Red Weekend

They say the first step is admitting you have a here goes  {deep breath}

My name is Melissa, and I have a problem.

I like to think of myself as a frugal person.  I take pride in the fact that I live on a starving college student budget in a tiny apartment with ugly carpet and virtually no drawer space.  I walk the half mile to and from campus multiple times in a day, just to save on gas money.  I bake my own bread. I buy things in bulk.  It's been ages since I saw a movie anywhere but the Dollar Theater.

Frugal, right?

This weekend was a holiday, and because every exam or assignment that my professors could have even thought of assigning hit me last week, this weekend was deadline free.  So I did something I haven't done in quite a while.  I went to the mall, just to look around....


This weekend I splurged, not once, but twice, on completely fabulous and completely frivolous red purchases.

Frugality fail.

I probably won't eat anymore this month, but who needs food when you are the proud new owner of:

Lancome "Red Haute" lipstick

and patent red Steve Madden heels?

Yup.  Me neither!


The 100 Best Experiences of My Life

For my DayZero Project, I made the goal to make a list of the 100 best experiences of my life.  While compiling this list, I tried to stay away from sweeping generalizations such as 'hanging out with my sisters,' etc., although I broke the rule a few times.  For the most part, every one of these brief summaries recalls a specific memory that I have.

It took a while to make the entire list, and my mom helped me with some of the brainstorming.  It was a good reminder of what a good life I've had.  I highly suggest it!

The 100 Best Experiences of my Life
(in no particular order)

1. Walking down the south bank of the Thames on my last night in London
2. Test-driving boats with Mom and Dad the day in fifth grade that I stayed home sick from school
3. Taking PDBio 205 my first semester of college and falling in love with physiology
4. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning taking pictures with roommates on Mobi the laptop

5. Going to Macaroni Grill with the Domestic Goddesses
6. Hiking to the Y for the first time
7. Seeing the Nike Winged Victory at the Louvre
8. Running a half marathon
9. Deciding to share my skittles with the guy sitting next to me in genetics
10. Ripping up the old linoleum on the kitchen floor of the house on Shilling and then getting to go to Arctic Circle for dinner that night as the stain on the kitchen floor dried
11. Going to the beach in Spain

12. Revisiting the same little crepe stand in Paris three times to order delicious crepes in “broken” (understatement) French
13. Being born to such great parents
14. Reading the entire Nancy Drew series over the summer between third and fourth grade while watering the trees
15. Reading my scriptures one summer morning and feeling my prayers be answered
16. Reading my name on the list of girls who made the softball team my freshman year of high school
17. Performing Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 the best I ever have on a Steinway Concert Grand in front of an audience of 1000 people

18. Participating in the Junior Miss Program
19. Meeting Andrakay, who in a moment understood my humor and sarcasm better than almost anyone, and who will always and forever have better hair than me….
20. Finishing my last ever organic chemistry final
21. Buying my first journal
22. Making pasta for the very first time
23. Hitting two home runs in one softball game
24. Hanging out with Daniel when he first moved out to Provo after his mission

25. Going to the Library of Congress with my family
26. Walking around the Lake District in England
27. Doing my Christmas shopping on Oxford Street
28. Singing loudly and off key in the car with the windows down on the way to softball practice with Suzy
29. Going dress shopping for Junior Miss with my mom
30. Climbing to the top of approximately 400 stairs at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to look out over the whole city

31. Watching ‘Les Miserables’ at the Queen’s Theater in London
32. Getting an A on my anatomy final…and not just any A…a 97%
33. Forging a forever friendship with Caitlin while army crawling in a formal through the upper balconies of an auditorium
34. Finding out that my little sister "Holly" was actually a little brother "Jared," and watching him grow up to be such a good kid
35. Finding a beautiful pair of green high heels hiding in a far corner of a shoe store…in exactly the right size
36. Writing and sending a ‘Christmas card’ from Penrose 85
37. Finally getting strapped into my seat on the Top Thrill Dragster after 2 hours of waiting in line
38. Eating Thai food for the first time
39. Going to a wedding dress fitting with Shauntelle
40. Eating Chinese food with Sandee on the grass in front of our dumpy little apartment one summer night
41. Eating an ├ęclair at Borough Market
42. Going to the Nauvoo temple with all of my cousins when I was fourteen
43. Drinking my first cup of cocoa made with a cocomotion
44. Dissecting my first chick embryo
45. Dipping my French fries in my raspberry milkshake at Rupe's for the first time
46. Canning peaches in the kitchen with Mom and the girls
47. Calling my dad to tell him that I changed a flat tire in the dark, in the rain, on the shoulder of the freeway (He was very proud)
48. Buying my very first bottle of fingernail polish (navy blue with sparkles)
49. ‘Helping’ my dad nail the boards of the main floor into the floor joists
50. Getting my first pedicure
51. Missing class to go home and surprise Haley for her birthday
52. Getting rocked to sleep as a small child by my dad
53. Discovering the utility and wonder of an eyelash curler
54. Cutting my roommate Annie’s hair on the fly
55. Going to California with my family for a few days last summer
56. Doing homework on a bench at Kensington Gardens
57. Picking out Christmas tree ornaments for my mom at Harrods
58. Getting my passport stamped for the first time
59. Eating chocolate from Hotel Chocolat for the first time
60. Discovering that they give free samples at See’s Candies in the mall
61. Walking through Westminster Abbey
62. Visiting Butchart Gardens with my family
63. Playing Rumikub and eating brownies on Sunday evenings
64. Eating chocolate-dipped raspberries with AshLyn (Gray) Petersen
65. Having a ground-breaking ceremony the day we started building our house
66. Making my first purchase on Portobello Road
67. Hitting a change-up in the district championship game against Bear Lake
68. Going to the midnight premier of Harry Potter 6 dressed as ‘Professor Trelawny’

69. Seeing ‘Wicked’ in London
70. Standing next to the stage at the Globe Theatre during a performance of ‘As You Like It’
71. Holding my baby sister Haley for the first time and being excited that her hair has the same weird cowlick in the front that mine has
72. Opening Christmas presents in the dark the year the power was out on Christmas morning
73. Helping mom make (and eat) funnel cakes
74. Getting surprised by so many friends on my thirteenth birthday after spending the entire seventh grade year feeling like I didn’t have any friends
75. Going to Tucanos with my family to celebrate Daniel’s Brazilian mission call
76. Seeing my GRE score and knowing that I never had to take it again
77. Hanging out in Las Vegas with Mom, Suzy and Haley
78. Watching Jared’s state play-off football game on the internet with Suzy at my apartment
79. Finishing my gigantic paper chain the night before school started
80. Watching 'Bandslam' with Suzy and making 'I can't drive stick, I'll drive stick' jokes for the next five days
81. Eating hot dog relish for the first time
82. Walking to Grandma Harper’s house after school to decorate cookies to take to my first grade class
83. Going to the wedding receptions of my friends and knowing that they’ve married good guys in the right place
84. Posing for the infamous Domestic Goddess photo that started it all

85. Going to Anderson Ranch Reservoir for the day with my family
86. Getting a 5 on my AP Art portfolio
87. Listening to Shania Twain at full volume while cleaning my room with Haley and Suzy
88. Climbing in Mr. Coles’s classroom window with Rachel after getting back from lunch late, trying to avoid the ‘hall sweep’
89. Watching Suzy participate in State Junior Miss
90. Standing in two hemispheres at the same time
91. Painting the walls of my bedroom blue
92. Throwing a girl out at home from center field with no cut-off
93. Discovering the recipe for the best chocolate cake in the world
94. Having a water fight in my kitchen
95. Swimming an entire lap in an Olympic-sized pool using correct technique (breathing, etc.) without stopping
96. Getting an education at Brigham Young University
97. Watching ‘Waking Ned Divine’ with my family for the first time
98. Feeding an entire Elders Quorum brownies laced with methylene blue
99. Driving to and from Blackfoot with Grandma Smith
100. Sneaking off to go snorkeling in the middle of the night with Sandee and Shauntelle


A First Time for Everything!

Today after work Suzanne and I went running.  When I got home from running, I had no real plans aside from making dinner and doing some homework.  When we walked in the door, Annie was sitting at the table with her computer.  Her hair hung long to the middle of her back.

And I suddenly had a plan.

So I asked her if she had ever considered cutting her hair to her shoulders.  To my surprise, she said that the thought had crossed her mind yesterday, but she didn't really feel like paying for a haircut....

So I volunteered my services, free of charge.  Problem solved.  

Tonight, spur-of-the-moment, before she had a chance to think about it and change her mind, I grabbed a pair of hair scissors from a neighbor, washed her tresses in the sink, and cut off around eight inches of Annie's hair.

Best idea I had all day :)


You've Got Mail?

Yesterday I decided it was high time that I got to know my neighbors, so I baked them a plate of chocolate chip cookies and delivered them piping hot.

Yes, I have lived in my apartment complex for nearly a year...

And yes, I have lived next door to those exact girls for almost six months.

Despite all that, it was made very clear to me yesterday that a reintroduction was in order.  The reason? This message I got from Argentina:

Yesterday I got a letter returned that I'd sent to you a little while ago.  Looks like I put Apartment #6 instead of Apartment #5.  I'll send it to you again soon I suppose.

That's right.  Paul sent me a letter from Argentina but when it mistakenly arrived next door my neighbors stuck it back in the mail.

I suppose it serves me right for not being friendlier?


Vegetable Lasagna

Tonight it was my turn to make dinner.  Suzy requested that I make spinach pasta a few weeks ago, so tonight I did.  I made vegetable lasagna completely from scratch!  I'd never made lasagna before tonight, except for the kind from the freezer section of the grocery store.  It was really fun...although time consuming.

Here are some pictures from the process: