A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stake Triathlon

Every Summer, my stake does a Sprint Triathlon. You don't have to pay to do it, it's just to encourage people to push themselves and to promote exercise. To get more people to participate, they let you either sign up for the whole thing by yourself, or you can form a team. Many people form teams, but I was impressed with how many people did the whole thing by themselves.

This is a new Stake tradition that they started last year or the year before that. I had not attended until this year. I thought about participating, but I had not been training and I couldn't find people that wanted to form a team. Since I was not going to participate, I was not planning on going. I knew they needed volunteers to help make the race run smoothly and they wanted people to come cheer, but I cherish my Saturday mornings. I only get one day of the week to sleep in. I didn't get to last weekend and it was a busy week at work. However, while I was home in Santa Barbara, I was volunteered to photograph the event. I guess word is getting around that I have a nice camera. Even though I was out dancing in SLC the night before until 3 in the morning, I showed up at the Stake Triathlon in Springville Saturday morning at 7:45. I was not thrilled about it.

Although I was tired and not thrilled to be there, I had a lot of people thank me for taking pictures and were very thankful that I was doing it. It's amazing what people saying thank you will do for you. It totally changed my attitude about being there. It was also fun to cheer on my friends. It totally made me flash back to when I did it last November. It's not an easy race for a lot of people. I watched the guys that were SUPER good and did the entire race under an hour and twenty minutes. Then I watched the people who really struggled. The people who came in last. I had even more respect for these people... probably because I relate to them. Not that I came in last in my race, but I'm not a super athletic person. These people were the same, but they were out there anyway, pushing themselves and showing themselves that they could do it even if it took longer than anyone else. It's inspiring.

Even the Stake Presidency participated in the race. President Wilson helped direct the race. President Mecham (and his wife) ran and President Baker biked. They are so awesome! I have never had a Stake Presidency that I have loved and appreciated more.

Since they asked me to photograph the event, I thought I would post some of my favorites out of the 530 pictures that I took (that I still need to upload to the stake website).

The people helping, making sure the race runs smoothly

Waiting to start the race

Run came first. * note the picture on the left. The guy ran the race barefoot! It's the new trend. Also note how cute my friend Jennica is to the right*

Biking Next. My favorites were the girls on the tandem beach cruiser and the guy that raced with his dog in the bike basket.

The Swim


I was really impressed by the turn out from the stake. A lot of people participated. Even if they did not do the race (like me) they had people there helping make the race run AND a lot of people came just to cheer on their friends and other people that they didn't even know. It was great.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chocolate Bread

So... coming back from vacation, I didn't really have a lot of food this week, so I decided to make bread. Chocolate Bread. I had this recipe I found on a blog and had been wanting to try it.

In case you are wondering... it's delish! :)

Chocolate Bread Recipe

1 C. milk, scalded
2 T. butter
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 lightly beaten eggs

1 pkg. yeast
1/4 C. warm water
1 T. sugar

2/3 C. cocoa
3 1/2 C. flour 
1 tsp. salt 

1 1/2 to 2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
(I used 2 C. but it does make it a little hard to cut.)

Take the scalded milk while hot and add the butter.
Let the butter melt.  Add the 1/2 C. sugar and vanilla
and when it has cooled to lukewarm add the 2 eggs.  Mix.

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 C. warm water with the 1 T. sugar.

Sift the cocoa, flour and salt.

In the mixer with the dough hook, mix the milk mixture
and the flour mixture.  Let knead for 5-7 minutes.

Add the chocolate chips.

Cover the dough and let rise until double.  
Punch down and shape into desired loaves.

You can form it into 1 standard loaf or two round loaves 
or four mini loaves.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on 
sanding sugar (sugar crystals or decorator sugar).

Cover and let rise until double - or until it measures
about 1 inch above the loaf pan.

Preheat oven to 350 (325 if using a dark pan).

Bake standard loaf 45 to 50 minutes,  two round
loaves, 35-40 minutes and mini loaves about 30 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes in pan, then run knife around edge
to loosen.  Remove to cooling rack.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Flashback Friday 23

I'm going back to 2004. Remember the flashback that I wrote about trying to get to Hot Springs up Spanish Fork Canyon, but there was still too much snow and we got stuck? Well, about a month or so later... Monica and I went back to go find those Hot Springs. We both wanted to make it there so bad.

We went, just the two of us, and it was a success! We found it. From Provo, its about an hour drive, then you park and hike 2 miles on this beautiful trail.

The Hot Springs are in several pools by this pretty little waterfall. We both loved it. We had fun hanging out in the springs and then headed back before it got too dark. Its a fun little day trip if you have 4 or 5 hours to dedicate to it.

I really miss my adventures with Mo-Trash.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 76

It was so good to be back home in Santa Barbara. My time there was not long enough. I didn't get enough time at the beach. I wish I could have seen more people, but for the short amount of time that I was there... I saw A LOT of people. It was awesome. It was also so great to bond with my sister and nephews more. I wish that I could go more often. I am pretty excited for the next time I go home though... Dave, a guy from my home ward, told me that when I get scuba certified, he would take me out to the Channel Islands with him and we would scuba together. SO FUN!!!

Speaking of getting scuba certified... I am a little nervous to get certified, but I am also very excited. I am even more excited that I am getting certified with one of my good friends, Desiree. We have been talking about doing it together for over a year now. I signed us up, we both paid for the class, I picked up our books today and we start classes on Monday. Hopefully the nervousness goes away once you are doing it. I will let you know. So glad that ear infection is gone...

It has been raining a lot this week. I feel like we have had SO much rain this year. Kind of crazy. I enjoy rain with the thunder and lightening storms... but what a strange summer it has been.

It was so hard to go back to the gym this week after not going for 5 days. I went to Pilates on Tuesday and it KICKED. MY. BUTT. Seriously... so sore the next day and even a little bit today. I really suck at Pilates, but I just keep hoping I'm going to get better at it. I think I have noticed a little bit of improvement with my posture. I know its good for me... I just really hate doing it. Don't worry... i will continue to go and not give up. I also leave that class feeling a little depressed. Not only because I can't do it as well as most of the others in the class (including the guys that go) but also because I am in this class with older people (some women in their 40's) and they looked better than I do. Super thin and beautiful and really fit. I am pretty sure I am the biggest one in the class. Again, it won't stop me from going... I just leave the class every time feeling just a little bit down. Oh Pilates.... you kill me.

Sunday night, my sister and I drove through the night to come back to Utah (my sister is here for a visit). We left at 8:30 (kids bed time) thinking it would be easier on the kids because they would just sleep through the drive. That was pretty incorrect. It was a really long drive. We ended up getting home at around 9 in the morning. Something I thought about while we were in the very early morning of the drive (and this is actually something I mentioned to my sister) was that I can't believe I used to stay up all night for fun. I mean... I am a night owl and everything, but I remember thinking it was so fun to stay up all night with my friends. As my sister and I switched off driving and chatted and trying to keep each other awake... I thought about how miserable I was and that I just wanted to sleep. Why did I used to do that for fun? Turns out its not fun at all!

Yesterday at work, there were only 4 of us there, so my manager decided that we should go out to lunch. He chose this Thai place in Springville. Yum. LOVE Thai food. Funny... last time we all went out to lunch, we got Indian food, this time Thai. I kind of love that my co-workers like a variety of food, because I don't typically get to eat at a lot of different places on the rare occasion that I go out with my friends to dinner. (I try not to go out to eat much). Anyway... we had a good time. He later got us all treats from down at the Cafe too. Good day.

Speaking of the Cafe, there is a girl that works at the cash register. I don't really know her much at all, but I do know that she is one of the nicest people. EVERY time that I go down to the cafe she compliments me on something. My hair, nail polish, purse, my outfit. Its such a self esteem booster. She is just like this all of the time. It makes me love going down to the cafe to get food. I admire people like that. I try to be more like that, but it doesn't come as naturally to me as I would like it to. I think we need more people like that in the world. Seriously.

Today after work, my sister (that came back with me to Utah) and my parents came and picked me up and we went up past Sundance to meet up with my Aunt and Uncle and two of my cousins at a little camp site to have dinner with them and have S'more's. It was so fun to hang out with my family tonight. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have such a great family. I just assume that everyone does... but when talking to a friend this week, I realized that is not the case at all. I really love my family (immediate and extended). I love visiting my family. I'm so lucky that I have such a great family where all of my siblings are happy in their marriages and have married good people. I really do feel lucky to have that. I always want to maintain the wonderful relationship that I have with them. I thought about this as I was hanging out with some of them tonight. I loved being able to spend time with my Aunt, Uncle and couple of cousins. What great family I have. Not only did I get to spend the evening with family, but I also got to do it up in the mountains with beautiful surroundings. Running creeks, pine trees, the fresh air, the camp fire. We live in such a beautiful world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekend in the Wilderness

Okay... so I make it sound like I went camping this weekend, but I didn't. I just went to visit my sister Lori back home in Santa Barbara. The title may confuse some people, because when you think of Santa Barbara, you don't think of the wilderness, but my sister and her family live up the mountains of Santa Barbara and that is where I stayed. I didn't even get cell phone reception (which I really didn't care) so they REALLY are in the wilderness. Even though I stayed there... we didn't spend all our time there. We were in the city a lot of the time.

It was such a great visit. I LOVE visiting home. I get there and it just brings a smile to my face. The beautiful scenery, the smells, the weather, the familiar faces... I just love it all. When I go back, it's almost like I never left.

I flew into the Santa Barbara airport. I was so happy that as soon as I got off of the plane and went to go wait for my sister to come get me... I ran into some familiar faces. Nanci and Taylor Gardner! What a great way to start the weekend... by seeing people that I grew up with. They were there to welcome home a missionary and had no idea that I would be there, but what a nice surprise.

That was just the start of many great friends that I would run into and get together with that weekend. My sister and I went walking around and shopping on state street downtown and I ran into my old High School teacher (and friend) Brian Pearce. It was so great to see him with his son. It had been years since I had talked to him, but we kept in touch a little after High School and we used to talk all the time when I was in High School. I was his TA and loved it. What a great guy. So fun to see him. I also had found out from my sister that a guy I used to go to Jr. High and High School with.. now works with my brother in law. So she took me to the National Forrest Station to see him. We had not talked since High School... so it was really fun to see and talk to him too... especially since I will not be making it to my 10 year reunion. Nice to have a few old friends to reconnect with. I got a picture with him... but I am going to do a different post with him and also Catherine who I also got together with over the weekend and had not seen in years. I am going to try and find pictures of us together in high school... so you can see us then and now. :o)

Saturday was the Pioneer Day Celebration, so I went with my sister to the stake activity and I was able to see and talk to a lot more friends. Many of which didn't even know I was in town. Larry Adams was there and I was able to talk to him. Most of my time there I spent talking to the Fields. I LOVE Cherry and Dave. They are both amazing people. Cherry and I normally have a tradition that when I come home, we go see a movie together. I didn't let her know I was coming though... so that didn't happen, but I was so glad to be able to see her and catch up. I also told Violet that I was in town, so she and Sean met up with me at Pioneer day as well to talk for a while. It was great to see them.

Went to church with my sister the next day and was able to see Holly and talk with her for a bit. It is always fun to see her and chat. She got to tell me all about her great new job! Congrats on that Holly! I was also lucky enough that I was there the weekend my brother in law's (Hixon) parents spoke in church about their mission that they just got back from. What great timing! Always good to see them. I love the Hixon family.

Most of all, I got to spend some quality time with my wonderful and beautiful sister Lori and her adorable boys. It was so nice to spend time together and play with my nephews. I love them all very much. Thanks Lori for letting me come visit you in the Wilderness and for taking care of me while I was there. Love you lots!

I'm feel so lucky that I was able to see so many friends in such a short time that I was home. The weekend was not long enough... but my time there was great. I loved every minute of it. I'm so blessed with such wonderful friends and family in my life and that I was able to grow up in such a beautiful place. What a great visit! I hope I get to go back and visit soon!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wrenn's in the Wilderness

Since I have been staying with my sister and her family this weekend in Santa Barbara, I wanted to get some new family photo's for them. I really wanted to do some on the beach, but we didn't have time and as it turns out.... it's pretty hard to get toddlers to want to do family pictures. So... this was the best I got, but I think we got some good ones.

They are such a cute family. I sure love them a lot. It has been really fun to visit for the weekend.



The Boys Together. They are such cute brothers to watch. :)

One more Family Photo...

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Tonight I went on a date. He took me out to eat. He took me to his favorite place to eat in Santa Barbara. Having growing up in Santa Barbara and he did not, it was surprising to me that I had never eaten at this place (Palace) before and he had eaten there 10 times. Because he loved it so much... I knew I would too.

Palace did not disappoint. Just walking in... you know its going to be a great experience. Now I know why there is a line to get in. While you wait in line, they have a couple of guys out playing Jazz music to get you in the New Orleans mood.

Once you are inside... not only are you still hearing the jazz music, but the decor also makes you feel like you are in New Orleans. Even in the bathroom. On Friday's they have a magician that comes that my sister said is really awesome. He does some trick that has to do with cards... which is why they are all over the ceiling.

Then of course, you have amazing food. I loved it all. I didn't take a picture of my Jambalaya and the spread of muffins that they give you, but I did remember to take a picture of the amazing dessert.

They also pass out the words to "What a Wonderful World" and they put on the song and everyone sings it as all the waiters go around to all of the tables and click glasses as they tell you thank you for coming in. Its pretty awesome. My date said he loved it there because its "Soul Food"... but after my experience there, I think that whole place is good for the soul. :o) Very fun. If you are every in Santa Barbara... I totally recommend it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Flashback Friday 22

I am staying with my sister in Santa Barbara this weekend. So since I am in family mode again... I thought I would post another old family photo. I think I am 4 or 5 in this picture.

P.S. I LOVED the ruffle dress I was wearing. I am pretty sure I wore it like every Sunday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 75

This morning, I flew out of the Provo Airport. It was so awesome. It only takes 10 minutes to drive there vs driving to Salt Lake City. Small airport. Like the Santa Barbara Airport. I am pretty sure because flights are so new going out of there that they only have one flight that leaves a day and one that comes in. It's small. Its great. Because this is all so new, right now only Frontier is flying out of Provo and only to Denver. Yes... I am going home and this takes me in the opposite direction, but here me out. Delta no longer does non-stop flights from SLC to Santa Barbara, therefore no matter what, I was going to have a layover. Flying out of Provo, as it turns out, was not only cheaper than the flights going out of SLC but it also had a shorter layover than if I would have flown to LA and waited there. So... all around it was a really good thing. Love it. Everyone on this flight was full of Provo locals that were so excited over the convenience of flying out of Provo. Everyone was pretty excited to be there. I sat next to a guy goingt o BYU that was on his way to Chicago for some sort of research for school. We had a fun talk and that flight flew by. It was going to be his first time to Chicago... so I got to share with him some of my experiences when I went to Chicago. Love that city.

Since I have a layover, I am kind of bored at the Denver Airport. Waiting at my terminal I have seen two other flights go before people are even showing up for my flight. Thank goodness that Denver has free Wi-Fi. Since I have nothing but time to spare... why not write my confessions post, so here I am.

So something I forgot to write about in my confessions last week was that I got a text on Sunday night from my friend Danny. I got to know him because he was one of the guys that went tutoring with me every week. Danny is a funny guy. Seriously. I feel like everything that comes out of that guys mouth is funny. So I get a text from him inviting me to a movie marathon night. I asked him what they would be watching and he told me "We will be celebrating one of the finest actors of our time" I asked who that was and he said Nicholas Cage. I laughed and then asked him what movies we would be watching then. He responded "The Wicker Man" Bangkok Dangerous" & "Season of the Witch". Thinking that Danny might be slightly serious (hard to tell with text messaging) I text back and say that I had never heard of any of those movies. He replied "Nobody has, they are sure to be terrible". I then laughed and said I would be there. I didn't get to watch all 3, but I caught most of Bangkok Dangerous and all of Wicker Man and they were indeed terrible. He dies in all of them too. ha ha. We got a good laugh while watching these movies. What an entertaining night.

So I love living next to the park, but it really has it's set backs. MOSQUITO'S!!! At the cobbler party... I seriously was attacked. Like... eaten alive. If you look at my legs and feet, it looks like I have the chicken pox or some sort of other weird disease. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

So in Relief Society on Sunday, I was sitting next to my good friend Jessica... who was very tired. She happened to fall asleep towards the end of the lesson and sorted herself awake. It was pretty loud. She then covered her head and leaned down hiding on my shoulder. Tina and I were holding in the laughter so much that we were both crying. It was so funny. A lot of people heard... but thankfully not the teacher. :o)

So as you all know, I have been going to the gym everyday with my co-worker Lauren on our lunch break at work. I am one that does not sweat a lot, however, I turn very pink/red in the face. I am not sure why... but when my face is this color, everyone feels the need to comment on it. Nothing new... I have been getting these comments since grade school. I thought people would grow out of asking, thinking it was self explanatory... but apparently not. My co-worker Alex also goes to the gym almost everyday. He started calling me "Pink Face" or "Pinky". Cute right? Not really. One time he told me... it was okay that I got pink in the face because he just sweats a lot. So when he calls me Pinky, I call him "Sir Sweats A Lot". I have to fight back right? Anyway... last Friday he pings me at work and says "Pinky, What time are you and Lauren going to the gym today? -Sir Sweats A Lot" I don't know why.... but it really made me laugh. He is a funny guy. I enjoy working with him.

At the Hoe Down, Allyson and I met this guy in our stake that drives around a Limo. Its a 91. Just cause. He has a sweet sound system in there and has it set up so you can watch movies. He let us sit in there and we listened to some music. I thought it was so funny. Interesting choice for a car to drive around Provo. Speaking of Limo's... there was this huge Limo parked by my mailbox all weekend. I don't know who it belonged to, probably a friend of our crazy neighbor's since they had a Fiesta party that lasted all weekend. All I know is that the Limo was huge and it had a super crappy spray paint job. Just Sayin.