Monday, November 28, 2011

A Little Photography Love

This Neiman Marcus Christmas shoot is amazing -- one of my favorite photography shoots I've ever seen. 
The lighting, the style, the whole retro-chic feel, aah! I love it so much. 
If this doesn't get you in the holiday spirit... I don't know what will :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas

So yesterday I might have gone a little bit crazy in decorating for Christmas... I LOVE Christmas! And one of my absolute favorite parts is the "Christmas Smell."
You know what I am talking about. 

So after I was all done decorating (which took a surprising amount of time, considering our apartment is, umm, one room haha) I dragged Jean Paul to the store to buy spices to make the "Christmas Smell." 
And I have since fallen in love with it, and so I've decided to share the recipe, which I found online, so I don't claim it as my own.


5-6 Cinnamon Sticks, Broken.
1 tbsp. Lemon Peel
1 tbsp. Orange Peel
2 tbsp. Whole Cloves
1 tbsp. Nutmeg
1-2 tbsp. Whole Allspice
1 tbsp. Bay Leaf Pieces
3-4 slices dried apples (optional) 

Mix all ingredients with a good amount of water and simmer on your stove for as long as you want your house to smell like Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday

J-Crew Park City Outlet at midnight.
I don't think words can describe the madness!

Can't wait until next year!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happiest of Thanksgivings

I love year-markers. 
I love looking back and trying to remember what I was doing with my life exactly one year ago to the day. 
Holidays are especially good to do this with because it's pretty easy to recall what you were doing the year previous. 

Last Thanksgiving I was in Belgium, of all places, with the best group of girls. We had Thanksgiving dinner at a steak house, because it was the most American sit down restaurant we could find, and each took turns going around the table saying what we were thankful for. We all agreed that we had never felt more thankful and appreciative of our families than that night, when we were so far away from anything familiar. It really changed my perspective on Thanksgiving and took the holiday far beyond just the meal. I loved it. 

If you would have told me that night that I would be married by the next Thanksgiving, I would have rolled my eyes and thought you were trying to be funny. But yesterday there I was, with my husband of just over three months, at my grandparents house (which is in Axtell, UT - I don't even know if you can find that town on a map), making thanksgiving dinner.

I was thinking about how different the two Thanksgivings were, and came to the conclusion that each day, each "year-marker" serves as a preparation for the future ones to come -- my Thanksgiving in Brussels was helping shape me into the person I was during this Thanksgiving, and the same idea applies to each experience and trial and situation I navigate through in my life. 

It's incredible really, how our lives are so well-suited for us, even though we don't even realize it. 

The most difficult thing I learned in this year that has passed since last November, is no matter how much you try to plan and decide, and whether or not you think you have your life all figured out, our lives are planned out on the Lord's time. 
It's definitely been a interesting experience as I have tried to accept that, but I know without a doubt that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And I also know that if I keep trying to learn and grow from whatever falls in my path throughout this upcoming year, come next Thanksgiving I will be even further on my way to figuring out what I was put on this earth to do. 

I hope your Thanksgiving was as lovely filled with warmth as mine was! 


And I have to say thanks to my little sister for taking all these pictures! I can't claim photo cred on these.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The First Annual Pie Party

Jean Paul loves starting traditions. 
Basically everything we do together, he asks "Should we make this a tradition?!" 

Example: On Halloween we made fried rice for dinner, and he's told maybe 6 people that we have a Halloween tradition of making fried rice... Soo apparently if you are in the mood for fried rice, come on over to our house on Halloween? Haha.

However, when he told me he thought it would be fun to start a tradition of having a Pie Party the night before Thanksgiving, I actually agreed with him. So Jean Paul put the whole thing together, and for your benefit here is the description on his party invitation:
If you've ever met Jean Paul, this won't surprise you one bit haha. 

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and what better way to celebrate it than to have a pie party? A pie party is a splendid tradition in which a group of people get together and celebrate the holiday of gluttony with none else than exorbitant amounts of pie. In order for this to work every person or group of people attending (please bring whomever you would like) needs to bring a pie. Quality is paramount. If you know me... you then you know I am what my wife likes to call a ‘food snob.’ I prefer refined. Needless to say, if you bring a store-bought pie you will be turned away at the door and I will defriend you on facebook.

There will be voting and a prize for the best pie. So consult your favorite recipe blogs, rifle through grandma’s old recipes, or call your mother, and prove to everyone else that you are a better cook than they.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your hearts be grateful and your stomachs gratified.

Jean Paul

PS – Only sweet pies please, I love a good savory pie, but I don’t trust anyone on this continent to make one. 

It was so much fun! We had over ten pies and who knew our friends were such good cooks?!
All of them were homemade too, except for one group who thought they could get away with passing off a pie from Kneader's as their own... tsk tsk. You know who you are.

Yay I love friends that come all the way down from Utah State just for our Pie Party! ;)

Provo Best Friends, obviously.


 The winner!!

 Using the first place trophy as a mic? Sure why not.

Kyler, Jeremy, and Victoria apparently are my most talented friends when it comes to baking.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thankful List

I once heard of the best way to make a thankful list: 
List the first ten things that come to mind that you are thankful for, and then start your list over and list ten more. 
I like it because it makes you think about the good things in your life that perhaps are overlooked most of the time. 
So, without further ado, here are the additional 10 things in my life I am thankful for:

I am thankful that I have a husband who makes breakfast for me. 

And takes my car to get fixed for me. 

I am thankful for long life chats with good friends. 

I am grateful for Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, and all other sorts of time wasters that I just love. 

I am thankful that I have a laptop to do my schoolwork on. 

I am thankful that lots of good artists come give concerts in Salt Lake City. 

I am thankful that I know what I want to do with my life. 

I am thankful for good TA's that save me in my hard classes. 

I am grateful for words of wisdom and quotes from inspired people that I can apply to my own life. 

I am thankful for the interesting people in my life that cause me to think outside myself and want to be more than what I am.

And there is my random list of things I am thankful for!
I hope you are all having a fabulous Thanksgiving break!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Friday night entailed a night with good friends, Christmas lights at Riverwoods, Santa, a concert by Jon Schmidt, and best of all... SNOW! I am sooo excited to go skiing I can hardly wait!!

I have totally been taken over by the holiday spirit too - Christmas music has been playing in our house and I have kind of blown up Pinterest in my search for Christmas decoration ideas... Oh, and as a warm-up for Thanksgiving I think I have eaten my weight in good food this weekend- it's like training for a marathon right?

There's only two days of work and school this week and then I get five fabulous days of doing whatever I want to do.
I have a feeling this week is going to be a good one.

Happy 3 Months Darling

“Millions and millions of years would still not give me 
half enough time to describe that tiny instant of all eternity when you put your arms around me 
and I put my arms around you.”

-Jacques Prevert-