Thursday, November 29, 2012

Party in my Mouth.

This morning I woke up and went for a run in battery park along the Hudson River, came back, showered and went uptown to meet a guy that was selling me tickets to a sold out, A Christmas Story. After coming back to the hotel and changing into my cute dress we made our way towards the Radio City music hall. I had called previously to see if I could bring my camera into the theatre because the last thing I wanted to do was to check expensive gear. The only sad thing about being a photographer is you can't lug your gear everywhere which means missed photo opportunities. Fortunately Kat had her point and shoot and we were able to capture the night!

I quite possibly had the best meal I've ever had last night at Alfredo's near Rockefeller center. We decided to have Fettuccine Alfredo because they make their noodles and shared a risotto with butternut squash and goat cheese. I can't even tell you how amazing it was. For dessert we had a chocolate mousse with marshmallows and blueberries. I didn't want to stop.

We stopped to take pictures downstairs with the awesome sculpture with a Christmas hat on, went upstairs and out into the cold to window shop and do some real shopping. We went to the Rockettes and it was seriously AMAZING!! People told me not to get my hopes up and I don't know why. Between the real camels, 36 dancers, and adorable storyline, you'd be a fool to miss out on this Christmas spectacular.

After the show we strolled down 5th street to Macy's on 34th and bought some Christmas ornaments. Macy's is 9 floors, NINE. Needless to say we will be going back when there is more time to spare.

What a wonderful day.

Today we are going to see, Once! Meeting up with a friend in NY and possibly many other adventures. So excited for these next few days.
The Hudson River on my run!
The start of our night
Amazing Food!!!
food 2
Santa at dinner!
dinner santa
The Rockettes!
Radio City
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Cold Feet.

I flew into NY yesterday and after a lovely 4 hour shuttle ride to the W hotel, I made it safely to a warm shower and a nice little nap before I headed out into the city. Kat got back from work around 2 and we decided to venture over to the Rockefeller Center to watch the Christmas tree lighting ceremony which is a big deal. While neither of us had had time to eat that day, we stood in a line, not thinking about the ferocious cold, nor our empty stomachs, and waited for 5 hours for the ceremony to begin. Luckily we were able to meet some nice new and entertaining friends, two blokes the UK, Chris and John (who looks like our friend Stanley), and another nice man (who ended up defending me against an almost fight with an Italian family) named Brian from NY. All of us were here to cross something off our bucket list, and it wasn't "to be frostbitten from head to toe" (that was just an added bonus). We all wanted to see this spectacular event. Although we couldn't see any of the performances, because they took place on the ice rink of Rockefeller Center, we were right up close to the tree and the walkway that every singer passed by. Unfortunately I didn't have my zoom lens so these were all taken at the distance you see them. We got to see Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Billy Crystal, and Il Volo walk past. It was a great experience and tonight we are going to see the Rockettes!
The start of the night before we were frozen.
and absolutely frozen!

This morning I went for a run in Battery Park and had a nice view of the Statue of Liberty. New York, I like you!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I want a Christmas tree. The smell of fresh pines is probably my favorite and definite brings back memories.

Growing up we would go out to the tree farms, pick out a Christmas tree, name it, and bring it home. Yes, we would name our tree! I'm not sure how the tradition began but our Christmas tree was always named, Waldo Hank Pine. Each succeeding year the tree was given a number, Waldo Hank Pine the 1st, 2nd...

Once home we would decorate the tree with lights and ornaments. Ever since the year we were born, Chad and I each received an ornament. It's like the token gift we can always expect to get each year, an ornament that reflects something to do with our personality or interests. When I moved out the first time, mom sent me off with a box of my ornaments from over the years as to keep the tradition alive.

When I was 25 I was dating a guy who had decided to put up a fake Christmas tree in my apartment. When my father caught wind of this he wanted to have a word with him. "Don't you know she has only ever had REAL Christmas trees?" As the phone was passed back to me dad noted in a joking tone that he was simply not a keeper if he would deprive me from a tree :)

Sadly with my apartment being so small, there won't be a real tree going up, not ornaments to hang, but perhaps Yankee candle can make a good pine scent to fill my apartment with!
We took photos for the RS Christmas Cookbook yesterday!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey. Mustaches. & Love.

I went home to Orange County on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday and for Colton's first birthday. It was such a fun-filled busy weekend but I loved every minute! Thursday we picked up Goose and brought her to turkey day at my aunts. This is the first year since she has been gone so that of course was tough. All of my family members decided to take their Christmas photos so this happened:
Then my cousin grabbed the camera and snapped these:
and here is the rest of the family
Then on to Saturday and Colton's birthday!It was mustache themed... I painted a mustache on my shirt.



I don't paint. 

Mom had mentioned doing something on my nephew's bedroom walls since they were bare and Chad was going all out trying to make the house nice for his party yesterday. On Thanksgiving I had decided I would conquer this task and paint a jungle scene mural on his walls. I bought the paint on Friday morning and headed over. 

My aunt had mentioned using a projector to paint but I decided to free-hand it. I finished all the scenery last night and headed over this morning to paint the animals just in time to put Colton's crib together, go home and shower, and head back for the party that started at 2:00pm. 

There are still more animals to finish but as for now I am done! Tired is an understatement. 

Here is my inspiration.
and here is what I did...

Monday, November 19, 2012


"Don't they realize we just want to settle down and take care of them?" Caitlin said as the topic of men came up.

What was supposed to be a spiritual visiting teaching lesson quickly turned into a discussion on dating when the usual, "how is life, work, the men in your life, questions were asked. I of course stated that I wanted someone to cook for which preceded Caitlin's remark. As she continued it made me ponder things. Most men, I say most because there is always an exception, want instant gratification, they think about the here and now rather than the forever and eternity because quite frankly those two words scare most.

I suppose that's why the older generation in the church have always said, "you're such a good catch, these men are idiots," because at that point in their life they have come to realize what really IS important in a marriage and companionship. When you're fighting against the world, looks and a cute outfit don't take you far.

"Is there anything we can do for you?"

"Find me a boyfriend for Christmas. "

"He may be plastic if that's ok, but we will bring you one."

Such great visiting teachers I have! Always looking out for me :) the holidays are my favorite time of year. I love everything about this season and would love it that much more if I had someone's hand to hold! (And of course cook for). I leave to New York in a week, maybe that's where I'll serendipitously meet my boyfriend. :) Hey, a girl can be hopeful. I'll be staying in Manhattan with Kat, going ice skating at Rockefeller center, seeing the tree lighting, the Rockettes, and the play 'Once'. The countdown has begun.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


"When can you start?" was the opening line of the email, "I have two Italian families that are looking for an au pair to begin December 1."

Thoughts flooded my mind as I thought of the logistics. Not only would I be in New York on December 1, I had a multitude of additional loose ends that is less than 3 weeks I'd need to figure out in order to ditch my American life and flee to Italy.

Find a place for my cats, get rid of my car, quit job, get out of lease, sell furniture.

Overwhelmed within 30 seconds of thinking about how the move could be feasible I had to reply, "unfortunately, I will be in New York in December and wouldn't be able to come until after the first of the year." Luckily she said there are families that are always looking for an au pair but the irresponsible teenager inside wishes I could simply book a flight and leave in a few weeks.

Growing up my mother always ingrained in our heads that we should travel. She had been a flight attendant and traveled around the world. Something always prohibited me, I had a new job or a new boyfriend, and I continued to put off traveling until I was 26. I'm not sure where the flame or desire began but ever since I left the country in May 2010, I haven't stopped my love affair with Europe. Thinking a lot about career paths lately the thought has often crossed my mind to get up and travel, take pictures, and write books. When I travel I always write detailed emails filled with enough imagery to make the reader believe they themselves are experiencing the culture. With traveling, photography, and writing, three of my main passions (cooking would be the other), that seems like it would be the perfect job for my interests. Now if only I could figure out how to get paid for this!

Monday, November 12, 2012


In 1952, young Florence Chadwick stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to swim to the shore of mainland California.  She'd already been the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways.  The weather was foggy and chilly; she could hardly see the boats accompanying her.  Still, she swam for fifteen hours.  When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way, her mother, in a boat alongside, told her she was close and that she could make it.  Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out.  IT wasn't until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away.

At a news conference the next day she said, "All I could see was the fog...I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.
The theme of perseverance has been on my mind a lot lately and not just because it was what my secretary asked me to write about for our newsletter this month.  I have heard this story about Florence Chadwick previously but as I picked up my scriptures tonight to read them, a small piece of paper folded in half fell out.  I leaned over to pick it up and that very story was typed on a piece of paper.  Rather than call it coincidence, I decided to ponder the analogy.

Sometimes we are so motivated at the beginning of a trial but when we keep trudging and nothing is happening, discouragement sets in.  I should stop here and switch to first person for the remainder of this post because I do get discouraged.  I was joking with my friend Stuart the other day about how things were rough and I was just going to give up.  How easy that would be.  I have come to realize however that the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.  Who knows how close I am to the shore, if it is less than a mile away like Florence or if I have just began my long swim.  Either way, giving up doesn't bring forth any blessings.  "Don't let the lack of an immediate answer detract from your faith; double your efforts."

The fog sure is thick in my life and my compass might as well be broken.  So, when I feel like my prayers aren't being answered and my scripture study isn't having an effect on my life... that just means I need to push a little harder.  When things don't go the way we have planned it can definitely be discouraging and as hard as it is to keep on trudging, we will eventually reach the shoreline of blessings.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I got in the elevator this morning only to find two other men with eyes glued to their cell phones. What happened to human interaction?

I like to observe people. In fact, observing is often more fun than actually interacting with others. I see people step into what they would deem an, "uncomfortable situation," and rather than stepping outside of their social element and talking to others, they stay connected to their safety zone, their phone. We complain all too often that people are rude and don't talk but do we reach out and talk to them? Granted, an elevator ride is only 30 seconds, how hard would it be to put your phone away and greet the people in the elevator with a smile?

We are so disconnected on a personal level and yet so technologically connected. Next time you're in an elevator, smile and say hello; I think you'll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes for both parties.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Lately I have had no motivation to do anything, sad, I know. I come in to work every day, yes, I am grateful to have a job, but I come in here, I turn on the computer, and I stare at a computer screen ALL. DAY. LONG. Most people would say that is awesome, “you get paid to do nothing.” I suppose however that is with any situation, the grass is always greener. You live in the snow, you want the sun, you have long hair, you want it short, the list goes on. I have never really found what I want to do as a profession, what challenges me, and keeps my attention. I tend to learn something and get bored slightly easily. I can surely tell you that money doesn’t buy happiness, I want to be utilized. I find that the more you sit on your rear end and do nothing, the less motivation you have to actually do something.

If you asked if my life was busy, I would tell you I am. In fact, I do have a lot on my plate, but for 8 hours a day, I literally do nothing and I have no motivation to change that. (As in, I want to change my job but in the meantime while having a job, I just can’t make myself do anything productive with my time since surely work isn’t giving me anything to do). Sure, I could read or learn a new trade, or do something non-job related with my time but only things that don’t take much effort (typing a blog or aimlessly browsing Facebook profiles, seems to keep my attention). I pray for change but without a little effort on my end, how effective are my prayers? I have just about the same routine every day and it is far from something I would brag about.
5:00 am Wake up… well, the alarm goes off, I typically hit snooze.
5:30 am ACTUALLY wake up, read scriptures… If I can muster out the strength to get out of bed.
6:00 am Shower
6:20 am Leave the house.
6:50 am Get to work and clock in.
7:00 am Walk to Coffee Bean and get tea.
(twiddle my thumbs until noon when I eat)
11:58 am Walk to the kitchen for food.
(twiddle my thumbs again until 4).
4:00 pm Clock out and drive home.
5:00 pm Get home, check the mail, watch Netflix, eat, go to bed. Depending on the day I may have a presidency meeting or have to go to the church for RS stuff, write papers for school, or listen to music.
I get home and have no desire to do anything and I would like to attribute this to the traffic and parking throughout LA. I need to get out of this funk and be more productive. I suppose acknowledging things is the first step. Maybe I should use my time more wisely to read some self-help book on how to better utilize my time. Maybe I should google things to do in NY since I will be there in three weeks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Question.

Last night I received a blessing from my Bishop for some guidance and direction. I've never been more lost in such a stable part of my life as far as what I should do next. School. Work. Living. Love. I received an incredible opportunity to be an au pair for an Italian family in Florence and if things line up, I will not be turning that down.

Before he gave the blessing he asked me, "If you could ask President Monson ONE question, what would you ask?"

Great question. One I've never thought about before. He's a prophet, he knows so much. As I composed my thoughts I turned to him and said, "I'd ask about his relationship with the Savior."

I don't know if he was impressed or shocked. "You wouldn't ask why you're not married or about principles of the church?" Nope, I reconfirmed. "I'd want to know about the Savior." Which made me realize that I should be digging more into the scriptures if I want to know more about the Savior :)

At any rate, the blessing was great and just what I needed to hear. It was a lot about my agency, which although I'd prefer to be guided in one specific direction, I understand that means there could be multiple good opportunities in my life. The part that stuck out the most is when he said, "don't think about the end result of your decisions, just think about the here and now."

Here's to thinking about the here and now and the many changes I foresee happening in the next few months.

On an unrelated note, I spent all day in the hospital with Goose yesterday. Although they don't know what's going on, she was released last night. I pray that things get better for my sweet Goose.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I mentioned Leslie the other day in a post but have been thinking about him a lot lately. I have no doubt in my mind that we meet people for a reason. Everyone, regardless of how brief the encounter can have an impact on our lives. Leslie is 76 and was diagnosed with ALS three years ago. I don't mention his illness because it defines him, I mention it because I'm not sure how positive I'd be if the roles were reversed. I've never known anyone with a terminal illness let alone someone whose spirit warms your heart and brightens your day in such a short period of time. Leslie lives where my grandma lives and my mom had met him one day while with Goose. She'd asked me to photograph a play of his last weekend and I was honored. Spending even five minutes with this man will change you. He's written a few books and today while at the hospital for Goose, I began reading his book, Wednesdays with Leslie. He wrote something that hit me, "when someone wants to do something for you, it's a blessing. Never stop someone from a blessing."

How often we pray for things and yet we deny the answers to our very prayers that could be coming from a simple friend that wants to do something for us. He's also made the comment that we don't know how much time we've got so we should do things sooner than later. I may not have ALS but I do know that if we spent less time talking about things and actually doing them, we would be happier. Our lives are very unpredictable, each and every one of us; don't put off things, for who knows the next opportunity we may get. A lot of people find out someone is sick and they push away for fear of getting close and losing them I say that's a poor excuse to deprive yourself of the amazing relationships you'd be missing out on.

Fear ruins a lot and disables us. Fear of a broken heart keeps people from truly loving, fear of failure keeps people from truly succeeding, and fear of loss keeps people from truly living.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I'm not sure where it all started. In fact, my brother doesn't remember either but for as long as we can remember, we have called grandma, "Goose." Growing up our mother worked two jobs leaving us to spend a lot of time with Goose. She picked us up from school, she cooked us dinner with Nesquick, and when we'd misbehave hearing our mother say, "What would Goose think of you right now?" was always a sure way to shape us up. I've always said that her passing will be harder for my brother and I than losing one of our parents. Last night mom called to say Goose had been rushed to the ER, unaware of what had happened and still unsure of why she is in there, it has made me start to think, as morbid as it is, about death. In February she will be 90 and I know with her recent rapid health failure it's something I can't deny. She fell when I was in Spain in March and things have gone downhill fast. It's hard when the person you see is no longer the person you know. Although I view death completely different now being a member, I pray that this time will be easy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


My Saturday's are nuts. 
Hang out with mom.
Thrift Store shop (where I found an awesome sequin dress for $20.00 to wear to the black tie service auction.)
Prep 3 turkeys to cook tomorrow.
Service Auction.
Housewarming party.
(Meet Leslie. He lives where my grandmother lives and is an amazing story teller that was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease 3 years ago.  Imagine your mind being fine but your body falling to pieces.  This is one of the most positive, endearing, and contagiously energetic men I have ever met)
Service Auction Black Tie Event

Friday, November 2, 2012


Some people make you build trust, others trust from the beginning until you do something that would otherwise jeopardize that trust; I am the latter. I tend to trust everyone from the beginning, even amongst all the crap that has happened in my past I feel that carrying that hurt and anger into another relationship, whether it be a friendship, romantic, or professional, is unhealthy. Everyone is different and if I hold others for the pain and hurt someone in my past has caused, that isn’t fair. Although I understand that this could mean I get hurt, I am willing to take that risk. This brings me to my dentist. A lot of people dread going to the dentist, I on the other hand never dreaded it until I had a bad experience and even after the first bad experience I continued to give her the benefit of the doubt. We are all human, mistakes happen, you can’t judge a person by one bad experience. I suppose having four bad visits and a lot of unnecessary pain, I can finally make the firm assessment that she must have flirted her way through her dental boards because she knows nothing about dentistry. Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Buyer's Remorse

My grandmother used to work at one of the largest department stores which meant she always received a large discount and would take the family shopping. I'd go through the store like a Tasmanian devil picking up every price of clothing I saw. I'd try them on and love things and then as we would walk to the register, while waiting in line I'd begin to have buyer's remorse before the items were even purchased. I'd sit and go through each article of clothing and think about if it REALLY needed it and by the time we reached the register I'd have one or two items from an original pile of 20. My grandma would get mad because she was paying for things and wanted me to buy stuff but I think that added to the cause, I didn't want to spend someone else's money. I am not saying this is a bad trait to have and surely any many that marries me will appreciate this as well but sometimes it's frustrating.

I get excited about purchasing something, now I do my shopping online, put it in my virtual shopping cart and suddenly think about all the other things I could spend the money on or save the money for. I have to admit that when I have money I like to spend it, normally on other people and occasionally on myself and my shoe collection :), but I suppose I'm becoming more mature and even passing up opportunities to purchase shoes. Maybe that's why I love thrift store shopping, I can purchase cute things that are cheap enough to not make me double think the purchase.
I also know that if I REALLY want something, if I think about it even after I left the store, that I should go back and treat myself. Lucky for my wallet, that doesn't happen often.

My world... my thoughts

I can't apologize if you don't like what you read I can only apologize that you stumbled on my page.