11/16/11

Blogger Macaron Class

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a few Utah bloggers the in's and out's of macaron making.  Our group included Shelly of House of Smiths, Jen of Tater Tots and Jello, Amy of The Idea Room, Lara of Less Cake More Frosting, Elizabeth of Dear Lizzy and Emily of Ruffling Feathers/ Bijou Market.  Colin Kartchner made this adorable little video to capture evening in the kitchen.


Mercedes White Macarons- Blogger night from Collin Kartchner on Vimeo.
     
Using my pre-made mixes we learned how to whip a proper meringue, the art of maraconage, and how to prevent pesky hollow shells.  If you are interested in trying your hand at baking your own french macarons--one of my mixes is the way to go.  I've streamlined the process and simplified a lot of the steps.  We will be selling them at Bijou Market this weekend in Provo and are also available through my online store.  

image via the lovely shelly of house of smiths

11/3/11

Charmed

just because i am never going to be this kind of mother doesn't mean i don't appreciate them.

watch and swoon!

(though if you are having one of those days when your uterus is swinging from the chandeliers- so to speak- maybe wait on watching it because it will make you want a little wolf REAAAAL bad). 



Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?from Lilly McDowell on Vimeo.

10/28/11

The Growing Problem of Greek Debt

as per Chancellor Angela Merkel via Marginal Revolution   



10/27/11

Fall Picnic


a few weeks ago i woke up to snow.

i was horrified, not so much because of the pesky white stuff (i am canadian afterall), but rather the fact that up to that point i hadn't done one single "fall" thing.  no pumpkin.  no soup.  no leaf collecting.  no cozy nights with cocoa and masterpiece theatre.  no apple picking. no corn mazes. nothing.  

i jumped out of bed determined not to let some doggone snow come between me and fall.  that day i crammed in a lot.  i made vegetable soup.  i went for a walk and ate a pumpkin tart at the windy ridge bakery. i got home busted out my hot water bottle and hit bbc.  hard. (and just in case you are wondering don't watch mill on the floss or the woodlanders unless you've taken your prozac that day).

  
lucky for me the snow didn't stick so i've had a few extra weeks to slurp up the last of this remarkable season.  last week when ann suggested we go for a picnic up mill creek canyon, i was all over it.  it was one of those meals i won't soon forget.  big plans were hatched and we all left perfectly content.


so the moral of the story is: 

kindred spirits+foliage+hearty food+making plans=the perfect fall day.

don't ask why it looks like i have black sideburns.  ok. 

for more photos and beautiful reviews of our afternoon check out marie and ann's blogs.

10/24/11

Manic Monday

i gotta alotta do.  


a morning list and Greek yogurt and granola are a good way to start. 

10/19/11

as sisters in zion

we'll all hike together.

our early morning mountain adventure was a highlight of my week.

10/10/11

the night i almost killed us

i woke up sunday morning at 5 am, odd since i never get up before 10 if i can help it.

i had this weird cough.  it wasn't like a cold cough.  no.  it was like something had crawled down my throat and taken up residence in my larynx.  trying to dislodge it (gross word i know) i coughed and hacked but nothing worked. i decided to guzzle the flat half empty can of diet doctor pepper on my bedside table.

bad idea.

what is it about the combination of hacking up a lung and  flat pop that mades you feel like you are going to upchuck (to quote ramona quimby age 8)?  so i went into the bathroom and laid down on the cold hard floor and stayed there for a couple of hours until the alarm went off and mike got up to get ready for church.

while he was in the shower i stood in the kitchen trying to decide which would do less harm: a glass of water or making myself puke. 

and then i saw it.

the stove was on.  it had been on all night--cooking the pan i'd used to warm up our gross low carb tortillas the night before.  thank goodness the only damage was to our lungs.  we estimate i took about 50 minutes off our lives since breathing in a smoking pot all night is the equivalent of about 5 years of chain smoking.

my throat is fine today.  my pride? not so much.

9/29/11

body brushing

so in the comments on one of my other skin care posts, my sister made some wise crack about making sure to take out time to buff puff my butt.  when she said it, i don't think she knew i am an avid butt buffer.  have been for years.  and now you get to hear all about it.  (except since this is a family blog, and butt buff puff sounds kind of unladylike, let's call it "body brushing" from now on ok?)

i first read about body brushing in a weight loss book by marilu henner.  at the time i had a canadian tire or two to lose, but was more interested in reading about losing weight than actually losing weight.  more to the point, i wanted to find ways to look thinner without giving up my 8 twizzleators and family size onion rings a day habit.

anyway marilu (and i didn't even know who she was or why she was famous) takes a whole chapter of the book to blab about how dry body brushing has all these benefits including minimizing cellulite and reducing bloating.  i read that and i was on body brushing like white on rice.

its pretty simple.  start with dry skin (ie pre bath/shower). take a brush start at your feet and brush up towards your heart.   i use this brush i picked up at riteaid or ulta or something. after i finish brushing, i like to slather myself in argan oil or coconut oil.  i can't promise that it will get rid of your cellulite but it will make you feel fantastic. fant-ASS-tic.  sorry mom.  i couldn't help myself.

9/28/11

vitamin c isn't just for colds

you can put it on your face too. and with great results, especially if you happen to be among those cursed with the lines and zits (and i am). some girls have all the luck. i won't bore you with the details on vitamin c, like how it is an anti-oxidant and breaks up free radicals because that is what wikipedia is for and besides i don't really know what those things mean anyway.

instead, how about i share a few brands that make great vitamin c serums; one for the cheapskates, one for people who like "organic" stuff, and one for the product junkies.

cheapskates: most of the time this is me. except recently i've started splurging on skincare to make myself feel better about the fact that i am 30 and i look like i am 30. when i am poor i use avalon organics vitamin c vitality facial serum with great results. it isn't sticky and absorbs into the skin quickly.

"organic" stuff: kiehls powerful line reducing concentrate (10% vitamin c) isn't actually organic....but the company really tries hard not to use parabans (wikipedia it) or fragrances, which i love. this is what i am currently using. i like it. a lot.  it kind of warms up when you put it on your face and has a really nice essential oily kinda smell. my skin is clear (!) and smooth (!) and looks pretty radiant (!).  kiehls is amazing about letting people try stuff...so next time you are in nordies/holts ask them for a sample. 

product junkies: ever since my friend told me the other day about obagi i've been obsessed with trying their 20% vitamin c serum. only problem it is in the neighbourhood of 120 bones. currently my paranoia about my pocketbook supersedes my paranoia about aging (although the gap is rapidly closing to don't be surprised if in a week or two i'm raving about this.)



anything i missed?

9/27/11

burfday

scrabble+j.crew shopping trip+pictures+discussion about intelligence+dinner+documentary+peanut butter+ this guy
=
a good day (even if i did turn 30)

9/25/11

skin care don'ts from courtney love

I've been a big fan of the band hole ever since rax and i took a trip to utah circa 2000 and listened to celebrity skin for 16 hours straight (well that and teenage dirtbag). if you aren't familiar with the song take a listen:


my favorite line of the song is in the chorus when she sings, "when i wake up, in my makeup its too early for that dress." man can i relate. i wake up with raccoon eyes on a regular basis because if i stay up late (and i often do) i'm terrible about washing my face (ie it doesn't happen).

i read in people magazine (while at the hair salon the other day) that kim k keeps makeup wipes by her bed so that she can lay in her bed and still take her makeup off. hmmm if kim k is doing ot maybe it is something to try?

but now i'm not so sure.

if i put a stack of wipes beside my bed i'd end up with black wipes all over the bedroom floor (gross) because if i am too lazy to to wash my face i am i am definitely too lazy to get up to throw the wipe out.

plus i worry about residue from those things.

has anyone tried makeup wipes? how do they work for you? what are your favs?

9/24/11

the skin whisperer of calgary

dr. remington is famous in calgary. he is the genius behind many a well preserved housewife and gay man. you have skin problems? he's THE guy you go see. he's the kind of doctor you trust right away too. it might have something to do with the fact that his face is about as smooth as a baby's bottom, not to mention that in the 20 or so years i have known him, he hasn't aged a day. 5/6 white family members agree: doctor remington is a facesaver. and the 6th doesn't know anything since he's never had skin problems. lucky so and so.

you want lasers, peels, nips, injections? dr remington is a whiz. but one thing i like about him is that he doesn't just push the expensive cosmetic stuff, he is an advocate of good old fashioned things like washing your face and putting on sunscreen.

one of the things that doctor remington teaches his patients to do is wash their faces with buff puffs. he told me (and my mom) that most people don't exfoliate their skin enough and washing with a buff puff is one way to ensure that the dead dull skin on your face gets sloughed off. i started doing it again after noticing i was a dullster from all the summer sun i got.

using a buff puff makes a HUGE difference and is simple and affordable (daddy like). just wet your face, apply your favorite cleaner (dr r. says use cetephil), wet your buff pad and scrub scrub scrub. i use my buff puff for a week or two before switching it out for a new one. you can buy puffs at most drugstores. i'm currently using the riteaid brand.

seriously friends try this. it is one of the cheapest good things you can do for you skin. and you will notice the difference right away. (oy i sound like a cover girl commercial).

9/23/11

Dirty Thirties

whew. things were getting very grade 12 social studies there for a while. thank your lucky stars i haven't put up my posts on abortion, gay rights and euthanasia.

for the last few weeks i've been freaking out about the fact that i'm staring 30 down the barrel. i'm not sure what set me off. could be the three long hairs that appeared on my neck the other day. or maybe it was that i've been informed by medical professionals that i need to wear support hose every day if i don't my legs to turn into a rope vein mess (and i'm not even with child). or maybe it was my mom describing my grandma's saggy skin (from the sound of it genetics aren't on our side).

in any event i'm all in a huff about anti-aging. my mother's advice: start saving for boxtox. probably wise. so i will. but i have also been looking into taking better care of my skin (ie maybe washing my face every once in a while) in an effort to turn back time. over the next few days i am going to share what i've learned and how it worked or me. if you have anything that really works for you--tell me! i love hearing about people's skin care rituals.

also it doesn't really matter how cray-cray it is because i'm not above trying anything. once i read online that if you bathe in coffee it will help you feel less bloated. i filed that little piece of info away until one day, when i was feeling especially water logged, and decided to try it. i went to the store bought instant coffee granules, drew a nice hot bath and dumped the jar of coffee in. it was pretty lovely (nice smelling too). i'd call it a successful home remedy except as i watched my two hour bath water drain (admittedly kinda gross) i realized i'd dyed the bath tub brown. dentists aren't kidding around when they talk about coffee stains. the good news: it only took about 4 liters of bleach to remove.

some asians enjoying a coffee bath. they have to coolest skin care remedies like coffee baths and gold fish that eat dead skin off your body.

9/21/11

Why you shouldn't vote for Rick Perry: Part Three


he doesn't have a conscience.


i've been thinking a lot about the death penalty ever since the CNN debate where rick perry said that he doesn't lose sleep over the possibility that some of the 234 execution orders he signed as governor of texas could have been for innocent people. the audience cheered. perry went off on some junk about how he had faith in the justice system.

justice experts say that while perry has been governor at least one innocent person, cameron todd willingham, was executed. in that case perry actively interfered with state investigations and rejected the scientific evidence presented by over 20 scientists saying that the fire which killed willingham's children was not man-made. in other cases he has denied inmates rights guaranteed by the vienna convention and ignored the rights of foreign nationals in criminal proceedings.

the whole death penalty issue makes me sick. in fact it is one of the things that makes me want to move back to canada. (please mike? but then i might have to live without target--which would also be a colossal tragedy so the jury is still out on where we'll end up) (and yes i realize like what a jerk i look like for making that comment).

it isn't that i don't have faith in the justice system--but mistakes do happen--and it just seems like the risk of the harm caused by executing an innocent person isn't worth it. take for instance the execution of troy davis which occurred today. he was convicted primarily on the basis of eye witness accounts. 7 of the 9 eye witnesses have since recanted, saying they were coached by detectives working on the case. there is no physical (DNA) evidence linking davis to the crime. while he may still have committed the crime--the doubt--the possibility that he didn't seems to be to be reason enough to at a minimum stay the execution. but that is a moral argument and i can understand how not everyone is going to agree with me.

so how about we get really pragmatic? with the economic downturn, most states are facing budgetary deficits. It costs a state $2.2 million to execute someone. Most of these costs are legal fees. On the other hand it costs $400,000 to keep an inmate in prison for life. When states are faced with hard choices about where to cut spending--why not just commute the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison?

in texas rick perry could have saved his state $20 million dollars. money that perhaps could be spent on education, health care, hell even using the money to pay for HPV vaccines would be better than this crap.

ok i promise not to post anything more about rick perry. unless he does something really stupid, in which case i won't be able to help myself.

9/8/11

a long post about islam

yesterday i went with my brother to his class on islam and mormonism at the byu. at the beginning of the class they took a quiz on the assigned reading. the questions were pretty basic but one caught my eye:

the "oppression" of women in muslim majority countries is primarily the result of:
a) religion
b) culture
c) some dumb throw away answer that i can't even remember

the "right" answer to the question (as far as any introductory class on islam is concerned) is culture. all the intro text books say that islam is gender inclusive and mohammad was basically feminist since he stopped female infanticide. they say that it is the misogynistic arab culture which is to blame for keeping the muslim women down. and this is basically the explanation my brother's prof (who was wearing tom and jerry tie which should have tipped me off to the fact that he probably wasn't going to be the kind of guy to give a mind blowing explanation of anything) gave the students when they went over the quiz.

a kid in the class immediately shot up his hand (he seemed like the delightfully nerdy type) and asked the teacher if that wasn't kind of a cop out explanation. the prof got a bit flustered and basically just repeated his earlier explanation topping it off with the patronizing "it will all make sense as we go through the course."

man i wish i was teaching that class because nerdy boy's question is really interesting and worth exploring (for the entire semester as far as i am concerned).

the explanation is kind of a cop out. muslim feminists can say that the opression of women in their religion is because of the sexist culture islam emerged from until the cows come home...and they might right except for one little problem.

a cornerstone of the religion is that the qur'an is the literal word of god which means the things in it can't just be interpreted (or contextualized) away. at the end of the day muslims have to account for the fact that in their holy religious text is says beat your women if they disoby (among other nasty things). if your religious text says something, doesn't that make a pretty strong case for the notion that the religion at least has some impact on the oppression of member women?

but i actually think the question is problematic because it assumes that we can clearly deliniate "religion" from "culture." can we? i'm not sure i can draw those lines in my own faith tradition.
though i probably don't like to admit this--i think i have a tendency to just call anything within the tradition i don't like "culture," whereas things i like are "religion." the reality is that the line between those two things seems really fuzzy when we actually try to define terms. culture is religion and religion is culture. focusing on one at the expense of the other will lead to incomplete explanations for the cause of the oppression of women, not to mention any other question a person could think of.


thinking about the reasons women in islam seem to have fewer rights than women in the west is a really interesting question however. it becomes particularly curious question when we examine the position of women in the golden age of islam who unlike their european counterparts could: own land, were entitled family inheritances, and could divorce a spouse who did not keep their marriage contract.

several explanations are worth considering.

being able to travel via boat to the far east instead of overland meant that fewer people traveled through the middle east. this meant that the people living in middle east were cut off from their source of news, and ideas. isolated from developments in the rest of the world they simply did no have the information they needed to keep up. crusades to the holy land also probably caused muslims to become protective and isolationist--which didn't improve their access to information problem.

another way of explaining the situation is that the cultures where muslims live are traditional and conservative in the sense that they resist change. the reforms that muslim women enjoyed during the golden age where things mohammad had advocated for and at the time they were radical. but overtime radical becomes the status quo becomes conservative. however because many religions are resistant to change, now the position of women in islam seems completely unacceptable.

do you have any ideas? how do you define religion and culture? why do you think women are oppressed in religious communities? how do you define oppression?

whoa. this is getting really far off where i intended to start from which was basically to say i think my brother's prof is a goof.

9/2/11

Why You Shouldn't Vote for Rick Perry: Part Two


He doesn't have a clue about how to create jobs.


perry holds up the fact that texas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country as evidence of his skill at managing the affairs of a state and why americans should choose him to be their president in 2012. since creating jobs and renewing the stalled economy are at the top of so many people's priority list, perry's record is worth considering. if he kept the economy in texas afloat, could he do the same for the rest of the country?

the short answer is, probably not.

perry's success as governor has more to do with the fact that his tenure coincided with skyrocketing oil prices than any job creating prowess on his part. because oil accounts for over 25 % of the texas economy, growing profits and tax revenues in this sector have helped offset losses in other industries.

and the losses in other areas of the economy haven't been as bad as they have in other areas of the country either. that is because the benefits of a strong oil and gas industry trickle down. in texas, just like in alberta, high oil prices mean that the lawyers and accountants and home builders and restaurants are also have work. the price of oil drives those economies and unfortunately for rick perry, the price of oil is something he can't take credit for.

so don't count on a perry government to create jobs, unless that is, he finds a way to make oil out of thin air.

Why You Shouldn't Vote for Rick Perry: Part One

He is a Creep.

conventional wisdom says if you want to make a buck, don't go into politics. so it is curious how rick perry, republican candidate for president, went from being a farmer who made $45,000 a year to a governor worth 7 digits.

he didn't inherit any money. the salary of the governor of texas is set at $150,000 a year and it seems unlikely that he saved every penny he made during the last ten years. in fact the source of perry's new found wealth has been the subject of several journalistic inquiries. perry made most of his money buying and selling land, however, according to several journalists, the details of those transactions seem suspicious on closer inspection.

here is how a typical perry real estate transaction went down. a lobbyist in state house would buy a piece of land he/she knew someone else had commercial interests in. they would then sell that land to perry at cost. perry would then reap the benefits of the sale of the "in demand" land.

maybe perry didn't know what the lobbysist knew about the land....but the fact that it happened several times has to kind of make you wonder. add this to perry's record of giving sweetheart deals* to people who made large financial contributions to his political action committees and it seems to me we have on our hands a guy who stinks of corruption.

and i for one am of the opinion that the last thing we need is some croney capitalist in charge.

*reportedly perry issued an executive order mandating that all girls in the state of texas receive the hpv vaccine**. at the time the only vaccine available was made by merek drug company which coincidentally had donated generously to the perry election campaigns.

**just for the record, i don't have a problem with the vaccine.

8/19/11

another summer salad

a dinner made of little gems we picked up at the farmers market.

Haricots Verts Salad
(adapted from NYT)

baby potatoes
cubed and boiled
green beans
parboiled
shallot & garlic
sauteed
goat cheese
crumbled
prosciutto
julienned
almonds
slivered

serve with a balsamic vinaigrette (brianna's is my favorite)
or make your own.




8/17/11

sissy starts a blog

her name is rachel, but we call her:
rax, finn razel, razzle dazzle, rache, oh sister


and she started a blog.
and she is pretty funny
(and quite the ham as you can see in the picture).
so the blog will be a hoot.

read it.


8/15/11

camera shy

we aren't really a picture family. i can count on one hand the number of times we've had family portraits done. i don't ever recall taking pictures on family outings or holidays.

we don't do it often, because when we do, all hell breaks loose.

we fight. we make fun of each other. we get all j.lo and demand retake after retake because someone looks fat. we grumble about what we are supposed to wear. and then, in a move to cut the tension my mom might make us sing something like "families can be together forever" which is the type of move that usually makes things worse....

but the other night, at cousin caitlin's* wedding--the stars aligned for a few minutes--and the white fam** took themselves some pictures. catch'em while their hot friends because this probably won't happen for another twenty years.

(bob, bonnie, kristen, nathan, caitlin, mercedes, joshua, rachel)

(mercedes, nathan, joshua, rachel)
(don't you love me and rax rocking the kimmy kardashian pose?)
(the photographer told us it would make us look thinner and we are suckers for that kind of thing.)
(does it?)



* caitlin (the bride) is our cousin on my dad's side. she cleans up pretty good eh?
** the girl between nathan and my mom is kristin, nathan's fiance. she cleans up pretty good too eh?

8/14/11

golden heart gets married

i realized had a kindred spirit in liz quist when she (looking at some books on my shelf) asked what i thought about allan bloom's critique of education in america. my heart probably skipped a beat. not only did this girl know who allan bloom was, she'd read enough of him to have a conversation about his ideas.

oh my world.

after a string of bad relationships* where our most interesting conversations were about where to eat dinner, i forgot that there were people out there who liked to get down to it. people who liked to talk books and religion and politics.

we spent the four months yakking our faces off. it was glorious. and even though she moved and then i moved and we haven't been able to see each other as much as we'd like, it is one of those friendships where you just pick up where you left off.

so on saturday--at her wedding--i yakked liz's head off and she was gracious enough to not tell me to shut up because it was her wedding day and she had a lot of people to talk to. dear liz i love you and am so happy for you (and dan).

trip to dc forthcoming.

pencil in an 8 hour double dinner date. we're gonna need it.

* with men

8/13/11

the gaff that wasn't

the anti-corporate rule crowd may be making fun of mitt romney for telling an iowa fair audience that "corporations are people" but am starting to think what is really funny is how totally off base their jokes are. while i'm not sure if i am for romney, in this instance i agree with his assertion.

in his blog post on the comment, ilya shapiro argues that corporations don't have rights, however, they are made up of people who do. the fact that a group of people form an association (corporate or otherwise) does not strip them of their rights as individuals. furthermore, "corporate money always comes from, flows through, and ends up in human hands." corporations may not actually be people, but the fact that they represent a group of people should not disqualify them from political expression in the form of media comment or campaign donations.

to suggest, as person in the iowa crowd did, that corporations pay additional taxes is basically to say that the people who work for or have interests in those corporations should pay more (as this is what corporate tax amounts to). maybe they should pay more--i don't know--but can we really expect them to pay more and also then try to revoke their right to express their political preferences?

the real life equivalent is you and me going for lunch every day. only you always pay and i always pick the place. what if everyday i want to go for sushi because i like it and it is delicious, but you are a vegetarian. shouldn't you at least be able to say, "mercedes i don't eat meat or fish"? of course you should. similarly corporations as the representatives of groups of people should be able to express theirs.

i'm starting to think i might like this mittens guy (even though i disagree with him on stuff like marriage). or maybe i'm just freaked out about the economy and he kinda seems like a knight on a white horse and i've always been a sucker for a fairytale.

we'll see.

7/20/11

perfectly balanced

ever since i read the man who ate everything, i've been convinced that vegetables make me sick.

i know.
i know.

they are "good" for you. so what is the problem?

the vegetables are delicious going down, but well, let's just say that during digestion they make my stomach feel very unladylike. (anyone else with that problem?)

nevertheless vegetables are all i feel like eating these days. below is a recipe for my new favorite salad combination, adapted from a recipe by skye gyngell, an english chef and the author of the book my favorite ingredients. it is worth the indigestion.

for some reason i've always been under the impression that the british are out of their depth in the kitchen. i'm not sure where that idea comes from, but the fact that sheep's stomach and mushy peas are considered fine dinning might have something to do with it.

in any event. i was wrong. at least one english chef is nailing it in the kitchen. and her book is probably one of the most charming cookbooks i've seen in a while.

so here is our salad (skye's and mine). you should probably try it. tonight if you know what is good for you.
red grapefruit
(sectioned)
pistachios
(coarsely chopped)
avocado
(cubed)
aged romano
(sliced paper thin)
mixed greens

toss and serve with a simple french vinaigrette for a scrumptious summer lunch.
skye includes prosciutto in her recipe. i didn't because i take great pleasure in trying to force my meat loving husband to eat vegetarian food. nice wife eh?

7/2/11

Open for Business

I am pleased to announce the grand opening of:

Mercedes White French Macarons*

Friends I started a business! This summer I will be selling my confectioneries at the Park City Market on Sundays** from 10-5. For special orders, please contact me at mercedeswhite@gmail.com.

here is my little spot at the market. please ignore the wrinkled tablecloth (trashy!!).

If you haven't tried a French Macaron yet, here is a little taster of what to expect:

grapefruit--caramel au fleur de sel--blackberry white chocolate***

Two almond meringue cookies are sandwiched between a filling. When you bite in a slightly crisp shell gives way to a soft chewy center.

For the diet conscious french macarons are relatively good choice if you are craving something sweet but don't want go overboard. Macaron stats:
  • made from almond flour and so are naturally gluten free.
  • low in fat because of their egg white (as opposed to butter) base.
  • low in calories--just 70 calories per macaron.
So if you are going to have a cookie....come to Park City and have a macaron!

*I'm working on a website. As soon as it is ready, I will share it.

**The fact that the market is on sunday is kind of a bummer. There is a chance that I will be able to wiggle my way into the Salt Lake City market, which is on Saturdays. I will keep you all posted.

***Those are actually MY macarons! The photos were taken by my dear friend Ann
. The photo styling was done by the lovely and talented Marte. They both blog. You should check 'em out.

6/7/11

good news/bad news

the good news is we are moving to the east

the bad news is we are only going 31 miles.

we'll be staying in utah for another year--
only this time around we are trading sandy-towne* for downtown park city.

upgrade?

i can't decide.
on the positive:
the restaurants are fabulous
there is a trail right behind our new apartment
we're a block a way from a great yoga studio
and only 10 minutes to the outlets


but less positively:
it is june and there is still snow up there
they don't have a target (one of the only reasons i continue to live in america)
people who are obsessed with skiing kinda annoy me

so if you know anything great or bad about living in park city let me know about it.

and if what you know about which celebrities go to pc and when....don't be embarrassed to tell me because, well, i read perez hilton every.dingle.day (much to michael's disgust) and i haven't had myself a celebrity citing since i lived in nyc. so i'd say i'm due.

*i used "towne" just to try to get michael's goat. he hates it when people spell town with an e.

6/4/11

before bed thoughts

dust bunnies are taking over my house. i bought paper plates so we don't have to fuss around with the dishes. i'm pretty sure i saw an ant colony behind the sofa yesterday night.

usually i'm on top of (fanatical about) housekeeping, but lately, i'm less than impressive in the domestic department.

further proof: these days i dine on butter, cake, and hummus.
oh and i fall asleep while eating.
with my elbows on the table!!!!

see, i've been studying for this exam. every day for the last few months. and wouldn't you know it--it has kind of taken over my life.

the situation has got me to thinking about how in the H-E-L-L i am going to make things work when i have more "pressing obligations." you can ignore dust bunnies, but ignore your kid (for too long) and you'll have yourself a date with child protective services.

i look around me and see women my age who are DONE having families. i wonder how on earth two people who like their "me" time and are passionate about their work are going to survive sleepless nights, laundry explosions, and a lot of poop. what will balance between work and family look like for us? is it possible to make both a priority? is it possible not to sacrifice one for the other?

i guess we could outsource every domestic task we are not interested in doing ourselves (so basically everything) but, i am one of those feminists who feels guilty about employing other women to do work that i don't want to do. i hate the idea that my self actualization is contingent on some other woman cleaning up after me, doing my laundry, and making my dinners. you pick up what i'm putting down?

but so far as i can see right now....employing someone at some point is only way we can make things work (when we have kids). and i wish i had better solutions for all this. so if you can think of any....do me a solid and shoot them my way. ok? thanks. also if you think i am being dumb, i totally agree with you.

5/13/11

the kids are alright

let me tell you what my little bros were like when i left home for university.

josh: (8)
  • secretly watched pokemon in the basement (highly inappropriate for an eight year old if you asked his siblings)
  • faked whiplash to get out of grade two (and our mother believed him!!!)
  • wore a speedo whenever possible.
nathan: (11)
  • was in his harry potter glasses phase
  • had an italian girlfriend named little linda (we're pretty sure her family were mafia)
  • liked to quiz (embarrass) american missionaries on their (spotty) knowledge of US history.
they didn't:
  • do chores.
  • do dishes.
  • put their fruit snacks wrappers in the garbage.
  • put their sports equipment, including jockstraps, away after use.
  • listen to me when i told them to clean up after themselves (possibly most annoying of all).
and all these things (combined with an overdose of freshman feminist studies) lead me to the conclusion that my bros (while interesting and smart) were pigs who think that women should clean up after them.

but it turns out ten years changes a lot and the truth is mom your boys are alright and not just because:
  • josh does the dishes (without being asked or bribed).
  • nathan cooks dinner for the entire family (his fish tacos with kiwi mango salsa were a revelation).
  • they put their stuff away (more than they did)
  • they do what they are told (most important quality in a future spouse)
i don't know what happened in the years i've been away--but whatever it was-- you done good ma!

(whitefam--az 2011--josh's 20th birthday)

5/5/11

junk i buy that i don't need

i've been doing a little bit of organizing (and when i say a little, i mean 20 minutes worth yesterday afternoon). here is a sampling of what i've collected in the past year and a half:

12* pairs of jeans
11 white t-shirts
10 empty notebooks, presumably for when i become harriet the spy.
9 bottles of sunscreen
8* candles
7 kinds of shampoo for people with "red" hair
6 bottles of body firming lotion
5 black skirts
4 colours of foundation
3 yoga mats
2 boxes of ribbon
and a partridge in a pear tree (no seriously)

i'm kind of horrified. i don't need all this stuff. i certainly don't use much of it.

from here we could probably launch into a discussion about what a nitwit i am and how this post should really be called "junk she buys to distract herself from her lame little existence." ya we could go their, and there would be a lot to say, but i'm feeling charitable with myself this morning, so instead i'm giving myself a little challenge.

mercedes r. white is it possible for you to go one week without buying a darn thing? you can't spend one red cent. not even on gas.....

CAN i do it? the safe money is probably on no. in fact, judging from the success of my little no pants no problem experiment, i'll probably make it to day 4 and then give in and buy new shoes. on the other hand in abstaining, i may find meaning, world peace, and my tweezers....

or maybe i'll just save some dough (which would be an equally huge shock to my system).

so any tips for junk buying addiction recovery? any tips for living the good life without paying for it?

*numbers maybe slightly exaggerated.

4/17/11

Stuff I'd Like to Say but Don't:

i used to never (ever) think about if what i had to say was offensive. the time i asked a spinster church teacher why, if motherhood was so important, she wasn't out there multiplying and replenishing the earth looms especially large. the result of my uninhibited expression?

for 25 years everyone thought i was a major jerk. (i was)

somewhere along the way i decided that i wanted people to like me. so pulled my head out of my heine and learned a few social skills, in particular that one should make an effort to consider the experiences, values, and opinions of others before opening one's big fat self righteous mouth.

so the upside of this is that i've learned how to not loose friends and alienate people. on the other hand, i've become paranoid about being offensive. now trust me, having everyone think you are a jerk is no picnic, but constantly worrying about offending people is downright exhausting. and if you'll permit me to get really melodramatic here, not ever saying anything because you are worried about causing offense is downright soul crushing.

i guess this is a long way of saying that i've got some stuff i need to get off my chest. so in no particular order:

1. i'm sending my kid to daycare. i don't want to hear a bunch of BS about how kid is going to turn into a sociopath and always have colds. trust me, it is better than the alternative.

2. i think it ridiculous that the "largest womens organization in the world" has to get permission from a bunch of men before they do anything. let's stop trying to pretend we are something that we are not.

3. tacquitos aren't diet food and when you tell me you want to loose weight and then snarf a costco sized bag, don't expect me to pat you on the back and say, "good choice."

4. i want to have a puppy more than i want to have a baby. it definitely has something to do with the fact that daycare for babies costs $2,500/month while daycare for puppies is a relative steal at just $515/month.

5. if i am really going to be honest with myself--SL,UT isn't so bad after all. in fact, i sort of like it here. i might buy a house here. i might stay here a while. i've probably just lost all credibility with some of my friends for saying this.

6. if he doesn't ask you out, it isn't that he is intimidated by you.
the fact is: HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. move along.


so that's all. actually it isn't, but that is all i am brave enough to post on my blob. so there. judge me. anything you want to get off your chest? stuff you'd like to say but don't?

3/29/11

return to me

-lancome tweezers that i have had since i was like 19.
ten years is a long time. i'm attached. michael don't judge me for acting like my dog ran away ok.

-running shoes.
michael you hid them didn't you. this is payback for years of shamelessly hiding your stupid shoe horn isn't it.

-nice nude coloured bra.
who looses their bra?

-ability to conduct an automobile without scumming to fits of rage wherein i curse out and cut off every other driver on the road.
in my defense utah drivers made me this way.....they are the kind of drivers who have a peace signs on their license plates and then give you the finger while trying to run you out of your lane. at least i don't have a peace sign on my car.

what are you missing?

3/25/11

dreamworks state of mind

i can't sleep. i've lost my appetite. i feel nauseous. i can't concentrate. i'm full of nervous energy.

so what, you may ask, is my problem?

no one has died. no one lost their job. and i'm not pregnant. we aren't moving yet.

oh no.

the truth is that i have fallen into the vortex that is called "trying to decide which netflix instant viewing film to watch" and i can't get out.

i'll decide i want to watch a movie and literally like TWO hours later i am still trying to narrow down my picks. i think instant viewing is the worst nightmare of people like me. people who have a hard time making decisions. drama? documentary? you've got mail for the 150th time? the endless possibilities are killing me!

this situation shouldn't come as a shock to those who know me. after all, i'm the person who holds up the line at tim horton's for ten minutes trying to decide what kind of TIMBITS to get.

deciding where to go for dinner warrants a TWO hour exploratory appointment with google.

i think it is totally normal to ask EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON in my life if i should....buy that shirt....or this pair of pants.

i'm not exactly sure what my problem is. maybe i suffer from the paralyzing fear of death--which means that i think every time i do something i'm convinced it's the last time i'll do it (because then i will die) and i want to make sure whatever i pick it isn't a dud.

(who wants to be the dud that goes out on a dud?)

maybe its the curse of the libra (libra's according to my maternal grandfather are terrible decision makers).

one way avoiding the netflix vortex of indecision is to go in with a plan for what i am going to watch. i'm running out of movies people have recommended though and i'm going to fall back in that black hole unless you all help me out. how about i'll share some of my favorites with you all and then you hit me with your best shots ok?

here it goes:

  • the cove (a documentary about dolphins. made we want to join PETA and i'm not even an animal lover type)
  • damages (tv series starring glenn close. intense thrilling legal drama)
  • girl with the dragon tattoo (don't bother watching the hornets nest and the playing with fire one....they suck....tattoo is very good though).
  • restrepo (documentary about military unit based in afghanistan)
  • the stoning of soraya m (film about honour killing in iran)
  • the north and the south (pride and prejudice meets economic theory)
  • last station (for tolstoy lovers)
ok friends. i am counting on you. help me. you are my only hope. tell me what i need to watch this weekend.

2/23/11

on zumba

we joined a gym. there are lots of nice machines, rooms for group classes, racquetball courts, two pools, a climbing wall and some basketball courts. there is a lot i could do there, but, for the most part all i've wanted to do is hang out in the steam room.

my rationale: steam rooms, like working out, involve lots of sweating. but then someone reminded me that they don't require much in the way of personal effort.....

but zumba does. so this week i tried it.

now i'm just going to go ahead and say it: i judge a book based on its cover. had i seen a zumba class before actually attending a zumba class there is no way in H. E. double hockey sticks i would have gone.

why?

because at our gym zumba class consists of a bunch of former cheerleader cougar types shaking their bon-bons for an hour. i don't so much have a problem with old timers shaking it like a polaroid picture. what freaks me out is when the class is full of ladies who have 20 year old bodies and a 75 year old faces (presumably from spending too much time in the toaster tanning oven). but then again....that is sandy, utah for you.


so i am standing there waiting for the class to start and kind of feeling like an idiot because:
1. i have a 12 year old face and a 80 year old body.
2. i do not have a tan.

but then the music came on, lady gaga's poker face, and before i knew it i was bouncing around with the best of them. the high point came when we did a bollywood inspired dance.

i liked that one so much that i came home and downloaded the song so i can PRACTICE at home.....because i think i have found my new passion in life: being a zumba bollywood dancer. forget law school. i'm going to make it in bombay!

oh ya. and i am really sore. the kind of sore where you can't lay on your back at night because the pressure from the weight of your body on your backside really hurts.

2/18/11

no pants. no problem: day 4

thoughts:

1. it is cold out and i am not in the mood for a dress* right now.
2. we are still having picture problems.....
3. what makeup colours do well for red heads? i think i'm looking a little washed out.

skirt: gap, sweater: tory burch for bergdof goodman, tights: gap, shoes....oh you can't see 'em.
the gap has been a goldmine lately....seriously diggin' it.
*oh and when i say dress....i usually mean skirt

no pants. no problem: day 3

friends: getting michael to take a picture of me where i don't look pregnant or high is turning out to be tricky. in this picture i look like a gnome. the thing is that beyond point and shoot, when it comes to cameras neither of neither of us have the first clue what we are doing. can anyone give us some hints?!?!
skirt: gap, turtleneck: gap, boots: i dunno, i think macy's, bedding: dwell studio for target.

2/16/11

no pants. no problem: day 2

well. well . well. here we are again.

here i am in a dress. again. looking every inch a lady.

sweater: jcrew, shirt: gap, skirt: anthropologie, boots: frye, necklace: jcrew

no pants no problem

did you know there is a whole genre of blogs wherein people post pictures of what they wear?

there is.

these hipsters (and sometimes not so much) put pictures of their outfits on the interwebs every.single.day for blogger stalkers like you and me to look at.

i know. shocking.

and even though i must admit, i think it's a bit vainglorious to take a picture of your outfit and put it on your blog every.single.day....my opinion of these types probably trends more glorious than vain.

if i posted what i wear every.single.day more often than not you'd be looking at me in my pajamas, or if i was feeling ambitious, sweaty workout clothes. (whatever. sweat is hot.)

this is a problem.

it's a problem because when flannel and baggy are your criteria for choosing what to wear, 9/10 you are going to end up feeling like a fat frump which we all know is bad for mental health etc.

i've been feeling like a fat frump so much lately that i decided to set a new years resolution. my goal isn't to loose weight, or get toned up. oh no. my goal is much less ambitious. it is:

GET DRESSED (more often).

i'm just getting around to it. inspired by my new favorite genre of blog, i figured i'd get the ball rolling on this goal by posting pictures of myself every.single.day dressed in non-sleepwear . but then i got to thinking, why stop at just getting dressed when i can get dressed up. so this week i will also be wearing a dress/skirt every.single.day.

we'll see if i feel less fat, less frump and more like a lady, more grown up.

here i am today:
shirt: jcrew, skirt: anthropologie, belt: jcrew, boots: frye, tights: target

2/15/11

ways to combat S.A.D.

1. make netflix your new best friend.

2. buy a large tub of red vines at costco. hoard them.

3. dye your hair* ** ***.

* don't worry mom it is a temp--i'll be back to blond in no time. it was either this or cut it all off.
** since red fades from washing, i plan on not stepping foot in a shower for about 5 weeks.
*** yes, i agree. i look like a russian mail order bride.

(i love it)

2/6/11

Notes from the Chocolate Society

people at the chocolate society take chocolate seriously.

only eat dark chocolate serious.
would rather their kids eat dirt than the likes of lindt, godiva or bernard callebaut serious.
smell their chocolate before they eat it serious.
suck on it and spit it out serious.

it sounds annoying, but it is actually pretty charming to be around people who are so passionate--and i've learned a lot from them.

and

i feel like a bit of a poser because guess who has several bars of hershey chocolate in her pantry.....

and

for anyone interested, amedei tuscano black 70% extra dark chocolate will change your life.

logical reasoning

if you join the chocolate society of salt lake city, then your chocolate consumption will go through the roof. if your chocolate consumption goes through the roof, then you will gain weight. if you gain weight, then you will not fit into your clothes. if you do not fit into your clothes, then you will have a mental breakdown every single morning when you get dressed.

so

if you join the chocolate society, then you will have a mental breakdown every morning when you get dressed.

i joined the chocolate society of salt lake city....

take a stab at how my mornings have been lately.

2/1/11

back to the blob*

a couple of weeks ago i was in a meeting with some people. during a lull in the conversation, one of the attendee's turned to me and said:

"i read your blog. you are kind of off the wall."

the way it was said, i couldn't tell if being "off the wall" was intended as a compliment. i wasn't really getting the vibe that is was.....inside i cringed. i was embarrassed. i felt like a bloomin' idiot. so on the drive home i was thinking about all the ways to avoid feeling these kinds of things....

the truth is the person who said i was "off the wall" has NO IDEA how nutty i really am. my blog is a pretty pithy representation of what i think and feel. i've got oodles of unpublished posts. posts i decided not to put up because i thought they might make me look stupid or crazy or hurt people's feelings. i haven't been brave enough to open myself up that much and i haven't wanted to be judged based on something i wrote on my blog. the truth is judgment is unavoidable. and in my case,in trying to protect myself from judgment, i've lost my voice. straight up lame.

for me, the solution isn't going private. only expressing things in safe space won't help me learn to better articulate my ideas. it won't help me find the courage i need to say hard things when they need to be said. it won't help me learn to be a more diplomatic writer.

so this year....my blog is going to be me. real mercedes. all of me...most of me...more of me than you have seen in the past (this being open stuff is kind of scary--and the oprah expose on blog security doesn't exactly help) so if you read something and you think...."man that mercedes is kinda nuts"...yes i kinda am.

*on one of the blogs i read the author calls her blog her BLOB. i just love that and imitation is flattery and all that stuff.