First DAY of Culinary School..or rather the 'Estranged Brother' of Culinary Schools

Today was the first day of classes for me..


After all the "talk" I've done the last few years about going into culinary school, today I officially was able to start! I dont know WHY it took me SO LONG to go back..but I'm glad that I was able to pull myself out of the 'slump', and get back to finishing my degree! I decided to go to SLCC and get my Associates of Applied Science, and afterwards transfer over to Utah Valley University for my Bachelors in Hospitality, with an emphasis in Culinary Arts.

I was so nervous the night before! Worried if the other students in the class would have way more experience than me, being asked what I do for a living (aka nothing), or if I had professional experience in the kitchen. So those thoughts gave me a night of tossing and turning...(oh and the thought of learning from Utah's OWN version of Bravo TV's host and judge of TOP CHEF, Padma Lakshmi..)

Boy was I EVER WRONG!!

As I entered the classroom, lets just say it was somewhat of a 'culture shock'. I was expecting potential chefs like I've watched on Top Chef, or even the Food Network. Instead, lets just say they looked like they never graduated High School. Is this what going to a 'Community College' is all about? I dont remember ANYONE like that while I was attending the University of Utah. So I was completely beside myself with disappointment!

Don't get me wrong, I wasnt expecting fashion models, or Giada de Leurentis look-alikes...


I was just hoping for a more prestigious atmosphere I suppose. But clearly it wont be like that at all. So much for 'TOP CHEF', more like 'REJECT CHEF'. I can already imagine I am in for a VERY LONG semester!

I am excited though to learn how to make meringues and macaroons!! Just not in the same group as the girl who came up to me and said, "I've NEVER baked before...have you?"

OH BOY! (and not in a good way)


New Passion

Recently I have come to realize that I have an EXTREME passion for gaming! No not video gaming, although it is one of my favorite past times depending on the game (PixelJunk Monsters!!) BUT I am talking about board games!!

Ever since my younger brother Aaron, aka The Rabid Milkman, received Settlers of Cataan 4th edition for Christmas 2005, I've grown to love strategy games! Granted it took me awhile to figure out the games mechanics to actually win, I really enjoy the intense competition thats involved and the concept of earning points through trading with other players, expanding your settlements/cities, and acquiring points through each action.

I'm not here to write a review for Settlers, but just wanting to share where my passion began, and has evolved since then!


Another farming-type strategy game, somewhat similar in dynamic to Settlers, but with a lot more components. Didn't hit off so well with my brother and his wife, but I intend to continue to play it otherwise, and enjoy every minute of it!

From there I purchased a strategy card game...


seek to build a collection of districts worth from one to eight points. Once someone has built eight districts, the game is over after that round ends, and the player with the highest total value wins. However, to facilitate the process (and make the game interesting), players sequentially choose a character from a rapidly dwindling pool of eight each turn. The characters give players special abilities for the turn. Very fun and exciting to play!

With this growing enjoyment for games, I became a member of BoardGameGeek and have been following a few of the games that have peeked my interest. One of those being,

Merchants and Marauders.

Its a pirate-themed game, where you live the life of an influential merchant or a dreaded pirate in the Caribbean. Seek your fortune through trade, rumor hunting, missions, and of course, plundering. The game features a unique trade system and a thematic combat system, allowing for critical decisions and intense excitement. Modify your ship, buy impressive vessels, load deadly special ammunition and hire specialist crew members. Who doesn't love a pirate game? I currently own Pirates Cove, so when I read the review for M&M on BGG, I had to add it to my growing collection! I still have yet to actually play the game-just because my "gaming group" so to speak is quite limited-but I hopefully intend to do so this weekend.
This also gives me an excuse to break out my Jack Sparrow costume lol.

The most recent games I've been reviewing are



(another reason to come dressed up as a stealthy ninja!)


I am just in complete amazement with all the gamers out there who have collected a ton of these types of games and built a gaming empire!! I am no where near compiling a gaming blog, but would like to eventually, just to introduce the recent games I have come to grow and love playing! However, my fan base, I'm afraid, isn't one inclusive of hardcore gamers. I hope to find a group of individuals that can get together at least once a month to try out a few of these games with me!! If youre interested, PLEASE APPLY! Lol.

I am most likely screaming "GEEK" right now with this most recent post, but call it what you may, but youre missing out!



I'm starting to think I am keeping this blog just for my own sanity, and benefit. Its starting to seem more and more like a journal to me, which I've grown up with, and I've made sure to write whenever I was inspired, or when I didn't want to forget a special memory, a specific instance in my life, that I could always look back on and smile.

I hope you're not reading this to be inspired lol, because I haven't been much of an inspiration to myself lately. I've always been meaning to make a change, but right now I think I'm stuck in a 'comfort zone' of some sort, and cant seem to get out of it. I've compiled a list below of HAPPY and UNHAPPY things going on, in my life right now. Hoping that it'll make me think harder about changing the things I am able to change, and ultimately move on to a better place. I don't like others feeling sorry for me, and so before this starts to become one of those posts, I will just cut to the chase...


1. My neices and nephew

2. My family
We have our moments, but I really love the time we spend together and the laughs and memories we share!!

3. My dogs

4. My friends
(who continue to inspire me to become a better person!)

5. Being LDS


1. My relationship with God.

2. My job

3. My struggle to get somewhere in life

4. Dating-or lack thereof

5. Knowing that Im in a comfort zone, and cant seem to GET OUT!

You'd think if you were able to recognize those things that are making you unhappy, you'd be able to FIX THEM! Right?? Well I don't know how well that works for everyone else, because I've known for awhile now about the unhappy things above, and can't seem to figure out how to make any changes. I think my mind just likes to recognize them, and then immediately put them on the back burner and deal with them later...only later never comes around...but when it does, out of the blue-it goes RIGHT back to the back of my mind where it has been for the passed 6 months.

Clearly I'm at a loss with myself.


Nostalgia Tears

Its been awhile since I've posted...but I'm beginning to realize that the better posts are the ones that inspire you to write.

This is one of those moments..

Today I had a case of the nostalgia tears. I most likely made up that word, so dont go scrambling through Webster's looking for the definition.

It all began this afternoon, when I met a really influential, amazing friend for lunch. This lunch was different from all the other lunches we've had, because it was to be our last (for now.) She has been offered a job in Ohio, and will be moving within the coming week.

I never thought she would move. She's been here for the past 10 years. Grew up in Logan, and went to the University of Utah, where we met, 7 years ago. I've always admired her as a person, and she inspired me each and everyday! Now that she is moving on to bigger and better things, I began finding myself losing those memories we've shared, and that I've held onto for so long. As we said our goodbyes, I promised myself I wouldn't be emotional, and we parted with the best wishes for one another in our lives to come. As I approached my car, I started to cry. I was losing someone important to me, and I couldnt handle it. I will always remember the good times we've shared, and hope that she does too.

Later this evening, I was taking the trash to the street. We're repainting our entire interior of the house, and our couches, which we've had for 10 years, are sitting outside, waiting to be hauled off to the dump to make room for new ones. I lost it again, and started crying. I began to wonder what was wrong with me. I didnt want the couches to go anywhere!! So many memories surrounded these couches, such as the previous homes we lived in, more memories where these couches were apart of my life! We had them before my parents got separated, before my younger brother got married, and before my sister moved away. Now they were to be out of our home forever. Taking the precious memories with them.

I clearly dont like to say goodbye. I just dont know why moving on is an essential part of life. I just wish time could stand still, and the memories never fade. I'm losing my friends to new jobs, a marriage, and I am the only one still in the same position I was when I first met them.

If I dont figure out what it'll take to move forward...I probably never will. Hopefully I can find a way, and find the comfort and love in the end.


Day 14 A Song That Makes YOU Cry..

If you know me..you know that I wear my heart on my sleeve, (Others however, may suggest otherwise...) and I like to think that I am 'in-touch" with my emotions. I've been one to cry out of nowhere, either out of complete gratitude, appreciation, love, heartache, or just because!

One thing that ALWAYS gets the water works flowing is, Josh Groban's song, "Remember When It Rained." The first time I was introduced to this song, I immediately became emotionally attached. There is NEVER a moment that goes by, that I dont get teary eyed. I LOVE this song because of how emotional it makes me feel. Just take a minute and listen to the lyrics, and I bet towards the end, you too will be reaching for the kleenex. One of these days, I will be able to see it performed LIVE!

Tears for YOU that will NOT die..In the Water I REMAIN..Running down...Running down..


Day 13: Photo of Someone You'd Like to TRADE PLACES with for A DAY!

Who WOULDN'T wish they were in this position?! You'd think since I have NO CLUE how to swim, I would've chosen a more, conservative photo..perhaps something on land perhaps? I am captivated by the beautiful ocean, and the waves spashing against the surfboard! I've always secretly wished I knew how to surf! It would just be an added bonus if Orlando Bloom happened to be my instructor..since this is HIM riding the waves! Legolas can do EVERYTHING!!


Day 12 Some THINGS You Are OCD About..

Ok so for some reason, my pictures didnt turn out, so I had to change the title of this particular post (at least until I can figure out how to get the pictures to load correctly.)

First of all, just THINKING about WHAT to write, is making me have anxiety. LOL. Hopefully you wont feel that way afterwards.

No matter how HARD I try, I cannot seem to STOP biting my nails. I have done it since childhood, and have always told myself that I need to quit! I consider it my "tobacco." You'd think they would've developed a patch of some kind for the nail-biters out there..if they did, I would have my entire body covered in them!

I have to have my hair colored at LEAST every two weeks. As soon as I notice the color fading, I immediately schedule an appointment.

I cannot wear socks that have holes in them, nor am I able to continue wearing my socks if I happen to step in water of any kind..I DESPISE WET SOCKS!!

I constantly use lip balm for my lips. There is nothing worse than a woman seeing a guy with chapped lips-ESPECIALLY ME! If my lips are even the slightest dry, I am on a mission to find my lip balm right away! Cannot stand chapped lips.

If we ever happen to go see a movie together in the theaters, and you TALK during the movie...dont be offended if I "SHUSH" you. There is nothing worse than people talking during a movie that you paid $8.50 for. If you wanted to talk, why did you accept my invitation to go see a movie?! Please let me know if you feel the same way, just so I know that I'm not a complete and total jerk. Thanks.

I can only have soup on a COLD day. No soups when the temperature is above 60 degrees.

I cannot stand it when someone will send me a text message, and after I send a reply, they decide NOT to reply. This is RIGHT up there with TALKING during at the movies..so if you want to text me, expect to text until we consider the conversation finished.


Day 11 Pictures Taken Of ME Recently..

I'm not the type of person to take personal pictures of myself..so when the chance comes to be in a picture, I mostly groan and just oblige the individual taking the photo. There is nothing far more worse than a bad photo! Just see for yourself..


Day 10 Pictures Taken 10 Years Ago

I currently do not own a scanner, so I just posted some of the pics that I had from my younger brothers computer. Not to sound conceded or anything, but I was quite adorable when I was younger..and still am!

Day 9 Pet Peeves

Sorry if the list below, consists of certain actions that you find yourself doing, but know that I am able to look past it, because were such great friends! If we werent, then you would know about it.

  • Wet Socks
  • Expressing bodily functions IN PUBLIC
  • Garments showing through a SHORT SKIRT, or a man's SHORT tee
  • Arrogance and One being pretentious
  • Ignorance/Close Minded
  • Rush Hour Traffic
  • LONG Lines
  • Strangers feeling like its OK to call me "buddy," or "champ"
  • People talking during movies that I paid $10 for..
  • Feeling like you need to carry on a conversation with a cashier while there are other people in line waiting to get on with their lives..
  • Slow waiters/waitresses at restaurants

I think I've said enough..

Day 8 Something I CRAVE!

Some would say I CRAVE attention...but thats not true! There may have been a time in my life where I lived and breathed attention, but I like to think I have grown past that phase. So instead of another post dedicated to MYSELF and the unspoken attention, I dedicate this to the things I find myself thinking about, at least once a day..enjoy.


I am constantly trying to expand on my baking skills, and the art of the cupcake is one of them. You wouldn't think so, but a lot goes into making the PERFECT cupcake! My friend Jess' cupcakes are what I imagine Martha Stewart's cupcakes would taste like.


I dont think I could every have a relationship with a woman who DIDN'T LOVE seafood as much as I do. I consider this a major deal breaker!

This picture says it all. I love japanese animation. No, not ALL of it, so you can cut me some slack. I am not a complete nerd for anime, but I do have my favorites. Its hard to say that this is also a possible deal breaker for my "wifey-to-be," but it would be nice to have someone to share it with!!

Wednesday Night Television!

I never thought I would LOVE the middle of the week as much as I have! Its the night of reality tv that I look forward too. I am OBSESSED! My week isn't complete without my Wednesday "pick me up," it seems to get me over the hump to an incredible weekend!


I try to look for ANY chance to throw a party! Mostly holidays, but for whatever reason, I always enjoy inviting a group of friends over for some great food and laughs! Most of the time, we play Bunco. If you haven't played this intense dice game, let me know! So I can invite you to the next gathering!

Day 7 Favorite Piece of Art

I've always enjoyed art. Whether it was a particular painting, drawing, or musical. But one of my favorite pieces of art, is by LDS artist Greg Olsen. Forever and Ever, (the name of the painting below) has always held a special place in my heart. Whether I reflect upon the love the Savior has for his children, or the compassion he holds in his heart for each one of us. I can't help but feel the spirit each time I gaze upon the love shown in this painting. Touches me everytime!

Day 6 The 3 F's...Fun Facts About Phyllis aka ME

Confused? Well I had to get your attention somehow, right? Well below I compiled a list of FUN FACTS according to ME...about none other than, ME! Its my blog of course, so who would you expect?

First off..Phyllis..

Not the charming, middle aged, woman on the Office..but Phyllis Diller. Famous actress from back in the day. No I'm not a fan, but rather my friends think my laugh is exactly identical to hers. Go watch Disney Pixar's, A Bug's Life, and listen to the queen ant, (voiced by Phyllis D) and you'll see apparently what they're talking about. Personally, I dont see the connection, but it seems to get a good laugh out of them, whenever I humor them with my charming chortle. Not something I like to share with people...but there ya go.

#2 My Memory

I never thought I had the greatest memory, but recently I've been able to relate specific instances in my life, while with friends, and recount every single, intricate detail that happened in that moment in time. Don't ask me why, or how, but it just happens. I've also been the type of person, who would come across a smell in the air while outside, or anywhere in my travels, and recall the FIRST time I smelled that same exact fragrance. Usually they were moments when I was most happy, excited, or had the best memories. Be it freshly mowed grass, the outside air after a spring rain, or the smell of the salty sea. I've only met one other person who can understand what thats like, and it seems unique and unbelievable to others. I don't know how to explain it. But if you happen to experience the same thing, please let me know so I dont think I need to institutionalize myself.

#3 Just Keep Swimming...

Currently I am now 30 years old, and STILL to this day, if you were to throw me into the deep end of the kiddie pool..I would drown. I can't swim for the life of me. My parents tried to teach me while I was in 6th grade, and I learned the monkey, airplane, soldier..but thats as far as it got. I never went back after the lessons were over.

#4 Modern Day Stan Lee..

Ok, so who am I to say that I am a "Modern Day Stan Lee?" For those of you unfamiliar with who Stan is, he is an amazing, epic, comic book artist from back in the day, who created the majority of Marvel super heroes. Not to say I have rescued a small child from a burning building or a damsel in distress...but while growing up I would draw my own super hero comics. I actually got pretty involved with it and actually created an entire world, that revolved around a specific group of animals called Mercury Knights. I'm too embarrassed to say this, but the comics are all locked away in a fire proof safe, and most likely will not be revealed to the rest of the world. Sorry to disappoint.

#5 Home Movies..

You probably have some home movies that were filmed throughout your childhood, and perhaps you may not. The first time I got my very own video camera was Christmas of '97. I was SO excited! My brothers and I would wrangle our friends into these shows that we would tape, and I'm still surprised that theyre still friends of mine, to this day. It began with CCS NEWS, the first initials of my older brother, our friend Colin, and myself. The highlights included made up facts about celebrities, Nike shoes, athletes, sports, and cooking spin offs. It became a regular activity that we would do over the weekend or school breaks. After I got into my junior/senior year of high school, the films evolved into music videos. We would make up an entire choreographed dance routine, while lip synching to a variety of songs. I would LOVE more than anything to post a few clips of them here, but can't seem to figure out how to do so, without any legal repercussions from my peers.

Day 5 Favorite Quotes..or lack OF

I've never been much of a QUOTE person..unless it was off of one of my favorite movies, television shows or lyrics in music. I've always struggled with that question in a job interview, "Whats your favorite quote?" Mostly it only seemed to come up while applying for a job on campus, and I always thought, "So this is pertinent to you deciding whether or not to hire me?!"

I never thought I would memorize something that hit home, by a particular author, playwright, journalist, or poet. Sorry. No disrespect to those of you who live by quotes, whenever I hear something I like, I think, "Oh thats a great quote!" But dont fumble for my holly hobby notebook to jot it down in order to repeat it in the future to my future children or spouse.

I know this probably sounds more cynical than it needs to be, but its just not my cup of coke. I admire those of you who live by quotes or are inspired by them, god bless! Inspire ME and share it next time we meet!! I will just have a lot of explaining to do when I meet God and the Celestial MONEY MAKER question is asked, "Shay, what was your favorite quote?" Oh..well..I will take HELL for $500.


Day 4 Favorite Book

So you may think this is "cliche," but it takes alot to get me to read a book. So to spare you any excuses, let me just say that this series has captivated me from beginning to end! I've always enjoyed reading them before each film was released, and look forward to the final film to see how they bring it all together!! I may actually own a replica of a wand..but thats another story for another post.

This volume was BY FAR my favorite of the series!


Day 3: 20 FAVORITE Things!

Here is a list of my 20 FAVORITE things!

Items listed below are subject to change without notice.

#1. My NEICES!! I may be a bit biased, but pretty sure they are the cutest little girls to walk the face of the earth!! I love spending time with them!!

#2. Sonic Cherry Limeades!! I seemed to have quit COKE and Full Throttle energy drinks, only to now enjoy the wonderful sensation from Sonic Drive-In. Happy Hour is the DEVIL!! I dont see how I am going to be able to quit now!! MUST HAVE "EASY ICE, and EXTRA CHERRY SYRUP" otherwise it will JUST taste like plain nasty Sprite...trust me, Im addicted so I KNOW!

#3. My PURPLE Nikes!! I saw these at Foot Locker and HAD to buy them! I have been getting crap from people asking me, "Are you a supporter of Kobe Bryant? Youre wearing his shoes.." No I am not a supporter, NOR am I a FAN of KB..despite the fact that they have his "signature" on them, I liked the color and how they stand out!

(Yes those are my actual legs and feet modeling the shoes..)

#4. I could just say REALITY TV..which I CAN'T get enough of, and will probably be stoned in the town square for some of the stuff I am addicted too, but I HAD to post a few of my favorites here for you to see HOW bad it is! LOL

(I was skeptical about this new season with 2 completely new judges, and NO SIMON. But after watching Hollywood Week..I think I might be in it for the long haul. We'll see if I find a fav out of the contestants.)

#5. THUNDERSTORMS!! Yeah I had to steal this one from my friend Jessica..but its TOO good to pass up!! ESPECIALLY in the anticipation of spring!!

#6. ANGRY BIRDS!! I never thought I would be obsessed with an iPhone app..UNTIL this! If you haven't tried it out yet..then I dont know what to tell you other than, GET IT!!

#7. My 2003 Spyder Eclipse! I love having the top down during the warm weather while driving, there is nothing else that can compare to the overwhelming bliss you can find as the air is blowing on your face and the sun shining above! I never thought I would be so lucky!

#8. Hair COLOR!! You probably didnt see this one coming, but I somehow have managed to change the color of my hair at least every 2-4 weeks..(sometimes less depending on my mood lol)

#9. EXPRESS clothes!! I have never shopped at only ONE place for clothes, until I found Express! Their graphic tees are unique and different, and not to mention I love their skinny jeans!!

#10. BAKING!! After years of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I found my passion for food and sharing it along with friends and family! Nothing brings a group of people together better than food! ESPECIALLY sweets!! I am anticipating entering Culinary school this next fall in hopes of expanding my knowledge and technique!

Halloween Spread 2010

#11. The Ocean! I havent been to the beach in a LONG time, but my heart longs to go back and feel the sand beneath my feet, and hear the sound of the rushing waves gliding along the shore. The picture below just makes you jealous!! I hope to go back sometime soon!!

12. Photography. I currently own a Nikon d3300, which is an amazing digital camera, however, I need to get out more and learn how to use it. I love photos, especially when I can be in them!! Lol

13. My iPhone!! I dont know how I have survived this far without a smartphone. It does EVERYTHING!! Granted I have issues with some of the "built in" sounds, but I cant complain too much. Being able to have easy access to almost anything is awesome! I can only hope that one day I will be able to own an iPad next!!

14. My Family!! We've been through a lot together, but through thick and thin we still manage to have many great times together!! I cant imagine having another!

My brother's wedding 2007 (yeah its old..but this is as close to a family photo we have so far lol)

15. 'Dem Pups! I absolutely LOVE small dogs! I have a preference towards pomeranians, and what can I say, I wouldnt trade them for any other pet!! They bring me so much comfort and love whenever I'm having a bad day! I love dem pups!

Unfortunately my dog, Mecee (on the far right) is no longer with us, but I wont ever forget the good times we shared together!!

16. MOVIES!! I have over 10 favorite movies alone! I get so enthralled with the plot lines, and emotionally invested in certain characters that I sometimes find myself crying during some particular films. I also am a sucker for chick flicks...mostly adaptations of novels by Jane Austen or period films. I dont know why, but I love shedding a tear over a movie! Call me crazy, but the ladies love an emotional man right?? Maybe thats why Im still single? Lol

17. Chocolate! I am a CHOCO-HOLIC! I cant pass up anything containing my infamous drug! I usually have chocolate for breakfast, lunch and ESPECIALLY dinner! (Not really, but I would LOL!)

18. The LDS Temple! I confess my recommend has officially expired, and I have yet to get it renewed, but I cant forget the amazing feeling I feel when I enter its doors! My wish is still to visit all the temples in the country, and I still have yet to conquer that goal, but hopefully I will be able too one day.

19. SUSHI!! I LOVE SUSHI! I cant say it enough! I realize most of the favorite things I've listed are mostly some type of food, lol but I can't say it enough!! I love everything about the Asian culture and hope to be able to visit the country and try the real stuff!!

20. Board Games! Any chance I get, I look for an opportunity to play a board game with people! I even find myself BEGGING them to play! I dont consider myself a competitive person, at least not until I break out a board game then ITS ON!!