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


Monday, March 31, 2014

Holi - Festival of Colors Take 8!

It's that time of year again. A time that I love. The time when Winter comes to a close and we welcome SPRING! It's lighter longer. It's getting warmer. The earth becomes alive again... and... the Festival of Colors happens!

I know... I blog about it every year. There is nothing new about it I can tell you. I will say that I have been trying to do new things every year. Last year, I made a video of it for the first time. Well... this year I didn't even go in. What? That's right, I wanted to attend this year as a photographer on the outside taking pictures. Still getting to go to the festival and celebrate and be part of the fun without getting all messy this time (even though I have loved that in the past). I just wanted to try something different this year.

I almost didn't go, but I convinced my friend Ellis to go with me as a photographer and thankfully he agreed. This is all the color we got on us this year.... just because people can't resist someone who is all clean. I didn't mind getting a little on me. I think I would have felt like I wasn't there if we didn't at least have a little color.

However, not as fun as getting in there and all colored up. Here are my Holi faces from the past 7 years.

Ellis and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of the event. That is one of the reasons I asked Ellis to go with me. I knew he would appreciate wanting to go as a photographer and not only be okay with that, but really enjoy it. The event is so popular now, that they went from throwing the colors once in the afternoon on Saturday, then twice on Saturday and Sunday, then to every two hours on Saturday and Sunday and now every hour on both days. Thankfully I know the drill and know what to expect and how long it is going to take to get there and how to avoid some of the traffic. Ellis and I avoided most traffic and got an awesome parking spot and got there JUST in time for the throwing but decided to stick around for the next hour and take pictures of people and the next throwing. Ellis got some cool shots. These were my favorites of his.

And then some of my favorites. I also made a GIF of the throwing. Cause I'm cool like that.

Happy Holi everyone! Until next year...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Irelyn turns 2!

Irelyn turned 2 yesterday. Crazy. Where has the time gone. She sure is a cutie. We had a little family party for her tonight. We ate chocolate pie since that is her favorite. She opened a few presents and blew out a couple of candles.... actually she didn't want to and made her mom do it. It was all cute.

I have to say, I have always loved my family. I have always had a good time with them. What I didn't expect in my younger years is how much fun it would be to add kids to the mix. Sure it makes gatherings more loud and there is sometimes fighting and crying, but there is also a lot of laughter and and playing and it is amazing how much joy kids can bring. Just holding my baby nephew tonight and having him smile and laugh so much while I was holding him just made me happy. how could it not? I smile as I watch all the kids. Especially when they do thoughtful things. Reanne and Sierra and the queens of doing thoughtful things for others. Knowing it was Irelyn's birthday and that we were going to have a family party, they got to work cutting paper and making decorations for the party and drew her pictures.

They brought down the chalk board and made a happy birthday sign for her.

They also decorated a birthday chair and crown (a tradition that they started and I LOVE) It's the cutest.  They sure know how to make people feel special. :) I love them all so much. I love everyone in my family so much. So thankful for all of them.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Last week, someone in my family (I think it was my sister) asked what a hashtag was. It is such a normal part of teenage and young adult social media... that I forgot that some people don't know what it is. I can't even think of when it started. Probably when Twitter started. Or when I found out about it. At first I thought it was funny and I tried to just make up funny hashtag phrases. I still use them, but more to categorize my pictures. Anyway... it is just a part of social media now... some people even put hashtags in their conversations (to be funny)... so just deal with it. ha ha

"hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash symbol ("#"). It is a form of metadata tag. Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as TwitterFacebookGoogle+ or Instagram may be tagged by putting "#" before them,[1] either as they appear in a sentence, (e.g., "New artists announced for #WahaBeat ")[2]or appended to it.
Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms."

I love this video about Hashtags. Let's be honest, I just love Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake together. They do funny things. Including this. I know most people have seen it, but to me it doesn't get old.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday 161

Today I am flashing back to 2004, when I was in Massage Therapy school. I have already done this, why am I doing it now? Well.... I just found out on facebook that VaLayne died. I was shocked. Especially since I just found out and it happened 3 years ago. I haven't talking to JaLayn about it (her daughter) so I don't know what happened, but I do know she was too young.

My time with VaLayne was short, just going through Tech school together, but in that short time, she became my mom away from home when I moved away from home for the first time and didn't have any family near by. I could talk to her about anything. She was so fun and kind and just one of us young girls. She had a love for learning, a love for the gospel and a love for her family... and everyone she knew. I truly loved that woman and am so thankful that I got to know her and spend time with her and that I was able to have her be a part of my life, even for a short while. I can only imagine how much her family misses her. So thankful for the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation.

What an amazing woman. Thank you VaLayne for your example, for your loving and kind spirit and for your gift to make everyone around you smile and feel loved. You are loved. You are missed.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 214

I am trying to remember what even happened this last week... must not have been that exciting. Let's see...

Since I already blogged about my girls night on Friday, let's start off with Saturday shall we? I didn't do a whole lot. I drove up to Salt Lake for getting my eyelash extensions filled and to do our trade... except this time she had me give her mom the massage instead of her. Isn't that nice? Besides that I did my Saturday chore thing... which is water my plants and take care of my fish, do laundry and clean the kitchen... all that exciting stuff. I did another water change in my fish tank. I checked the water again... it feels like a science experiment to me. I told my cousin Dave that I failed as a reefer. Although my fish aren't dead, so I guess I haven't failed quite yet. I mostly just go off of the anemone's. I feel like they are very mad at me and maybe one is suicidal. TBD.

Saturday Allison and I also both went to a tanning bed for the first time. I have always been super against Tanning beds. I talked to a lot of people about them that go and somehow I was convinced to try it. I only paid for a month and then I'm quitting. I got this bright idea that I will go tanning and work up a base tan so that I don't get super burnt at the first summer activity. My skin is so fare, so sensitive. My first tanning session felt very weird... like I was just being laying in a casket zapped with cancer. I only went for 5 minutes in fear that I would get burned which defeats the whole purpose of why I was going. I didn't burn. The people that work there suggested going every other day until you form your base tan (color that you want) and then go once a week to keep it up. I followed the suggestion and went back on Monday. Since I didn't burn after 5 minutes, they suggested going up 2 minutes. So I went in for 7 minutes. Being less freaked out about it, I enjoyed it a little more the second time. However, I got a little pink... everywhere my body has NEVER seen the sun before in my life. Which... is a lot since I have always worn one piece bathing suits. It wasn't a bad burn, just a tad bit itchy. So I went back on Wednesday. I told them that I had slightly burned but not bad and they told me to go down a minute, so I went for 6 minutes. Since I was already burned, I formed another burn on top of a burn (again... my legs, arms and face were all fine, it was my tummy and butt and such that got the burn). This time I felt it right away and I was SUPER uncomfortable and SUPER itchy ALL day. YIKES!! Such a bad idea. I should have waited I guess. Well you live and you learn. I was itching all night last night and just piling on aloe and lotion. Today was a little bit better... but I'm still itchy and burned. Hopefully I don't peel bad. I will probably wait until next week before I give it another go. For sure when my month is up, I'm not doing this again. Maybe my body is just not meant to tan. At least I tried once. Hopefully I have SOME good results by the end of April. We shall see.

Allison and I were hanging out after tanning on Saturday and my neighbor Jed came over. We were all just hanging out chatting and then somehow it got brought up that Allison and I had not seen Silence of the Lambs and it was just put on Netflix. After midnight Jed convinces us to watch Silence of the Lambs. FREAKED OUT! Anthony Hopkins plays a really good creeper! I for sure had to watch someone else before I went to bed so I could actually sleep. I was up REALLY late. Thanks Jed!

I slowed down on reading, so I'm still working on "A Single Voice". However, I finished "Wilfred" on Netflix. It was just ok. I know John really loved it, and I can see why he liked it, because he is all into philosophy and the deeper meaning of stuff... I get that aspect of it and can appreciate that, but there were too many other things that I didn't care for. It was a little weird. I am not in the middle of watching "The Killing" which was on the long list of shows to watch given to me from one of the top managers at Novell. I don't know how we got talking about shows, but she came to my office one day and wrote out this long list of shows I just had to watch. Some of them I already had, most I had not. Sadly a lot of them are not on Netflix either which is my main source of TV watching. Anyway... The Killing was one of them and I am in the second season and I am loving it. It is intense. All about trying to solve this murder case. So interesting with all the plot twists... you think it is one person and then you learn it's not them so on and so forth. I dig it.

Hung out with the family as I usually do on Sunday. I always enjoy it. It was cute to watch Sierra and Irelyn play together. They were having fun with these masks. So cute I had to take a picture.

Pilates this week was awesome. Why? Well, it was beautiful outside and there were only a couple of us that showed up in class, so I suggested we take class outside. So we did. I was in heaven. Best of both worlds. Getting a work out while also enjoying and soaking in the sunshine. I hope we do it again. The only thing about it that was kind of annoying was that we were out in the middle of the grass for everyone to see. I didn't really care too much about that until I heard the guys working on the roof "Oh hey guys, they are done..." they had all been watching us do pilates from the roof. Great....

Tuesday I went bathing suit shopping with Mckenzie. All my bathing suits are too big since I lost weight. I had been looking online for a cute bathing suit. You know... that is a harder task than it should be. There are not a lot of cute one pieces or tankini's. There are a TON of cute bikini's. Not helpful. Even if I wanted to wear one, it wouldn't look good on me. So Mckenzie and I were searching online. We found a couple of promising ones online and decided to go try them on in the stores on Tuesday. First up was Macy's. Turns out they didn't have the suit in the store, online online. FAIL! I may just have to order it online... but then you run the risk of it not looking good on you or not fitting. Well... I might just have to take that chance since it is so hard to find a cute swim suit. The second stop was JC Penny. That suit was actually there and I liked it and bought it and it was cheap! Success! Too bad trying on swim suits is so depressing... even after losing weight. They are just so.... revealing. Maybe I should just put one on first thing everyday to motivate me to be strict on my diet every day. :)

Tuesday night I also got to skype with John. That was fun. Not that I love skype or Facetime... I actually don't. I feel like it is super awkward. I hate seeing myself in the little box. However, it was great to see and talk to him. Technology is great.

This week at work my boss bought us Cafe Rio and we watched our favorite video clips... just for fun. It is nice that they try and do stuff like that for us to help make work more fun... It really makes a difference. Next we are having a fancy cheese tasting party.

I don't know why, but this week I have felt so irritated and frustrated and lonely. No, it's not that time of the month... and even when it is I don't get like that. I don't know why I have been feeling like that. Feeling slightly left out... like I don't have my person I can do things with. Partially work... it's quarter end time. Partially because of my sunburn? I have been getting a lot of sleep lately. I have been going to bed kind of early in fact and the other night I got 96% on my sleep cycle app... so it's not that. I can't really quite put my finger on it, but I have felt this way all week and haven't really wanted to do much or see many people. I have just been hibernating in my basement. It's not healthy. Hopefully I snap out of it soon. I don't like being this way. I want to be my happy and fun normal self.

I am still up on my Spanish lessons... it's slowly coming back to me. I hope this app doesn't run out of lessons and just keeps helping me progress because I am loving duolingo.

Last night I went to the piano bar (Keys on Main) in SLC for the second time to see my neighbor Jed at work. What a fun job. He is so good and so fun. He even convinced me to get up and sing Total Eclipse of the Heart. It wasn't my best performance, but I have to say it is totally different to perform with live music than karaoke. It is also really hard for me to choose a song. So Jed chose for me. I told him next time we have to do a classic duet together... especially since we can practice at home. He agreed. Either way, the piano bar is a good time. I will go again for sure.

My friend Ty that I sang Endless Love with and sang in church with, I found out he might move in next door with Jed. That would be a lot of awesomeness and musical talent in one house. I hope he does. That would be so fun.

The running shoes that I designed on the Nike website that I paid for with my 5 year work bonus finally came. I love them. I went for a run in them... not only are they cute but they are SO comfortable. I wish I would have had these when I ran my half marathon. Man... shoes make all the difference. They have great support, nice cushion AND they are so light weight! I'm excited for these shoes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photo of the Week 212

It's not my best picture.... probably because I took it in a moving car, but I do love sunset's. Can't get enough of them. I love that each one is so different but still so beautiful. I'm loving the beautiful weather and that I can FEEL summer getting closer. So... here is the sunset from this last week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mr Emotional Basket Case

I met Mr Emotional Basket Case in June of last year. He visited my ward because he had heard it was a great ward and was wanting to meet new people. Well... there was only one seat left in Sunday school... so I ended up sitting next to him in which he stared at me throughout class pretending like he knew me and making conversation and left at the end of class with my name and phone number and added me on facebook that night and began texting me over the next few months.  I thought he was a little awkward, but I also thought he was cute and sweet.

I'm a little ashamed that I liked this guy so much in the beginning. Shortly after I went out with Mr. Emotional Basket Case I met and started dating John and was reminded of what a normal relationship is and what normal guys are supposed to act like and changed my way of thinking towards Mr. Emotional Basket Case. Thanks John.

Back to Mr. Emotional Basket Case. Like I said, we text back and forth for a couple of months... he never really asked me on a date, so I gave up on him. Figured he wasn't that interested. Then all of the sudden he comes over one Saturday and we had a super long date... spent all day and night together. Had a great time. Went to dinner and then watched the Salem fireworks while holding hands and it was magical. I really liked this guy. He took me home and gave me a really good kiss at the end of the night. I didn't think it was a big deal. We were both feeling it. Just because someone kisses me, doesn't mean I think we all of the sudden can't date anyone else now. Next day he freaked out. Told me he wasn't ready for a relationship (which I wasn't asking for). All I wanted was to spend more time with him and get to know him better. Did it really need to be this complicated? I was kind of sad that things hadn't quite worked out the way I wanted, but he still showed signs of interest texting and calling and wanting to go feed the ducks together, I held on to hope that maybe there was potential for us to date. He was a good guy, he was cute and sweet and I liked that.

The more I got to know him the more I thought there was something just a little off about him, but maybe it was just a small town boy thing. I don't know... I kept wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then he stopped wanting to see me, but would just call me and check up on me and see how I was doing. Then I stopped hearing from him all together, which worked out because I was dating John at that point anyway. I no longer cared.

Just when I thought Mr. Emotional Basket Case was over and done with and part of the past, I get a phone call from him one Sunday morning. I was still in bed so I didn't answer. He left a message saying how nervous he was to call me. I don't know why... because it had been so long? Because he had been such a moron? I ended up texting him later asking him what he wanted. He wanted to talk with me, he asked if he could come to church with me sometime. I said sure. Why not? He ended up showing up at my house later that night, telling me how depressed he had been and asking my advice on how to be happy. I felt kind of sorry for him. I tried to help, give friendly advice, but I also felt like I was talking to a child.

After that.... I started hearing from him more. He started showing up at my ward and going to church with me. I wouldn't have cared so much it it weren't so awkward. He would snuggle up to me at church. I would see out of the corner of my eye that he would just be staring at me. Sometimes I would try to ignore him (which was really hard) other time I would look back at him and he would look away. Sometimes I would look back and him and ask What? And he was smile and say something like.... "Oh nothing, I'm just a goober". Me "Umm, why are you a goober?". Mr. Emotional Basket Case "Oh you know, Spring is coming up... and you know what that means.. ha ha" Me "Nope, I don't know what you are talking about". Weird stuff like that. Along with smelling my hair and telling me how beautiful I look or how nice I sing or other flattering comments that normally would be really nice if it were not with all the staring and done in a slightly creepy way. Then he would turn to me in the middle of church and ask me how I don't worry... because he worries too much. Again... feeling like I'm talking to a child would try and give him advice.

A week or so would go by and I would forget about him because I wouldn't hear from him. Then I would get a text from him.
Mr. Emotional Basket Case - Hey, are you around tonight?
Me - Yep, I'm just chillin at home.
Mr. Emotional Basket Case - Oh I see. I'm just at Institute.
Me - Cool.

What the!? Why are you even asking if you don't want to hang out with me? Waiting for me to invite you? Not going to happen. Drives me crazy.

He makes normal situations awkward. It's a talent he has. You almost start to treat him like a sweet innocent child that doesn't know any better so that you don't go crazy with why he doesn't act like a normal adult. Here is the part where I couldn't take anymore....

One day he text me. Here is how the conversation went.

Mr. Emotional Basket Case - Hey, I think I really like ___ . Do you have any suggestions of how to get to know her better?

Me - Date her.


Me - Why are you asking me? Sometimes I feel like you act interested in me, but then you never do anything about it so I'm wondering what you agenda is.

Mr. Emotional Basket Case - I'm sorry. I'm just looking for friendship and you are a great friend. But don't you think it is so cool how me and ___ met? lol

Me - If you are just looking for friendship, then I guess you don't need to worry about ___. And no, I don't think it is cool how you guys met. I think it is totally normal. People get invited to things and meet people through other people. Totally normal way to meet people. Happens all the time. I think you like the way she threw herself at you and made you feel needed

*Mr. Emotional Basket Case LOVES to feel needed and feel like a hero. He is constantly asking me what he can do for me. Which is nice... but weird when it is out of the blue*

Mr. Emotional Basket Case - You have a good point and some good advice. I'm thinking of becoming more than friends with her though.

Me - Ok, you are an adult and can make your own decisions. Date her! Most NORMAL people, when they want to get to know someone better, they take them on dates to see if they want to pursue a relationship with them. Most NORMAL people also don't talk to people that they are or used to be interested in and make out with about people they are currently interested in.

Mr. Emotional Basket Case - I'm so sorry. You are totally right, I shouldn't have talked to you about this. Will you ever forgive me?

I didn't respond. He just doesn't get it. He has no clue. I hope they date. Maybe she can teach him a thing or two about how dating works.... he obviously hasn't figured it out at 29 years old. Sad. I'm hoping that by my lack of response that I won't hear from him anymore and he won't show up in my ward anymore. We shall see... but so far so good. I just don't need emotionally unstable people in my life. Not at my age.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nutty Bracelet

When John left, my friend Lexi text me and told me she would put together a girls night to help distract me of John's absence. She is the sweetest. So she got the girls together on Friday night. Some are the same from our girls sleep over from January. Other girls I didn't know. Most of the girls I didn't know actually... but I love making new friends, and I made new friends on the last girls night too. I love it. I can never have too many new friends.

We went out to dinner and then some met back up at Ann's house for some crafting. We love to craft. Sarah is like the queen of crafts. She saw this bracelet on Pinterest and decided that would be our craft. I don't usually wear bracelet's but I really like this one and think I will wear it. In fact I wore it on Sunday. Such a simple craft too. 

Supplies you need... 

String/leather/rope (whatever you want the look to be)

Yep... that's it! 

All you do it tie the string or in my case leather into a knot. Then you braid the 3 pieces. Then you add a nut, braid, add a nut, braid, add a nut and braid until you use all of your nuts (we each used two packets) then you braid and tie off. Then you can just tie it around your wrist. 

Easy Peasy craft. Plus the bracelet's are way cute. Who would have thought!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Homemade Twix

My favorite candy bar is Twix, hands down. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest to make my own Twix... well, I HAD to try that. 

Before you get disappointed in me for being terrible and not sticking to my diet.... Most of what was made was given away. Allison and I made it together and we were feeling charitable... trust me, we had some and it was HARD to give it away. Pretty sure I could have eaten the entire pan. 

Here's the recipe I got from Pinterest ( I heart Pinterest)

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)


For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9x13 in pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour - at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly.
  5. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. (Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.)
  6. Prick the crust all over with a fork - this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges - about 30-35 minuts.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer:
  1. Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
For the chocolate layer:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using ten second increments - stirring every time.
  2. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. (Just know that this will leave your end-resulting chocolate a little softer than normal. I don't use it for this very reason. )
  3. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
  4. Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set.
  5. Cut and serve.

Your'e Welcome

Saturday, March 22, 2014

6th Year Blogiversary

Thursday was my 6th year Blogiversary. What? I have been blogging for a long time. Can't believe it has been another year. Where has time gone? I do so much every year... but at the same time feel like I haven't really progressed either.

Well, as is tradition... here is a recap on my past blog year.

1- Went to the Festival of Colors for the 7th year in a row
2- Hiked in Zion's for the 1st time with a bunch of friends in my ward
3- Went to Bryce Canyon for the first time
4- Went to the Shania Twain concert in Vegas with Lolly, Alethea & Ivette
5- Went on a cruise to the Western Caribbean with Steph (Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras & Canyon Islands)
6- Swam with Dolphins (Bucket List Item)
7 - Played with Sting Ray's
8- Made lots of crafts with different friends
9- Said goodbye to my roommates I loved and got new roommates. In fact I have had 7 roommates in the past year
10- Saw Joshua Radin in concert twice
11- Sang withe the Ben Bailey and the BB Bandits Band at the Velour
12- Planted another Garden
13- Visited my sister Jamie in Arizona
14- Hung out with Ashley while I was there and went to the Lake and a Ghost Town
15- Started the program Take Shape for Life and lost 50... and still loosing
16 - Went Four Wheeling at Cascade Springs for work
17- Ran my first half marathon (without training)
18- Rode the Front Runner for the first time
19- Went to the Strawberry days Rodeo
20- Held my 4th summer annual fort week
21- Was in a commercial for work
22- Went to the Scottish Festival
23- One of my best friend's Steve got married and I attended the ceiling in the St George temple with my other besties Brad and Nate
24- We to Dinkey Creek with some of my family for the first time in 8 years
25- Sang a duet in church with my friend Ty
26- Hit a deer for the first time
27- Went to the Salmon Supper for the second time
28- Had a Patio dinner party with some friends
29- Visiting with my sweet cousin Andrea for the first time in MANY years
30- Was an extra in a movie with my friend Daniel
31- Went to Indiana and Michigan for the first time to visit my cousin Travis
32- Rode in dune buggies at Lake Michigan
33- Went fishing, made it into the Bass Slayers Club
34- Went camping
35- Went to the Rooftop Concert for the first time
36- Met John and we dated for 6 months
37- Made another trip to Vegas to visit my BFF Lolly
38- Saw Michael Jackson ONE show in Vegas
39- Went on the full moon ski lift ride for the second time with John. (A romantic date)
40- Went to the Spanish Fork Hot Springs
41- Played Frisbee Golf for work
42- Went to the Imagine Dragon's Concert with my roommate for free
43- Met BFF Nate's new baby Oliver
44- Went to the Matt Nathanson concert
45- Went to the Josh Groban concert for the second time, this time with my mom and sister
46- Went to the pumpkin patch for the first time in YEARS
47- Went to the corn maze again
48- Dressed up and went to a Halloween party with John
49- FINALLY got to go to Havasupai. It was Amazing
50- Put on another Halloween dinner for the kids
51- Went to Key's on Main (dueling piano bar) where my neighbor plays  for the first time
52- Hosted my first couch surfer
53- My nephew Calvin was born (and I took his newborn pictures)
54- Went to Southeast Asia with a few friends (Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand)
55- Saw Angkor Wat
56- Rode an elephant bareback
57- Snuggled with a Tiger
58- Went to the floating lantern festival in Northern Thailand
59- Went Scuba diving in Thailand
60- Rode in a tuk tuk
61- Took a river boat in Vietnam while wearing pointy Vietnamese hats
62- Went to a free Leanne Rimes concert with some friends
63- My sweet niece Sierra got baptized
64- My cute nephew Ezra was born
65- Spent the Holiday's with John and did festive things like make Gingerbread houses and visited Temple Square to see the Christmas lights
66- Went shooting with John a couple of times. Shot my first moving clay pigeons
67- Had a girls sleep over complete with dinner, mocktails, crafts and a breakfast tea party
68- Saw the Ice Castles for the first time with John
69- My good friend and old roommate Meg got married
70- Had my second bi-annual Winter Fort Week
71- Became a Reefer (bought a 29 gallon salt water tank)
72- Went snow tubing with John and other friends from the ward
73- Hiked to Donut Falls
74- Visited Arizona with my ENTIRE family for Ezra's baby blessing
75- Went to the Gilbert Temple open house
76- Went Ice fishing for the first time with work and then a second time with friends (same week)
77- Went snow shoeing for the first time
78- Snow shoe trip to sleep in a yurt in Northern Utah with a group of friends
79- Went to a BYU basket ball game with my BFF neighbor
80- Celebrated 5 years at Novell and got a $200 bonus
81- Went to Zion's for the second time and hiked Angles Landing!
82- Blog has 74 followers and has been viewed 156,932 times

Thank you blog for helping me express myself and helping me to love and document and appreciate my life and share it with others. It's been a good year. Here's to another good year. Happy Birthday Blog!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Flashback Friday 160

I don't remember how old I was here. Grade school...  5th or 6th grade.... I was invited to be a part of a Murder Mystery Party. It was an all girl party and there were make roles to fill. Therefore I was asked to play Malcom. I have always loved to dress up, even if I have to dress up as a man I guess. I borrowed a VERY old suit of my dad's that he didn't fit into and wore a mat and drew on a mustache and... well... I became Mal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confessions of a Brunette on the Internet 213

Although I don't love moving the time forward because you lose an hour of sleep, I do LOVE that it is lighter later. Getting closer to summer. Oh! Happy first day of Spring! It is also my blogaverary! However, that will be a separate post.

One day it was SUPER windy. So windy that it blew our fence over... well part of it. MacKenzie and I handled it though, don't worry. We put our fence back together. Who needs guys! Ha ha... actually, I think it would have been easier to put back together if we would have had guys, but we handled it.

Saturday I spent with John and a bunch of his friends that I didn't know. We went hot tubing with a full moon and then we went to get sushi. Oh how I love sushi. John and I shared. It was a little awkward for me at times because I didn't know anyone except John and kind of knew a couple of his soccer guy friends... but they ALL knew each other. Oh well. It was worth spending the time with John before he left.

Friday was Pi day. You know... 3.14. When I went to work I went into my boss's office and said "Hey, you know it's pi day?" He said "Where at?" I said.. "Nooo... it's PI day" and he was like Ohhhhh.... That is all I needed to say. After lunch break he came back with an apple Pi and ice cream. Yep!

Speaking of food, I bought this cute food tray to put my tea set on in my travel living room in the basement. Now that I actually use that room more and watch Netflix down there, sometimes I make my dinner and put it on the tray and take it down there. I kind of love it. I don't know why... but I do.

I finished "Warehouse 13". Did that show get cancelled? It seemed to not have closure. Anyway, it was cute but I still think the script writing was bad. Either that or the acting was bad. After that I started watching "My Strange Addiction". OH. MY. GOODNESS. Seriously I think this show is going to give me nightmares. Half of the time, I can't watch them eat whatever weird addiction they have (couch cushions, cleaner, nail polish, rocks, dirt, drywall, soap, cat food, plastic, glass, bullets). I'm also super grossed out that adults are obsessed with being babies and wearing diapers, being in serious and intimate relationships with cars and dolls, drinking and bathing in their urine, and all sorts of other bizarre stuff. I only have a few episodes left though. Then I am watching "Wilfred" in honor of John. He wanted me to watch that show because he liked it but I never did. Now I will.

Speaking of John, I have heard from him every day since he has been gone. I get jealous every time he posts pictures on facebook. Columbia looks beautiful. It is fun to hear from him and see what he is up to. Gives us a lot more to talk about, that's for sure. Reminds me when I was in Southeast Asia and we would chat. Now we have flipped. He is having the exciting adventures while I go to work everyday. It's ok... I will have some adventures coming up to. Not as exciting as his, but I will be having my fun.

I think I have been doing better with my fish tank now that I have done a couple of water changes. Hopefully I can try shrimp again and get rid of the aiptasia so that I can get some coral. That is the good stuff. That is what I want. I will get there. Just need to be patient. That is hard for me.

I have been having Spanish lessons! How? An App on my phone that I found called Duolingo. It's better than Mind Snacks because it isn't just learning words, it is learning phrases, it is writing and speaking them as well. It also switches it up so you have to translate phrases into English and then it will have something in English that you have to write in Spanish. Best way to learn I think. It has different lessons and you have to pass each lesson in order to move on to the next lesson. I have been doing pretty well. I'm sometimes impressed with how many words I remember from forever ago when I learned before. My phone even reminds me to practice everyday. It has me set goals and shows me where I'm at on a chart. I love that there are free apps for all of this stuff. So cool. Hopefully soon I will get to a point where I can listen to movies or whatever in Spanish and be able to understand the basics again. Enough that I would be able to get by if I need to.

We had another session of book binding tonight. Man... it takes a long time. Good thing I am making two at the same time because otherwise I don't know if I would want to make another one. We shall see. They are time consuming for sure. It is slowly turning into a book though. I can't wait for the finished product. It is always fun for me to learn something new. Hopefully I love my books when they are done. They will have a lot of character... that's for sure. I like the paper I chose. I just want them to be done.

On Monday I got my first waxing done. I know... some people might think that is crazy because I feel like most people have done it before. I have never really cared to because I honestly don't grow that much hair and the hair that I do grow is pretty thin and light. However, a couple things convinced me to go ahead and give it a try. One, because I get massages every month, I have a membership to this place which would give me a discount. The other thing is they told me the more I wax the less the hair grows back... especially with the rate my hair grows already. SO... I figured I would give it a try. I decided to start with just my armpits. It was really hard for me not to shave... hair just grosses me out, I don't know why. Anyway, I grew them out for over a week and they still were not that long. They were long enough to do the wax though, so she did it... and it wasn't bad. I didn't feel like it hurt that much. While she was at it, she did my eyebrows and didn't charge me just to see if I liked it. I do! Anyway... I think this is the way to go before going on a trip so that you don't have to worry about shaving. Such a good idea. I really hope my hair doesn't grow back as much either. If that is the case, it was worth it for that a lone. I will be going back. I will try my legs next.

I have been trying PM Yoga before I go to bed sometimes... like RIGHT before I get into bed. You know what? I sleep so good after. For example, I did it last night and then went to bed right after and it was even early (for me) 11:30. I slept SO good. I didn't wake up once. Just knocked out. Feels great. I used my sleep cycle app last night too and I got 95% on my sleep! YES! That is success right there. I'm going to try and make it a habit. Along with doing core workouts at home. I did okay with that this week, but hopefully next week is better.

Speaking of Yoga... Allison got me to try something new tonight. She signed up me, Quinette and another one of her friends for Aerial Yoga. If you are anything like me, you have no idea what that is. I didn't... then she showed me a picture and I said What the.... I think I might fall on my head! Well... we went tonight. It was out of my comfort zone for sure, I had to learn to trust in the hammock. That being said, it felt good on my back and it was kind of cool. I never got light headed which was good. I was just nervous every time we were supposed to go upside down. I would say out loud WHAT? ha ha. I have to admit it was pretty cool though. I didn't fall on my head, so I think we will go back again. Here we are.... doing Aerial Yoga.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Photo of the Week 211

Another picture from on top of Angles Landing in Zion's National Park. I just had to post another one.... I'm not over it yet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dear John

*This post is really for me to process my feelings. Skip this post unless you want to hear about a sappy complicated relationship ha ha*

Remember when John and I broke up? Well... that break up lasted about 2 weeks. I mean... we are still broken up. I started dating other people, however, after a couple weeks we were back together. We missed each other. We basically were spending as much time together before he leaves.

Since I first met John over 6 months ago, I knew he was going to leave to backpack South America. I not only thought it was great and totally supported him in that, but I was a little jealous. Once we started dating more seriously, I still wanted him to go... but I was not as excited because I was becoming attached. We both did not see this coming. I dreaded the thought of him leaving for 6 months. I knew what I signed up for and accepted the way things were. Then we broke up. I figured that would make things easier with him leaving. We wouldn't be spending as much time together so it would be easier to see him go. Didn't seem to work out that way.

A couple weeks before he left were romantic and exciting. He was leaving and so our relationship was different, it wasn't just routine like it was before, it became more loving and caring. That didn't change anything though, he was still leaving and I was going to be okay with it because that is what I accepted from the beginning. I went to all of his soccer games, I spent a lot of time with him and his family.

Then the night I had been dreading came, last night. He asked me to take him to the airport. The week previous to his departure had been a mix of emotions so when I showed up to take him I didn't know what to expect. He asked me if I was upset that he was leaving. Of course I'm not. I'm excited for him. Am I going to miss him? Am I sad? Yes, very much so. We didn't talk much. We both didn't really know what to say to each other. We just kept hugging and saying goodbye's suck. I tried to small talk and trying not to cry, but tears kept creeping down my face. I tried not to let him see because he already had enough emotions going on. Then it was time for us to leave and I had to watch him say goodbye to his family. I cried as I watched all of them cry. It was very sweet. I felt a little selfish that I was taking him away and that I would be the last one to be with him and the last one to say goodbye.

As I took him to the airport I watched him wipe tears from his face. I have never seen John cry before. It was very sweet... and sad. He asked me how I was feeling again. I told him again that I was sad and would miss him, but that I didn't worry about him and knew he would be okay because he is smart and can take care of himself. I asked him if he wanted to talk. He didn't want to talk... just hold my hand. So we held hands while I drove to the airport..... which seemed like a VERY short drive. When we got to the airport, I got out of the car to give him his final hug goodbye. He started to cry more which made me cry more. As I wiped his tears away I told him that once he got there he would have a great time and that I will be thinking about him a lot and will miss him. We just hugged and kissed goodbye while crying. In a shaky voice he told me that he would be seeing me soon and that he would write me when he could. Then he was off....

This ended up being a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting this. I cried a lot of the way home. I was excited for him and I worried about him. I felt like it was a sappy scene from a romance movie that later would have some happy ending. I know that 6 months isn't THAT long... but I guess the difference between us and other people that say goodbye to their spouse for a long time is that I have no idea what happens to us. Is this our time apart so that we both move on from each other? I of course am going to date other people even though my heart is still with him. Truth is, I don't know what our ending will be. Regardless, goodbyes are not fun. I got a text from him at 5:30 when he was leaving JFK. I got another text from him tonight saying he had a great first day in Columbia and he would write me more later. It hasn't really sunk in yet that he is gone, that I don't have the option of hanging out with him anymore. It will take some getting used to. It was all very bitter sweet.

Dear John,

Of course I'm sad to see you go and I will miss you, but I'm excited for you. You are going to have so many more great adventures to add to your life story. I'm excited for all the new friends you are going to make. I'm going to be jealous every time you update your South America album on facebook. I hope you get what you are looking for out of this trip. Be smart (as you told me before I left for Southeast Asia) and be safe. I will see you soon.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patty's Day. This is a holiday that I have never really gotten excited about or super into. However, I still enjoy attending parties and wearing green.

Today I haven't really done much to celebrate. I celebrated more on Friday with the Relief Society. We had a green dinner. So we will just say I celebrated early.

It was kind of a weird and emotional day for me... however I did wear green. In fact, I'm good at that. I love wearing green, so I have been sporting green all week (last two Sunday's and during the work week). I also am wearing mint green nail polish which John told me was a weird color and reminded him of a frog. I happen to love itNow that I think of it... it would be fun to see how many outfits I could put together with all of the different green that I have in all different shades. Like these ones I have been wearing this week... (I LOVE my olive green pants that I bought in September... thank you girls at Bohme for convincing me to buy them... in fact that entire outfit is from that store)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Take Shape for Life

This isn't going to be an easy post for me to write and to post pictures of, but I feel like it is time and I need to tell my story. Hopefully people appreciate my honesty and better yet, I hope that this post helps someone, even if it helps one person... it was worth it. I was going to wait until I was done (aka reached my goal weight), but I suppose you are never "done". Weight loss and health is something you are always working on... so here's my story, a work in progress.

For as long as I can remember, I have been the chubby one. I don't feel like I ate too differently than any of my other siblings, but I put on the weight and they didn't. I didn't really think or care about it too much until I was probably in Jr High and High School. Then... obviously your appearance matters more. I always stayed pretty active and don't ever remember eating really unhealthy (more than usual anyway) but weight just stayed on me and I didn't really know what to do about it.

In my adult years I started to experiment with different weight loss techniques. Here and there I would lose 20 or 30 pounds, but I would always gain it back eventually. Back in 2009 I did the HCG diet and lost a lot of weight. I kept it off for almost a year, partially because I was getting married so I was motivated and secondly because I was cheated on and we broke off the engagement so I was sad and depressed and wasn't eating much. Once I was happy and over what happened... the weight came back.
Plus, HCG isn't a healthy way of losing weight and usually isn't a permanent solution for the majority of the people who do it.

Since then I have tried counting calories and working out like crazy and being frustrated that it was so hard for weight to come off of my body when I was trying so hard. I felt like a healthy person trapped in a fat person's body. Then my co-worker, Tyler, told me that his wife was a health coach in one of our conversations. I had no idea what that really meant or what program she was a health coach for, but I told Tyler to have her call me. I was sick of being over weight. I was sick of hating my body. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin. I wanted all of my hard work at the gym to show. I was 30 and all I wanted was to be 30, flirty and thriving. So I talked to Shantelle and had her sign me up for the program "Take Shape for Life" not really knowing too much about it and she became my health coach. And what a great health coach she is. She has also become a really great friend. Here we are together. Thanks Shantelle for helping me on my journey to better health.

So my journey began. Starting any new weight loss program is exciting and not at the same time. You are excited at the possibility of it working and you accomplishing your goal and finally looking the way you want. It isn't exciting because if you are like me, you have tried so many other things that don't work or just work for a short amount of time and then you go right back where you were before and it was a disappointment. I hate admitting this or showing these pictures, but my journey started April 2013 at 205 lbs. I was wearing a lot of stretchy pants at the time because I refused to wear bigger pants, but I believe I was a size 14... maybe even a 16. I don't know and I don't like to think about it. Here are my pictures I took of myself when starting the program.

I was on the 5 and 1 program. You eat 5 medifast meals (a meal every 2-3 hours) and then one lean and green meal.  It was hard at first... just like any change you make. I was hungry the first few days and it was hard to say no to sweets and other foods that I wanted. That being said... it is actually the easiest diet I have ever done. I didn't have to think about anything. Just had to remember to eat one of the meals every 2-3 hours. That was something I wasn't used to. I also have quite a sweet tooth and they had sweet foods (chocolate) which I could eat... this saved me. Really.

I even had a friend that started doing the program too! It was so great to have someone to vent to and share success with. We would text each other every week on our weigh in days and encourage each other and share in our frustrations as well. So helpful!

Soon I was exercising again and had my mind set to never cheating and every time I wanted to, I just thought about my end goal. It's all a mind game really. Choosing long term gratification over short term gratification. Do I want to eat this donut that will satisfy me for a minute or do I want the satisfaction of getting on the scale the next week and seeing that I have dropped a few more pounds. I stayed strong and by October, I was down to 152. I had lost 53 lbs in 6 months and was a size 8 I even have some pants and skirts in a size 6. The smallest size I had ever gotten down to before this was a 10! I was feeling so good and happy with my success and I even became a health coach myself.  My pictures after losing 50 lbs.

I was happy. Life was good. Then.... the holiday's came. Halloween, then I traveled to Southeast Asia for 2 weeks and when I came back it was Thanksgiving and then Christmas! I just could't get myself in the same mindset to be strict and lose those last 13 lbs. Partially because I was getting out of the habit, partially because the holiday's are just hard because there is so much social eating and yummy treats and partially because I was happy where I was at. I didn't have the same motivation as I did in the beginning to lose the weight.

What has been really hard for me is seeing my "after" pictures, I still think I look fat. It isn't until I compare it to where I started that I can see how much I have lost. This is not something I anticipated going through. My entire life I have viewed myself as the chubby one. Although I have lost a lot of weight, I still view myself this way. I think it will take time for this mindset to change. I wonder why I feel this way now when I was feeling so good and thin throughout the process. I think part of this is because I'm haven't been seeing constant weight loss like I did in the beginning. I am now used to seeing myself this way and so my mind went right back to telling me I have a lot more weight to lose. I think another reason is throughout my weight loss, people were constantly telling me I looked great and could tell I was losing weight. Now... nobody says anything. Probably because I have looked the same for almost 5 months now.... people are not going to continue to tell me that I look great and ask me if I'm losing weight. I have to get out of my mind that just because they are not commenting, doesn't mean that I'm fat again. I compare myself to every girl around me. I think just about every girl is thinner than me. Even if a girl is the same size or a bigger size than I am now... in my mind they are thinner because that is how it has always been. Then you have the media telling you what you should look like... we won't go there. The mind is a tricky thing and I know it will be a process for my mind to catch up to where my body is now at, but  I will get there.

I have been feeling this way for a few months. I didn't want to write my story and show my before and after pictures until I reached my goal weight...not 10 lbs sooner! ha ha What made me change my mind? I recently went to Zion's. I went to Zion's about the same time last year. I compared the pictures. What a difference. I decided I have been being too hard on myself and that I HAVE come a long way and look good and am in A LOT better shape than I was in last year even though I have always been pretty fit. It is a lot easier for me to hike and run now than it was last year!
Last year

This year.

I am recommitting myself. I am going to lose those last 10 pounds. I'm in and want to continue to be in the best shape of my life. I am proud of myself for getting to this point and not gaining the weight back.  I feel great and want to help other people look and feel great too. I know I will hit points in the future where I will struggle with self image, but this program has given me the tools to take off the weight and keep it off and for that I am very thankful. I know I have more to lose, but I recognize and am proud of how far I have come. It is worth every sacrifice to be fit, healthy (and at a healthy weight). Now that I'm here, I want to stay healthy and active. I enjoy running and hiking more now because it is easier. Before when I would lose weight I would keep all the old clothes around just in case. This time, I got rid of EVERYTHING that was too big. I pretty much had to buy all new pants and new Winter Clothes and Work out clothes and tops... It felt pretty good. :) I'm excited to continue my journey to better health. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I believe this program works for everyone if you are dedicated and stick to it. It changed my life for the better. Every time I forget... I will just look at these pictures.