cold and the lines were amazing! We literally did not wait in line for more than 30 minutes and that only happened once!

 This picture deserves an explanation: Ever heard of the "Spot the Mormon" game? Kim and John told us you can spot any Mormon at a theme park because they will be wearing some sort of BYU attire, matching T-shirts etc. As we walked into the park and I put on my jacket I realized, "Wow, I'm one of them!" haha, and proud of it!

By the way, it was totally true, all day people were like "Go BYU!" Or, "do you know so, and so who was on the ballroom team?" Or, "Love your jacket, we're LDS too!" It's great to know you're never alone. :o)
 Jer, in line for his favorite ride: Indiana Jones. We did this one twice!
 Splash Mountain. We got COMPLETELY soaked. I've never gotten that soaked on Splash Mountain before. Good thing it was early in the day.
 We got a lot of treats our first day. This was Jer's favorite, plus a Coke. :o)

 Check out the resemblance! I just love this, so hilarious.
 Star Tours.
Autopia! And an end to a wonderful (and exhausting) day.

California (Adventure) Here We Come!
 First ride of the day. Grizzly Rapids. Nice and dry.
 After the ride. Completely soaked. I was the special guest who got to take the brunt of the splashing that came into our raft.
 Our favorite part of the park. Balboa Pier.
 We went on CA Screamin' twice and I had to laugh at the fact that my face and body language is EXACTLY the same in both pictures.
 Screamin was probably our favorite ride tied with Soarin Over CA. Both very different but SO awesome.
 A super fun interactive game ride Toy Story Themed.

 And our final ride of the day. Tower of Terror. I've been on it before but for some reason I built up this huge fear, it literally took me the whole day to muster up the courage to get on it again. I was definitely screaming with terror. But it ended up being fun, as rides tend to be. :o)
Goodbye Disneyland! Until next time!
 When we got back to SB, the following day we picked up Anna during her lunch break at school and took her to lunch. We met up with these cuties. Andi, one of my best friends from growing up and her little sis, Danica or as we always called her, DD. These are our mini me's. They are literally our twins from when we were in high school.
 Among other delicious places we ate while on our trip, Blenders was one of our faves and became kind of an obsession. For those of you who don't know, it's like Jamba but WAY better. We literally went there 4 times while we were in SB.
 We got to go to Hidden Oaks golf course and Jer golfed while....
 I caddied and kept score! It was a lovely day and a great walk through the scenery.
 And, as all trips do, ours ended all too soon. We were sad to leave but we'll be back!

Can anyone guess who this studly muffin is in the picture above? Jer took this picture of a picture at our house and I thought it was too good to pass up!

Yep, that's my dad in his rough and tumble wilderness days. Whouda thunk? :o)

Well Jer and I are back and have already jumped back into work and it feels good. On to new adventures!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is This Real Life?

Here are a couple of Pendleton family updates since I haven't had as much time to blog with the craziness of finishing the last undergrad semester of our LIVES.
First: Here are a few Dancesport faves for those of you who are interested. Caleb and I took 4th place in the Ameteur smooth championships at the U.S. Dancesport Competition.

 Below is my last concert in the Marriott Center- "Americana"
 Ballroom Medley
 High On A Mountain Top
 Waltz- A Song for Jenni (My solo)
 Lindy- Rock This Town
 Sands Of Time
 More Waltz
 Such loving and supportive family and friends!!
 I couldn't have asked for a better end to my time on the ballroom team at BYU!
 Our best friends the Bready's.
 My wonderful family (plus Grandma Marva came!)
 Jer and I gave our "Stoles of Gratitude" to our parents. We are so grateful for their constant support in every way through our undergrad journeys.

 Amazing party thrown by our families. Katie took the initiative and got it going. She did the decorations and organizing and our moms did the food. It was so nice to be able to celebrate with our family without being in a busy, loud restaurant. After we ate, Jer and I shared some of our favorite BYU memories.
We are excited to have graduated and be on to the next phase of our lives. The nice thing is that we get to ease into this transition. We will be staying in Orem for Jer's job with Innospan and I have gotten a job as a part-time faculty member at BYU teaching ballroom! We are so excited and feel so blessed for all that we have.

A post on our graduation trip to come!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Alright everybody.  Every semester during reading days and finals, the amount of cooking and baking in our house goes up significantly. I find that it helps me to de-stress and is also a way for me to celebrate finishing a difficult semester. Two of the recipes I tried this week were winners and definite repeats to share. They are both from my cookbook, "Our Best Bites."

The first recipe was recommended to me by one of my friends Court who also has the cookbook and really loved it. I contemplated using dried herbs instead of fresh but Court talked me out of it which was a VERY smart move. The herbs added so much flavor. I also used whole wheat fettuccine (Barilla) and it was really tasty.

Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettuccine
recipe by Our Best Bites
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons
2 T Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
1/2 lb Fettuccine (that’s just 1/2 of a normal box like in the picture)
2 medium zucchini
1 C shredded parmesan cheese (about :)
5-6 cloves garlic
Fresh Basil (about 1/2 C)
Fresh Oregano (about 1/4 C) If you don’t have fresh oregano, just add a little dried.
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Prepare grill. You could also do this on the stove top in a skillet, or a grill pan.
Place chicken in a zip-lock bag with the juice of one lemon, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and a couple tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Smoosh around and set bag aside while you get your other things ready. (If you’ve got time to spare, let the chicken marinade for 30 minutes, if you don’t, just take what you can get. I did mine for 15 min and it was great.)
Put the pot on the stove to boil water for the pasta. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, slice the zucchini in half length-wise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Press, or finely mince garlic cloves. In a small sauce pan on the stove, place 1/4 C olive oil and add garlic. Turn burner onto low-med heat. It shouldn’t be popping and frying, it should just slowly warm, infusing the oil with the garlic and removing that zing fresh garlic has.

When water boils, add pasta and a spoonfull of salt

Remove chicken from bag and salt and pepper both sides. Place chicken, and zucchini on grill.
While chicky and zuchs are grilling and pasta is boiling, chop herbs and get out cheese. Zest both lemons and juice the one that hasn’t been juiced.
See, now you’re all ready. When everything is done cookin’ you can throw it together! Keep an eye on that garlic. You DON’T want it to get brown and crispy. It should still look nice and white. Give it a stir. If it starts really cooking, just take it off the heat and set aside.
When zuch and chicken are done take them off the grill and chop ‘em up.
Reserve about 1/2 C pasta water. Drain pasta and immediately place in a big bowl. Place chopped zuch and chicken on top. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, herbs, and garlic-olive oil mixture. Just pile it all in there. Then stick your face up real close and inhale. Ahhhh, heaven.

Now take some tongs and give everything a big toss. If you feel it needs more moisture, add a little of the pasta water, or a little more olive oil. This will make 4 generous servings.

Garnish with a little more Parmesan on top and another squeeze of lemon if you have any left. Then sit back, relax, and imagine you’re sitting in some gorgeous Tuscan villa!
This next recipe I found because Jer and I were in the mood for a salad for dinner but I wanted something a little more interesting than just the normal green salad. 
BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
- Leftover Old-Fashioned BBQ Chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces, or just brush your favorite bbq sauce on some chicken  and grill it up.
- Leafy green lettuce (I like Romaine)
- Hard-boiled eggs; sliced, wedged, crumbled, chopped, whatever.
- Chopped green onions or sliced red onions
- Chopped tomatoes
- Blue cheese (if not using aforementioned dressing) or sharp cheddar cheese.
Wash and chop lettuce (if not buying pre-washed, pre-chopped lettuce). Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Arrange lettuce on large dinner plates and add a handful of BBQ chicken. Arrange remaining ingredients on top–you can either keep all the toppings separate and let dinner-eaters mix it up (or not) according to their liking, or you can just go WILD and sprinkle everything on top. Serve with dressing and enjoy!
Both of these recipes are so summery and delicious. The best part is they were easy and fairly quick! Next on the menu is a little less healthy- Banana Bread French Toast!