Migrating from Blogger to Wordpress

I recently had the unique opportunity to migrate from Blogger to Wordpress easily with some help from someone who knows how to do these things. It was a chance to edit the blog as I have a lot of posts about preparing for law school and other things that aren't part of my life at the moment. I'll still leave my old blog up here at blogger, so those people who find that info useful can still access it. The process of migrating from Blogger to GoDaddy hosted Wordpress was a tad confusing so I'm posting this to help anyone else who may be considering it. Here is the new blog: Black Guidebook.

  1. Get a domain & hosting - here are a full set of instructions "How to Launch a Blog for Under an Hour for Super Cheap"

  2. Install Wordpress - There has been a lot written on how to do this so I won't go into this here. Either google how to do this or have somebody do it for you. For me, the main barrier that prevented me from doing this a long time ago was this intimidating step. Serendipity struck when I met Johnny B. Truant who setup wordpress, installed my plugins and theme and everything for me FOR FREE. He will do the same thing for you through the end of the month in order to drum up interest in his website. There is no catch, I just have to pass on the good karma by thanking those who helped me by recognizing them. So thanks Johnny, you're awesome. The guide I linked to above has instructions on how to do this, but it is so much easier to farm this out. Then you just login and it works like blogger with a dashboard and everything ready to go. His website is Learn to Be Your Own VA.

  3. Move over your posts and comments - This is the perfect time for me to start over so I'll be editing out a lot of my old content. I'll leave it live on the old blogger space. There is something to be said for starting over, but I have some items that I want to keep. To actually do this just go to www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/tools.php then Import. Select Blogger from the list and enter your login information. Hit the magic info and it brings over all your posts and comments. I did manage to delete 4 posts that I didn't mean to when editing through the old ones to refocus the content.

  4. Fix all your internal links. If somebody clicks on your old website post links you want them to go to the post located on your new website. To do this: Login to Blogger. Go to Settings. Select Publishing. Click the top link, “Custom domain.” They will try to sell you registration here so you have to go to Advanced Settings. Save your new address. Now all your links will transfer automatically to your own domain, but you’ll need one more step to transfer your blog home page over. Make sure you do this AFTER you transfer all your posts.

  5. Transfer your Google hits by redirecting direct visitors. Login to Blogger. Go to Layout. Go to Edit HTML. Place the following code anywhere after <head>: <meta content='0; url=http://YOURNEWURL.com/' http-equiv='refresh'/> This sends visitors to your blog homepage directly to your new address.

  6. Transfer your subscribers/feed - Sign up for a FeedBurner account. Set up a feedburner feed for your new blog. Login to Blogger. Go to Settings. Go to Site Feed. In the Post Feed Redirect URL box, enter your new FeedBurner address.

Total cost $80 for a year of hosting an domain registration. Total time spent, including editing out old posts 4 hours. Minimum amount of time needed to get up and running, 1 hour.


Have a Travel Mug of Green Tea

This Wednesday was Earth day so for this Friday's tea cups I chose these cute succulents planted in china cups As of yesterday, artist Rebecca Marshall of The Cat Bird Nest is selling them on consignment at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco. Of course today I'll be having my tea in a travel mug on Alaska Airlines. 

Going green while traveling is hard, but I have made a few little travel green steps:
  • I bring my own empty travel mug. No Starbucks cups or plastic beverage containers onboard for me. If I forget my travel mug I hold onto my cup through the entire flight for refills so I don't go through more than one.
  • I pack a travel pashmina to throw over myself. Its more snuggly than an airline blanket and cuts down on their laundrering. I similarly don't use the airline pillows, many of which are thrown away after only a few uses.
  • In the comments section of my hotel reservation (there is always one) I tell them to remove all toiletries from the room. I bring my own, which I refill over and over and that saves me from having an allergic reaction to Marriott soap and saves a plastic bottle from biting the dust for my 1 night stay. Still haven't figured out how to save the other 8 towels in the room.
  • I only use carry-on luggage and I try not to bring things I don't need, this saves pounds of CO2 from being released carrying my stuff around.
  • I bring my own reusable purse sized tote with me. Its so easy to accumulate little plastic bags from everywhere without it. On the trip home I used to use the drycleaning bag from the hotel for my laundry, now those items go in a little tote as well.
  • I have my flight carbon offset (which doesn't make me feel unguilty and many have said isn't effective, but I do it anyway to support local renewable power sources)
So happy Earth Day, happy Friday and enjoy a cup of tea while plotting ways to be green this weekend. 

The succulent tea cups are on sale at Flora Grubb Gardens (1634 Jerrold Avenue, San Francisco) for $24.95. Rebecca Marshall also has a line of handmade jewelry for sale; learn more about her work at The Cat Bird Nest.


Carry On for Weekend Trip

Tonight I'm off to Florida for a weekend meeting. I have 3 evenings to myself and my hotel is inside Disney World. We'll see if I can look up a friend who is nearby and spend some time hanging out. Simple weekend trips call for a 4-wheeled rolly bag and a handbag big enough for a few magazines and possibly a laptop. I love this leather bag from Lovegrove & Repucci. It is inexpensive and has a cute detail of the key ring.

Vegetable tanned leather. Red nylon liner, inner zip pocket, magnetized closure. Saintly ring attached to red cord to always keep things close by.

8 3/4" x 10 3/4"
$49.00, Buy it here.


Earth Day Discount

I like free stuff. I bet you do to. So here is a freebie (plus shipping) for you. Click on the image above to go to their website. The coupon code is EARTH09. I just tried it and its still working. I love the Butter London polish. I have posted about it before when I was loving their Take Me to Bed Red color.


Monthly WW Update and Inspiration

I haven't moved a muscle to exercise in almost a month. No, I didn't give up on WW. I had foot surgery and have been unable to do more than situps. My one month surgery milestone falls on the same day as my next flight, the earliest he would let me get back in the air. I did find it interesting that:

"The British Government has declared war on obesity, and among its first targets are drinkers. According to British government intel, 'The average wine drinker consumes an extra 2,000 calories a month - the equivalent of 184 bags of crisps.' This comes via The Telegraph, which further notes: 'Few middle class drinkers realise that a couple sharing a bottle of red wine a night are both consuming the equivalent of a Snickers chocolate bar in alcohol.' Appalling. You'd never see the French government release such data."

So my inability to have even an occasional glass of wine because of my meds is saving me a snicker bar every time. Of course, wine is actually ok for you in moderation and as long as you plan it into your overall day. Speaking of planning, I have been tracking and trying to hit my points every day, but with the complete lack of exercise I'll be happy to have a maintenance when I go back next week for weigh-in. I did find the above photo very inspiring. She's exactly my height (5'6") and got down from 211 lbs to her current weight using weight watchers and yoga.


Spring Cure: Week 4 & 5

The Apartment Therapy Spring Cure hits week 5 this week and oh my goodness they picked our worst room, the office. I never did our week 4 post so count this one for both.

Week 4 To Do List:

Deep Treatment (Living Room):
  • Clean up living room and related closets.
  • Repairs are being taken care of this week.
  • Declutter books and all media.
  • Cancel 75 percent of the catalogs you receive. - Catalog Choice let's you unsubscribe en masse.
  • Empty outbox this week. - Freecycle is so much more convenient than driving to the Salvation Army.
  • Confirm what you need to increase or decrease color in each room.
  • Identify what you need to increase or decrease softness in each room.
  • Cook three meals at home this week.
  • Send out your invitations to your post Cure Party.
One-Room Remedy (Laundry/Workout Room):
  • Begin shopping list and enter all prices into a spreadsheet. - We're trying to do everything ourselves without buying too much new. Hubby has asked for a circular saw so he can make me a bench himself and spend less than the $249+shipping that the bench I want costs. His hope is to use it on enough projects versus buying new items to ultimately justify its cost.
  • Decide on the total scope of work to be done. - Breaking the room into 3 seperate areas: landing strip, laundry and workout spaces.
  • Consider hiring a professional organizer. - Nope.
  • Visit a paint store this week to find samples. - Sherwin Williams thought it would be cheaper to give me a fan deck than to keep giving me paint sample strips.
Week 5 to-do list:

Deep Treatment (Office):
  • Take care of repairs this week. - Closet doors fixed.
  • Clean office area and related closets.
  • Vacuum, dust and mop throughout.
  • Declutter files.
  • Tackle the cord octopus.
  • Try a one-day media fast.
  • Buy fresh flowers.
  • Choose at least one hard or soft thing to add or subtract.
  • Cook three meals at home this week. - Chicken Parmesan, Zucchini Strand Spaghetti, and Pizza, it's been a very Italian week.
  • Go to bed early and read before sleep. - It's like an extra weekend day.
  • (Optional) Look into wireless technology. - We're totally set up wirelessly with our router. I would like to also get our printer setup to wirelessly print from our laptops, but that would cost money that isn't in the budget right now.
One-Room Workout (Laundry/Workout Room):
  • Order from your shopping list. - We hit up Lowesfor coat hooks and to look at counters and organization for the laundry area, we'll try and make the rest ourselves.
  • Try paint samples in the room and finalize paint choices. - Choosing the right shade of green which was both energetic for exercise and calming at the same time was hard. I'm still not sure that what we have is right. From time to time it looks like mint chocolate chip ice-cream instead of zen green, but maybe after the room is finished we'll feel differently.


Pacific Plans

Red Junk, originally uploaded by wenzday01.

I wrote about planning our 5th wedding anniversary trip recently in my post "Daydreaming of Europe," well there has been a change of plans. I have been invited to a conference in Singapore the 16-20th of July. So rather than being apart, I'm bringing him with me instead. We'll be crossing the Pacific instead of the Atlantic this summer. I'm going to miss going to Amsterdam, but I'm excited because this will be our first trip to Asia together. Singapore itself isn't really going to fill a week of our time so we'll have a long layover in Hong Kong first. I am just now starting the planning for the trip. I have two fresh Moleskine books which I will distill all of the guidebook and internet info into. I like to make my own guidebooks. They are smaller to pack and more relevent than carrying a huge guidebook. I have now spent over 15 hours looking up things to do and experience. I have a feeling that unlike Paris or London, which really do have a Top 10 list of must sees, we'll be spending a lot of time wandering around.


Have a Cup of Tea

Friday afternoon and I'm dreaming of taking some time off, going home early and having a cup of tea and reading a book for pleasure. Have a cup, it revives you!

This week's cup comes from The Cherry Blossom girl. It's is one a exquisite fashion blog for girls who love tea parties, believe in wonderland and wear pretty dresses on their search for it.


Summer Inspiration from Gwyneth Paltrow

I subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter GOOP. Her surprisingly down to earth newsletter has me watching new movies, trying different workouts and generally thinking that celebrities can be more down to earth than I ever thought possible. Her most recent post was about her Spring looks. While I won't have the budget to buy a $750 dress from Burberry on a whim, I was inspired by her looks and came up with a couple cheaper looks of my own. These two outfits would be perfect for Spring. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate and allow skirts in the near future. If I hit my 10% weight loss goal before it sells out, this purple dress will be heading my way.


Have a Cup of Tea

Danish potter Arendal Keramik makes these teacups. Without a handle you would have to cup them in your hands. Today that sounds very good. I just want to warm myself with a cup of tea. It revives you.


13 Habits of Zen International Travel

Zen Garden, originally uploaded by euart.

Everywhere I travel I see different types of travelers from the harried and stressed who would rather be at home to those who seem to be having the time of their lives. I like to be somewhere in between, in a state of travel zen, with everything researched so that I can be flexible, but not so planned that I am insulated from my surroundings. I want everything to feel familiar, but uncomfortable, because I want to experience what is going on around me.

I don't want to be a road warrior who soldiers on and only sees hotels and airports constantly. My personal travel philosophy is just like the Russian literary term Ostranenie: having the "familiar and commonplace made strange or alien." What you see below are my 13 Habits of Zen International Travel. Even if you haven't figured out your personal travel style, you can follow these on your next trip and perhaps discover your personal travel style along the way:

1. Source your information the way you want to. There is no "right way" and doing it somebody else's way can stress you out. If you need a travel agent, fine. For me a search of travel blogs, a dictionary and a read through of several online guidebook sites and some e-mails to friends who've traveled or live in the area will put me on the right track to start off. My husband wanders Europe with his Rick Steve's guidebook firmly in hand.

Our online favorites:
  • Travelpod - to find the bloggers who have gone before
  • Virtual Tourist or Nile Guide - make your own guidebook online and then print it to take it with you.
  • Trip Advisor - found a great hotel in Venice there, gives unfiltered reviews unlike Expedia and others for both activities and accommodations
  • Fodors - Traditional guidebook online. Good walking maps to print out and put in your travel journal.
  • Frommers - Another traditional guidebook with good online material.
  • Rick Steves - We buy Rick Steves books because they are actually worth taking with you, but for brainstorming and day dreaming about Europe his website is a good place to start.
2. Determine what culture means to you. None of my friends travel the way I do, even my own husband travels differently. We each have different styles of travel, different things we enjoy, and different levels of comfort in uncomfortable or foreign situations. And that is ok.
What is culture? For me to experience a local culture the way I want to usually means that I know someone on a first name basis who lives there and take their advice into account when planning my trip. If that isn't the case then I make friends with the concierge or find a local who blogs.

I don't want to just hit up the top 10 sites and call it a day and never encounter a local except in a financial transaction. That might not be you. Your goal might be to relax, to have a good time and experience the culture through the food, the music, or the shopping. Make sure that you plan your trip with your definition of culture in mind.

3. Be loyal, it pays. Be loyal to an airline or at least an airline alliance. Stay in the same hotels when possible, or get them to give you mileage instead of hotel points. It is worth it to me to spend a little more to buy a plane ticket that is an Alaska airlines partner than to get the best deal.

If I am forced to buy a ticket with another airline I will register for their frequent flier program, even if I think I'm never going to fly that airline again. I can use those miles on things other than flights. My ill used American Airlines miles that I got from flying one of their small partner airlines just turned into 5 magazine subscriptions, which will serve as workout and layover reading material over the next year. If you need to keep your miles from expiring you can buy a few miles for cash. Even a small earnings will protect the rest of them from expiring most of the time.

I have switched from earning miles on my credit card to earning cash back. I was earning enough miles for a mileage fare to anywhere within the US each year. With my cash-back card I can use the money to buy the ticket outright and bring my husband along with a $50 companion fare (can't do that without spending double miles) and still be eligible for upgrades because it isn't a mileage ticket. I also then earn miles on that flight, bought with cash. So what do I do with all the miles I earn? I save them for buying tickets to really expensive places like Europe where I can't use a companion fare.

Why is this a zen habit? Trust me, when you're sitting in a seat the folds completely flat into a bed on a 13 hour flight and have a warm shower at the elite lounge to look forward to when you land you'll know the feeling of true travel zen. Staying loyal means more than just seat upgrades and free flights, it means a consistent travel experience. I know the ins and outs of Alaska airlines, its partners and a few hotels. It means I'm not stressed figuring out something new at 2am. And if something goes wrong, I know the policies of those I'm dealing with so I can immediately get my issues resolved.

4. Know where you're going. This can save you time, money and frustration. Sounds pretty basic to know where you are going, but you can never assume that your taxi driver know where you are going unless you are in London. I have had taxi drivers in Los Angeles force me to get out and ask for directions halfway to my hotel and overpaid for cabs in Chile. You must know your address in the native language. My Spanish speaking friend who I met up with in Chile paid less than half of what I did for the same 4 words of conversation. You don't necessarily need to print out directions, but maybe you should jot down at least the cross streets in your travel notebook. For every trip I take I put together a travel notebook with little directions and maps in it to our hotels, it has saved me more than once.

5. Research when things are open yourself. Guidebooks are great, but they are written once a year at the most. I think going to the website of the attraction directly will save you time and money. We didn't wait in line at the Vatican because I booked a tour with them directly on their website and walked past 300 odd people in line right to the guard who looked at his VIP sheet and moved the velvet rope. We didn't wait anywhere because I had done my research. I also wasn't disappointed by a museum being closed, because I had checked ahead of time. In my notebook I jotted down a list of opening times to way more places than we were expecting to go and when the weather changed our plans in Paris and made Versailles miserable, we hopped the train back to town and had 3 good options to choose from. No stress, no fuss.

6. Take cash. Credit cards can be convenient, but their international transaction fees of up to 3% are not. Even with cards like those from Citi that don't charge the fee there will be situations like using mass transportation, tipping, and others where cash is a must. Get it before you go because there is no guarantee of an ATM when you land. You may have to search one out the next day after you arrive. Make sure the bills are new and have no writing on them. It is far worse to end up short of cash with no credit card option than to have to redeposit it when you get home. Put your cash in a money-belt if it makes you feel better, I don't do this, but if it makes your travel more zen, go for it. I do always have my passport attached to my body and not in a bag and NEVER in a safe.

7. Pack according to your travel style. I would challenge you to do a one week trip with just carry-ons. If you aren't convinced that it makes your life easier, then it may not be for you. Whatever happens, you must carry all of your own luggage during the experiment, don't let your husband/sig-other/friend or others take away your chance to truly live with less by hauling it for you.

I have two ways that I travel, with a wheelie bag and purse for business trips within the US and with an above seat bag and messenger style bag when my means of transportation is primarily mass-transportation or when I leave the US. I have tried other styles, like taking 3 full size suitcases and 2 carry-ons for a 1 week trip and it just isn't worth the hassle. For more ideas, you can read some of my posts on traveling light, or check out the sites OneBag.com and One Bag One World for some great information about how you can pack everything you need for weeks at a time into one bag.

8. Pack according to your tech level. I am not a low-tech traveler, I am a low weight traveler because of my carry-on only packing style. This means that I spend a little extra money on fewer devices. I bought an unlocked cellphone with a built-in GPS, mp3 player, 5mgpx camera, video camera, and wifi just so that I wouldn't have to pack each of these items separately if I need them. With the wifi I can even leave the laptop at home if I need to. I also bought a 13.3" Macbook and gave up my right-click privileges just to get the decreased weight and increased battery life that it comes with.With those two items I can do whatever I need to with less than 5 pounds of weight. Again, this might not be your style, you need to evaluate. If you're going to take a ton of digital photos for instance, you might consider getting an SD card reader for your iPod to download them every night so you don't have to pack a laptop for instance.
Learn to enjoy the process of travel as much as the destination. If you aren't comfortable using Skype for your international calls home, get a phone card before you leave.

9. Let people know your plans. You can meet up with friends who will also be travelling to the same area using websites like TripIt. I also recommend registering with the State Department before you go overseas. This way if anything happens in the area that will effect you the State Department can find you, evacuate you if necessary and provide help. You can sign up for e-news or text messages while you're away. https://travelregistration.state.gov/ This is one case where having the government know my business sure makes me feel better.

10. Know this: All plane tickets are changeable no matter what is written on them, and any fees for changing can be waived with the right airline agent.

11. Creative lodging opportunities can completely alter how you travel. Hostels are not always what you think, many of them have private rooms with bathrooms included, and they almost always cost less than hotels. Homestays are also getting more popular, allowing you a chance to save money and easily meet new people. If you can be loyal to a hotel brand go for it, it will make for a consistent travel experience and overall less stress, for this anybody can use Marriott.com or Expedia, but if your travel philosophy calls for more creativity check these out:
12. Don't have a To Do List that is Inflexible. There is nothing worse than feeling like you "have" to see anything and that this is a once in a life-time opportunity. This mentality will just stress you out. In Rome last year I packed way too much into our 2 days and it was the most miserable part of our trip. In London I let hubby do all the planning, or um, not planning ,and we had a fabulous time. Allow yourself to get lost in a city. If that stresses you out, plan a walk by taking a walking tour or hike:
  • Paris Walks - absolutely fabulous tours, they even let us use the value we lost by missing our Chocolate Tour of Paris (stupid Italian trains) for another tour of Montmartre, fabulous in every way
  • London Walks - great tour of the Tower of London where we learned way more than the average tourist wandering around with the beefeaters. We would go on their tours again in a heartbeat.
  • Every Trail - find local hiking trails
  • Google Maps - I put all of the recommended sites from all of my sources into one Google map as I do my research and then plot out my own little walking tour. I sometimes post them here.
13. Enjoy the process of travel as much as the destination. Ok, this isn't entirely possible, but we can all work on it. At least do your due diligence and see which of the coach seats is best. Treat yourself to a day pass at an airline lounge on a long layover. Don't drag so much stuff through the airport. Invest in a pair of noise cancelling head phones. Don't go for the cheap airport food, McDonalds will leave you feeling queasy. Stay hydrated. And just relax more now that you have planned, packed and prepared according to your own personal travel philosophy rather than what you think you should be doing.


Have a Cup of Tea

Have a cup of tea. It revives you. I love the jewel blue of this tea set. The image is from Domino (may it rest in peace) and I can't find out the manufacturer, but isn't it lovely?


Spring Cure: Week 3 Landing Strip


We have never had a very organized way of getting into and out of the house. Our landing strip where we can always find our keys, the mail, my purse, and any items that need to leave the house that day is actually a jumbled mess taking up 25% of the available counter space in our kitchen. It is completely ineffective and often results in the mail spilling out onto the dining table only to be thrown into a laundry basket and transferred into an unceremonious heap in the office floor every time company is coming over. It's a good thing that I pay my bills online or my tendency to never deal with the mail would doom my credit score.

This week's action items:
  • Create a landing strip to ease the transition between the house and out. No matter what this will not be a horizontal surface.
  • Unsubscribe from mass mail to keep the paper from coming into the house in the first place. To add your name to the do-not-mail list, register online at www.dmachoice.org/dma/member/regist.action
    and www.optoutprescreen.com for credit card offers
  • Install coat hooks in entryway so we stop draping our coats over the dining room chairs
  • Buy a bench to use to put on shoes and store hats, gloves, and mittens in


Spring Cure: Week 2 After House Floor Plan

So here is the "After" floor plan in progress. We are changing the orientation of the bedroom. Changing the exercise room into a guestroom and our catchall laundry room into a workout space. We also plan on dividing the living room and dining room better by positioning the sofa between the two.

Spring Cure: Week 2 Before House Floor Plan

Part of week 2 of the Spring Cure is to start working on a floor plan. In order to visualize what is working and not working I sketched up what we currently have as a layout. The Floor Planner website is a good way to kill a few hours. While not as sophisticated as Autocad, it is still tons of fun to play with and free to boot.


Tea Cup from Flickr

2233390578_2fc98b4c80_b, originally uploaded by designspongeshop.

So lovely I had to post it, even though it isn't Friday.

Spring Cure: Guest Room/Craft Room Inspiration

My office is also going to be the craft room and guest room. Currently it is a pile of boxes and miscellaneous items from other rooms. We have guests so rarely that it isn't worth keeping a bed made up in there full time. I've been on the hunt for a nice reading chair which can convert into a sleeper bed and think that this one from Crate and Barrel may do the trick.

Europe Daydreams

Een gewone brug in Amsterdam, originally uploaded by Breno Peck.

I am currently looking at plane tickets for a trip this summer for our fifth wedding anniversary. Wow, I can't believe its been that long. I am daydreaming of Amsterdam, Paris, Zagreb and Barcelona, but we'll probably narrow my list of like 40 places down to 2 based on airfares. I'm finding tons of fantastic fares. Some business class seats are less than coach, just because NOBODY searches for them assuming they are thousands of dollars. Well they are usually. But I can get me and hubby to Amsterdam from New York business class on British airways for less than $500 which is pretty amazing. And I can get us to New York on miles. Soooo tempted... I found even better deals through delta which is having 57% many of their European routes right now for economy class, but I really hate flying American owned airlines for more than 12 hours, the service just isn't the same.

One airline I won't be flying is Alitalia. Even though I can get San Francisco to Rome for $89! Long time readers understand my beef with the Italian train system. I have only posted so far about Me vs. Trenitalia and their booking system. The actual trip was even more of a hassle and ended up costing me a chocolate tour of Paris we had booked! Maybe I'll tell that story later. Well here is further proof that nationally owned transportation systems aren't always the most reliable, because honestly, they don't have to make a profit, they are bureaucracies that aren't accountable to share holders. Famous traveler and photographer/journalist Michael Totten has a blog where he posted just 2 weeks ago about his joys with traveling on Alitalia. My jaw was on the floor from nodding so hard. Cheap is good, but do your research, fare compare may get you a good deal, but go to the Flyer Talk forums to get real advice from the road warriors who aren't trying to sell you anything.


Have a Cup of Tea

Have a cup of tea. It revives you. Take the time and brew a pot. To brew the perfect pot of tea, you need to warm the pot first. When the kettle has boiled, pour a couple inches of water into the teapot, put the lid on and wait till the lid is warm. Discard water. Fill teapot with more hot water, add four tea bags (for four people) and let steep 5 minutes—for a really strong pot—before serving.


Spring Cure: Kitchen Inspiration

I'm really attracted to this orange, blue, silver and black color scheme and have no idea why. Stainless steel and blue just go so well together and orange makes a great accent. I have used it sparingly with the main orange feature being a roman shade. It also shows up in a dishtowel here and a wine rack there. My main challenge will be the seating area and dealing with recycling aesthetically. I want a little built in bench and table seating area in my breakfast room and can't find any nice trash cans for the glass, cans, paper and plastic. Oh and hubby, if you're listening, I want this bag to keep my plastic bags in and could you throw in this blue teapot too?

Have a Cup of Tea

Grass is starting to bloom (is that the right word?), and I love the combo of blue and green in this photo by prop stylist Jen Everett. Have a cup of tea. It revives you.

Spring Cure: Week 2

I'm a bit behind doing my week two Spring Cure post, mostly because I've been having so much fun gathering my inspiration from week 1. Also, most of the actual work on the house happens over the weekend so this is what we were up to this weekend.

Focus Room of the week: Kitchen

  • Mini-clean: wash and put away dirty dishes, wipe of the counters, and empty the trash.
  • Deep-clean: Pick one major area to begin (the food pantry, the dish cabinet, the fridge, etc.) and remove all of its contents to begin cleaning it inside and out. If you focus on one area/appliance per night, you should be cooking a delicious meal in your sparkling clean kitchen by Saturday! We started with the refrigerator and were amazed at how out of date some of our condiments were. When it came to doing the cabinets I set up the same system as when I go through my closets. Three piles, keep toss and donate. I also added a fourth category for the kitchen: relocate, its amazing how many non-kitchen items have crept their way onto the counters.We took all of the kitchen gadgets and put them in a shoebox and are taking them out one by one as we use them. So far we have several knifes that I don't think we ever use, but have stayed on our knife magnet for years. We'll be making a run to the food bank and Salvation Army soon.
  • Invest in a good water filter: Or, in our case we are going to change out the one in the refrigerator which is about a year old now. It took the place of our Brita pitcher, which had non-recyclable filters to change every few months. We have saved 4 filters and numerous water-bottles over the past year with our in-fridge filtration. If you don't have a fridge with this I would recommend an on sink filter rather than a pitcher.
  • Cook a homemade meal: After your kitchen is pared down and clutter-free, it'll be begging to for a delicious mess. I'll be making an Italian meal for a friend's birthday.
One room remedy: Our one room remedy is our bedroom. We ordered some items from my inspiration board from last week which should be arriving soon. This week we are ready to map out our floor plan. As engineers we like to cut out all our furniture to scale on graph paper and move it around the room on paper first and then do the actual furniture move. I also like drawing things up in Autocad. Here is what Apartment Therapy has to say about mapping out your floor plan.
  • begin by using a pencil and graph paper to sketch a birds-eye view of the room you're rearranging.
  • then take the measurements of the walls, windows, doors, and fixed features (ie- radiators), and jot the dimensions into your graph paper sketch.
  • next take the measurements of all the furniture you already have in the room.
  • drawing on your vision for how you'd ideally like the space to be used (ie- a living room that will double function as a home gym) pencil in only the furniture that you deem essential for achieving that vision. You may realize that you don't need a sofa AND a love seat AND a big chair.
  • if you're having trouble envisioning how the rearranged furniture will look in the actual room, use blue painter's tape to lay out an outline of the furniture dimensions on the floor where you'd like them to be placed. Once the outlines are in place, walk through the spaces around the blue tape to see if there is the right kind of flow. This will save you the energy of arranging and re-arranging heavy furniture multiple times.


Spring Cure: Living Room Inspiration

I doubt we'll get to working on the Living Room during this Spring Cure, but if we do I've got some inspiration rounded up. Of coursem I'll have to make some of our existing pieces work, even though I would love to get some new ones. I would love to have this gray wing back chair and gray sofa, but I'll stick to recovering our recliner in gray fabric and taking comfort that our current beige sofa is cozy and can be dressed up pillows. I would like a new media stand, but I could probably paint our current one and just replace the knobs. Hubby likes traditional looking furniture too much to go for my choice of coffee table, but hey its my inspiration board so I'll post what I like on it. I have made one step towards creating this look by ordering the pattern for the Amy Butler poufs (shown below) and will go fabric shopping this weekend.

Living Room Inspiration


Spring Cure: Bedroom Inspiration

Bedroom Inspiration
Bedroom Inspiration - on Polyvore.com

We're tackling the bedroom first as part of our Spring Cure. For week one I envisioned how we want to use the space and decided that it needed to feel more like a retreat. So less storage, less books, less laundry, more organization and all calming tones are the themes. Getting rid of the red duvet and hunter green flannel sheets is going to make that place feel so much more zen and less cave-like.

Week two is all about falling back in love with your kitchen if you're going room by room and planning a room rearrangement if you're doing the one-room workout. We will be finishing a few projects and deep cleaning the kitchen this week and hope to finalize our bedroom furniture layout tomorrow.


LA Leaves me Longing for Croatia

Opatija (1) - Croatia - Croacia, originally uploaded by Paco CT.

Back from LA where it was a balmy 70. The 50 degree increase in temperature was nice, even if I wasn't out in it for long. Not much to say, its LA, once you've done Universal and downtown there isn't much to do except shop and go out with friends.

The thing that made me smile the most this weekend was browsing the Borders book store in the Seattle airport and coming across a book by the title: "The Pirates! in an Adventure with Communists" That's about the strangest book title I've seen in awhile. Apparently its a reprint of an old vintage title.

Instead I left with Berlitz Croatian dictionary and audio lesson cd which was on sale. Why Croatian? Well, a close friend is from there and who wouldn't love a country with Mediterranean beaches and cuisine, lovely mountain regions (close enough to drive to Austria and Switzerland if there isn't enough skiing for you), and 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 8 national parks. Now add in the fact that I could couch surf and stay at his families private island and you've got a recipe for major wander lust.

I always try to get functional in the language of a country before going there so I'm starting now.


Have a Cup of Tea

I'm on a plane again, on my way to LA for the weekend. When I get to Seattle it's going to take a cup this big to revive me and I know just where to get one, Dilettante Chocolates and coffee in the center of the terminal. You should have a cup next time your there, or try their ultra-dark hot chocolate, both are great at reviving the weary traveler.



Testing new typepad comments feature.

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."

If you let someone take away your confidence you'll end up like me/Dilbert today, sitting in your cube feeling ignorant and paralyzed. *sigh* I'm going to go get some tea.


Spring Cure

Our house is sparkling thanks to the sun shining through our new triple pane windows. This has cast the cleanliness of the inside of our home into sharp focus and put me on a Spring cleaning fritz. I have signed up to do the Apartment Therapy Spring Cure, which if I follow through should have the house looking amazing in about 8 weeks. Right now I'm doing Week 1 which is essentially creating your vision. I am putting together Polyvore mood boards of the rooms I want to work on, which has been quite fun. Of course I'm trying to reuse almost everything we have rather than buying new. Creating my own home with its own style out of someone else's inherited furniture and thrift finds has been a challenge. Right now the house still has the feel of two college students, nothing matches and it all feels very temporary. I've been out of school for over 2 years now so its about time to get rid of the dorm look. Bye bye wire cubby shelving. Please bear with my seasonal madness and nesting instincts.


Have a Cup of Tea

Have a cup of tea. It revives you. Today I'm wishing I had one of these mugs. Your drink also flows into the handle itself making your tea (or coffee) time more of an experience than a routine occurrence. At $48, this is a little rich for my blood, but many good things are. This mouthblown cup is made out of sturdy and heat resistant Pyrex.

Manufacturer: Laurence Brabant, France


3-1-1, No Problem

I stayed with a good friend in DC last year. She was off to Italy for 2 weeks with 2 checked bags and two carry-ons. That was me 4 years ago. Her ratio of items was totally different from me though. She had one checked bag of toiletries and another with three-quarters shoes and one-quarter clothes. I would have had two bags almost completely full of clothes, you know, just in case I got invited to a wedding or something. Now I have always struggled with the shoes thing, finding the perfect pair to go through many outfits is a toughie and deserving its own post. But an entire suitcase of toiletries? Sure, if you're moving for a year to Africa maybe.

The fact that I've come a long way was emphasized this weekend when I followed a friend into the hotel I was staying at in Salt Lake. I asked her if she was extending her stay after the conference she was attending over the weekend and she said "No, I just like my gels." as she dragged in a suitcase almost as big as she was. When she looked at my small roll-on, she was astounded and asked how I do it. So here you go, my two cents worth.
Travel Toiletries

Basic daily must-haves for purse size makeup bag are: pressed powder compact, travel-size cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen combo, lip balm, lip color, mascara, travel-size hand sanitizer and breath mints. Anything more is probably extra and hard to justify. Ask yourself why you need it.
  1. Need a facial scrub? Grab packets of regular white sugar from the restaurant. Just lather up your face with a cleanser, then scrub in the sugar using your finger tips in small circular motions.
  2. Q-tips work just as well as brushes, don't pack a ton of brushes.
  3. Don't pack blush. You can use a great lipstick color as a cream blush or buy a lip/cheek stain. Choose lighter shades and blend on after foundation but before powder.
  4. Shampoo & conditioner are available in 99% of hotels. If you're going the hostel or couchsurfing route I would suggest solid shampoos from Lush rather than fooling with more items in your 3-1-1 bag.
  5. Don't use the size of your toiletries as an excuse. You can alway repackage them. You can find some really cute toiletry bottles to repackage everything in. The ones below are from the UK, but you can get them almost anywhere.
  6. If you really need to scrimp, your hotel can probably provide you toothpaste and a toothbrush once you get there, but I wouldn't chance it.
  7. Use hair conditioner instead of shaving cream.

The items above are a picture of my typical travel toiletry bag for trips less than 3 weeks. In addition to the list above, I usually add in hand lotion, undereye concealer and deep cleaning wipes. The wipes are great when on a plane because really, who wants to wash their face in an airplane bathroom? All the liquids easily fit in a single quart-size bag. Take a look at your toiletries, and you'll probably be able to trim it down to the point where you can fit it all in your carry-on. When I travel these days I fit all of my toiletries, wet and dry in my 3-1-1 bag if its a less than 1 week trip. Unbelievable to think.


Salt Lake City Photos

The Beehive House
International Headquarters of LDS Church - Very intimidating building
One of a whole row of cool houses on the hill leading up to the Capitol. This one looks like a haunted house.
Interesting building facing the Capitol with strange buffalo sculptures out front.
Utah State Capitol
Engineers, we like our toys. Yes, it was a sunny day so the other photo is of me squinting, and the angle those tripods created was just lovely on my hips. *sigh*
It's called the Beehive state, not sure why, but there are beehives everywhere. This one is on the Capitol steps. The Utah mountains remind me of the ones in Chile, not nearly as high as Alaska, but still beautiful.
Inside the Capitol looking down at the statue to Science & Technology. I guess the original Capitol burned down so they tried to make this one look old, but its way too squeaky clean to look old.
The Temple on Temple Square. It looks fabulous at night, but is way harder to photograph.
Home sweet home.

I used some of my spare time while hubby was gone to get caught up on organizing my pictures. All pictures taken on my Nokia N95 cell phone.


Spring Baking

After I finished cleaning yesterday I had a spotlessly clean kitchen. My first instinct was to cook something. Unfortunately I haven't been grocery shopping for almost a week, so there really wasn't much to cook with. I finally scrapped together enough ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies after begging a 2nd egg off of my neighbor. I am now definitely in a baking mood. Combined with my spring cleaning mood this has me craving sleek modern and colorful kitchen accessories. The image above is a roundup of items I've had bookmarked for awhile. I especially want the apron from Anthropologie, tea stick from the Moma store and kitchen timer from the National Palace Museum of Taiwan.


Take Me to Bed Red

This afternoon was day two of hubbies trip for Army. He's totally out of touch this time, which makes it seem 10 times longer. I got caught up on laundry and vacuumed in places I didn't know I had places. I am now perched on the sofa, sipping a huge mug of tea, watching Anderson Cooper (yummy) while I wait for my nails to dry.

There is a London Butter nail salon in the Seattle airport and I have spent enough time laid-over there to have stopped by a few times. There is nothing like a foot massage and some fresh paint after 34 hours of flying. I used to buy whatever nail polish, but I really have stuck with the Butter London product since I started using it. It goes on way better than Opi and is a 3 free company meaning their products contain no Formaldehyde, no Toluene and no DBP. (known carcinogens) The color you see above is Take Me To Bed Red, not too orange, not too blue, just the perfect red for feeling pretty, even when you're all alone. ($14)


Have a Cup of Tea

Take a moment this Friday and have a cup of tea. It revives you. This tea set is so gorgeous I would almost be afraid to use it. I would love to add it to my collection though. I'll just have to meet a member of the Royal Bavarian family and see if they have a spare.

Manufacturer: Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
Designer: Dominikus Auliczek
Location: Germany
Design Year: 1795
Color: Robin's egg blue with white detail
Material: Handmade porcelain
Price: $1598 for tea pot, $519 for tea cup

The Product
For more than 250 years the Porzellan Manufackur Nymphenburg has held its prestigious position as of one of the world’s finest producers of porcelain. Originally made in 1795, the Pearl Symphony tea service is an exceptional example of neo-classical design, and marks the first time in European history that a tea service was designed with twelve sides rather than the traditional rounded shape. Pearl-like flourishes adorn the pale blue set and each piece of which is amazingly light-weight and handmade exactly the same way it was over 200 years ago.

The Designer
Bohemian sculptor Dominikus Auliczek served as Modellmeiser at the Porzellan Manufackur Nymphenburg from 1763 through 1797, and stayed on as artistic director until 1804. He brought a neo-classical influence to the company, and many of his designs are still manufactured by the company today. He created over 100 animals and hunt scenes, but is best known for creating the dodecagon Pearl Symphony service, which is now the unofficial service of the Royal Bavarian Family.


Pamper Me Without Ice Cream

I'm getting my spa day off to an early start. Hubby is off on Army duty for the weekend, so after I dropped him off at the airport I drowned my sorrows with a little pampering rather than the huge bowl of ice cream I would normally consume in my angst over the Army having so much control over our lives.

I ended up watching Anderson Cooper 360 after smearing the mask you see above in a gooey citrusy mess all over my face. It is from The Body Shop and is absolutely awesome. When I was little I loved not wearing sunscreen so that when I got burned I could peel my skin off in sheets and look at the skin (disgusting I know). This peel helps undo some of that sun damage and when you remove it, it peels off in sheets, just like my skin used to (so satisfying). The peel is made of Antioxidant vitamin C which encourages production of collagen, improves elasticity, and protects against damaging environmental aggressors. It is made out of fruit acids of papaya, apple and pumpkin enzymes which gives it a fantastic smell as it stimulates cell renewal and cleanse pores for a dewy glow. It also comes in a small enough package that you can pack it in your carry-on to apply while you watch your pay-per-view movie in your hotel room. It feels deliciously decadent.

Snow Day = Spa Day

Today it has snowed 12 inches, with another 6 expected overnight. If I can get away with it, I'm hoping the roads won't be plowed tomorrow and I can call it a snow day. Snow days make the perfect spa days. You can sit on your sofa, watching a movie while the snow comes down and let your nail polish dry, something I would never have time for on a weekend with all of my household work to do. Something about snow days makes them seem like found time. But, with the economy in mind and my love of all things sustainable, I'll be making a few of my own scrubs and lotions sans packaging. Apartment Therapy did a recent roundup of their favorite recipes.

Foot Scrub: Mix equal parts granulated sugar and olive oil and rub. From One Happy Panda: To Exfoliate Elbows and Knees: Cut an orange in half and rub. Avocado Facial: Mix 1 tbsp mashed avocado, 1 tsp honey, 3 drops cider vinegar and a little sesame oil. From Natural Homemade Beauty Bath Soaks: Add a cup of strongly brewed peppermint tea to the water for an herbal soak. or Add a few tablespoons of liquid milk or dry milk for a milk bath From Green LIving or Try the recipe we use (Epsom salts and essential oils and new a little bit of glycerin) For Dry Skin: Rub pure coconut milk (not oil, but milk) into skin to battle dry skin. For Puffy Eyes: Use chamomile, green or black tea bags steep them in just boiling water and then refrigerate. Place them over the eyes

I may make it a spa day regardless of the snow. This week at WW weigh-in I hit 5% loss. I was ecstatic and really deserve a reward.

Image from Martha Stewart


Things College Teaches You Aren't Always Good for Work

From the Ikea catalog (yet another store we don't have in Alaska)

Liz Lang's desk

I have a bad habit of cramming an entire list of things to do, whether it is home improvement, cleaning, cooking, or real employment work into as short of time as possible (or at least in my head possible, if not reality). At home this often ends up with my ignoring everything on the list and crawling under a blanky. I blame it on college, which drilled into my head the "Postpone, postpone, cram, repeat" mantra. Unfortunately I don't have a position which allows me the flexibility to just get my work done by the deadlines and go home, I have to keep my seat warm 8-5 or take leave.
Drew Barrymore's Desk

I got a new project yesterday at work. It is amazing how working on the same thing for 4 months makes you feel like you're in school, right down to the procrastination and cramming before the final. Things that you learn in school, especially habits, don't always translate well into the workplace. Oh well, I did get the rush today of a new project. Just like going down the school supply aisle before a new semester I went to the office supply closet. I returned to my desk with a new binder, tabbies, a fresh highlighter and pens and sat down like I was at the first day of a new class with all new things to learn. I'll just have to try reverse procrastination, getting it all done early so that I can go on to my next project high rather than stringing it out until the deadline. I guess making that transition will take me from being a competent employee to a great one. If I ever want to consult instead of work for a company, learning to take on a project and get it done quickly will also be an important skill. If I was a consultant though, my desk would look more like one of the ones in this post (in my head of course).


Walking Tour of Salt Lake City

View Larger Map

Saturday I walked about 4 miles around downtown to see what I could see without a car. Afterward I went over to the Hilton where they were having a Salsa convention and danced for all my 6 weeks worth of lessons worth surrounded by internationally famous salsa dancers who were rail thin and gorgeous. Fun was had by all. I learned that no matter how good, Salsa dancers want more people in their sport and are willing to be patient with those of us without a drop of Spanish or latin-american blood. It was amazing.

Here is the route I took. Click through on the map for more details. A slow stroll will take you through this route in under 2 hours leaving plenty of time for shopping or stopping in at the family history center or to search desperately for coffee. I'll post photos next.

1. Old Social Hall Museum - 39 S. State Street 321-8745. Remnants of first public building in Utah and first theatre west of the Missouri. A glass enclosure displays the walls of the original building, along with artifacts. Historical tours available.

2. Beehive House - Surrounding Neighborhood - 67 E. South Temple 240-2671. A National Historic Landmark. Served as the official residence of Brigham Young when he was President of the LDS Church and Governor of the Utah Territory. Free tours daily.The surrounding neighborhood is full of great old homes of completely differen't styles.

3. Utah State Capitol -Interesting architecture which tries to look old, even though it is a relatively new replacement to the previous capitol which burned down.

4. Brigham Young Park - Located across State Street from the Church Office Building plaza. Free one-hour "Concerts in the Park" are presented Tuesday & Friday evenings during June, July and August.

5. LDS Church Office Building - 50 E. North Temple 240-2190. This imposing structure is the world-wide headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has two observation decks with views of the mountains and valley. They are open to the public on the 26th floor. Free tours Mon-Sat 9 am-4:30 pm. Closed Saturdays between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Also, free guided tours of the beautiful gardens on the building plaza are available on a seasonal basis. Phone 240-5916 for a Garden Tour schedule.

6. Eagle Gate - State Street & South Temple. Erected in 1859 at the entrance to Brigham Young's property which led to the mouth of City Creek Canyon. Replaced several times over the years, the present 4,000-pound. eagle with a wingspread of 20 feet caps the 76-foot span of Eagle Gate.

7. Family History Library - for all of you genealogists out

8. Brigham Young Monument - Just north of the intersection of Main Street & South Temple. This monument honors LDS Church leader and pioneer-colonizer, Brigham Young, and pays tribute to the Utah Indians and fur trappers who preceded Mormon settlers into the Salt Lake Valley.

9.Tabernacle on Temple Square - 50 W. North Temple 240-2534. The centerpiece of this beautifully landscaped 10-acre plot of ground in the heart of downtown Salt Lake is the six-spired Salt Lake Temple. Also located on the Square is the domed Tabernacle, home of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir; the Assembly Hall where free concerts are given most weekends; two visitor centers and more. Free tours are given daily in 30 languages. Tours start every few minutes at the flagpole. The public is invited to the Tabernacle Choir rehearsals on Thursdays at 8 pm (come and go as you like), and to the Sunday morning network broadcast at 9:30 am (you must be seated by 9:15 am). Daily organ recitals are given Mon-Sat at noon and 2 pm (noon only in the winter), and Sundays at 2 pm. All concerts and recitals are free. Please phone 1-800-537-9703 for a Temple Square Concert Series schedule and other information.

10. EnergySolutions Arena - Home of the Utah Jazz and tons of scalpers

11. Shopping, hey I get tired of shopping online and being from Alaska sometimes

12. Clark Planetarium - If you have extra time stop by, otherwise the building is cool architecturally. 110 S 400 W, 801.456.STAR (7827). Daily star shows, music entertainment shows, and Utah's only 3D IMAX theatre. Two floors of free, interactive exhibits, and a unique science store.

13. Capitol Theater - 50 West 200 South 323-6800 / Ticket Office 355-2787. Built in 1912 to host touring vaudeville shows, the theatre is home to Ballet West, Utah Opera Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, and hosts many other touring performers and shows.

14.Gallivan Center Ice Rink - Right outside my hotel window I watched the skaters on the last night before it closed. So sad as this weekend was the first weekend the one in Fairbanks was warm enough to open. Truly magical at night with the pretty twinkle lights.

15. Marriott Downtown - Started and ended here. A good value for a comfy room and saints preserve us a Starbucks in the lobby. Apparently for $30 each way (lower if you negotiate) you can take a cab from the Marriott to the Great Salt Lake. A group of 4 splitting the cost could make it worthwhile.

Updated 4/6/09 Apparently I missed a spot that might be of interest, the Discovery Gateway Museum for Kids, Four floors & over 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on FUN for all ages! Their website says: "Discovery Gateway is more than a museum; it's an experience you never outgrow. Our engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits inspire children to use their imagination, discover something new, and connect with their world." Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 am-6 pm and Friday and Saturday 10 am-8 pm (444 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 801-456-KIDS)


One Day in Salt Lake City

Off again to the wild blue yonder. Salt Lake City looks to be pretty out-doorsy as far as attractions go and I get enough of that wonderful fresh air, snow and mountains home in Alaska so I won't feel the need to snowboard, snowshoe or hike in the icy hinterlands. When I looked at TripAdvisor.com the Hard Rock Cafe made the top 10 sites to see so I didn't have a lot of hope for seeing something unique, but I have dug up a few possibilities. I only really have one early-afternoon and evening to spend, which usually means a simple walk-through downtown followed by research into the local cuisine. It can't be all that bad, it is the land of Dooce after all. I may add one of the following options:

The Tracy Aviary
  • http://www.tracyaviary.org
  • info@tracyaviary.org
  • Address: 589 East 1300 South Salt Lake City, UT 84105
  • Tel: 801-596-8500
  • Winter Hours - October 20th - April 9th 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
  • Summer Hours - April 10th - October 19th 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Clark Planetarium
  • http://www.clarkplanetarium.org
  • info@clarkplanetarium.org
  • Address: 110 South 400 West Street Salt Lake City, UT 84101
  • Tel: (801) 456-7827
  • Opens at 10:30 AM, 7 days a week;
  • Closes following the beginning of the last show of the day.
  • In general, closed Sunday at 6:00 PM, Mon - Wed at 8:00, Thurs at 9:00 PM, Fri & Sat at 11:00 PM. Click here for daily schedule of shows.
Salt Lake Temple
  • Address: 50 W. North Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84150
  • Tel: 801-240-4872
  • only exterior publicly viewable
Salt Lake City Library
  • Address: 209 East 500 South Salt Lake City, UT 84111
  • Tel: 801 524 8200
I won't be here on Thursday, but if I was I might stop by and watch the Mormon tabernacle choir rehearsal. Location: Tabernacle on Temple Square (occasionally the Conference Center), Duration: 1 ½ hours, but you may come and go as necessary, Hours: Most Thursday evenings from approximately 8:00 PM until 9:30 PM, Tickets: Visitors are welcome. There is no charge.

Here is a Walking Tour I found. I'll probably create my own when I get back.