Friday, August 26, 2011

i'm obsessed!!!

I grew up listening to a lot of classical and symphonic music.  
I remember Mozart often playing through my house when I was little and I gained a huge appreciation for classical and instrumental music as a child.
We are a very musical mom is harpist, my sister a violist and my brother and I are pianists.
Basically, I love orchestras. All my friends in high school and roommates in college made fun of me because of the music I like to listen to.  I mean, I'd much rather listen to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack or Debussy than the Red Hot Chili Peppers...yes I'm a nerd.

One of the composers that I grew up with is a Greek pianist, keyboardist and creative genius, Yanni.

 He is amazing. And he kind of reminds me of Fabio with his long hair.  This violin solo is from his most famous album Yanni Live at the Acropolis.
It is the best violin solo I have ever heard in my entire life.
Karen Briggs puts her everything into the piece and I love how she jazzes it up.
Please please watch it to see what I mean.

I think music is one of the most powerful, expressive, soul-shaking devices we have on this planet.
And now you know what a dork I am.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

sister all grown up

For those of you who don't know, I have a younger sister, Briana (well I actually have two younger sisters but the other one is 5 years old).  She is 18 and she is my best friend.

She is just about to begin her freshman year at BYU-Idaho and I'm so stoked for her!
Freshman year is the most care-free and amazingly fun college year and I know she's going to have a blast, especially because she's so outgoing.

Bri started working at a beauty boutique 3 years ago and since has learned everything about make up, beauty products and fashion.  I mean just look at her!  The girl obviously knows her stuff.

She wants to pursue a career in fashion consulting and wishes to be a makeup artist on the side.  She did my makeup for my wedding and I must say that she did a fabulous job!

Ok, I know this isn't the best picture to display her makeup excellence, but it's the most up-close one I could find.  See how she highlighted my face in the most perfect areas?

So, basically my lil' sis is awesome.  And she just started her own blog!
It's all about beauty tips and fashion advice and it's incredible!
It's called The Little Black Dresss (three s's).

I love my sister!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

back to school

I apologize that my posts have been a bit boring and pessimistic lately.
These past two months have been incredibly trying for me.
But, good news! We're leaving for Utah on Sunday!
I've never been more excited to go back to school in my entire life.
I'm going to be super busy because I'm taking 17 credits and working, but I'd much rather be busy than have nothing to do all day like I do here in Minnesota.

Yay BYU!!

Brett has a terrible flu right now...poor guy.  So he has been keeping me company for the past two days and is trying to sleep off the sickness.  And of course I've been doing everything I can to help him get better.

I promise you I will be more interesting and vibrant when I get back to Utah.  Heck, I might even have some cooking posts! 

The biggest lesson I've learned from being here in Minnesota and having no friends, no car and nothing to do is to find happiness in the little things.  Whether it's Slumdog Millionaire coming on TV, or finding a really cool geography quiz website, or your husband giving you a kiss when he comes through the door or even that the sun is shining.
Enjoy the simple pleasures in life or you might just go crazy.

Another thing I've learned is to find your happy place.  Yeah, sounds weird.  But, happy places are essential for sanity.  Whenever you feel like something is too much to handle or you feel yourself tipping into crazyland, find your happy place!  My happy place involves a quite ocean at dawn and beautiful flowers.

This has felt like a cathartic experience for me.  I feel like I just visited a therapist and let out everything I've been thinking about for the past two months.  Sweet, sweet liberty.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

let's be done

I propose that Minnesota and I should quit it.  I feel like the state and I are in some twisted, boring relationship and it needs to end.  
Minnesota, by August 26th, I am officially breaking up with you.
No hard feelings right?

On a happier note, I saw the Glee 3D movie with two other wive friends I met at our hotel.
It was entertaining and fun, but I must say that I am still not a GLeek.
It was so nice to finally have some girl time though!

Monday, August 15, 2011

marriage advice

Lately I've been going through the marriage advice I received from friends and family at my bridal showers.
I had two bridal showers...the first in Danville, CA where Brett is from and one in San Diego where I'm from.
They were both so much fun and the presents were amazing!
At both showers, all of the ladies gave a piece of advice that they have used in their marriages.

Some of the advice was funny like "Get a negligee with fur at the bottom to keep your neck warm" or "If you're going to fight, do it naked."

But, some of it is really helpful and I've implemented these words of wisdom in my o so young marriage.
Here is the advice I've found the most beneficial:

1) Enjoy every phase and stage of life.  Don't hold the mentality that when this or that happens you will be happy.  Be happy now even if things aren't perfect.
2) Don't try to change your spouse.  You can only change yourself.
3) Feed yourselves before you talk about anything important.
4) If dinner isn't ready, cook onions or garlic to make the house smell good.
5) Even when you have kids, make sure your husband knows he is still your favorite.
6) Make time for yourself and don't stop wearing lingerie.
7) Don't expect him to read your mind.
8) Wear something cute when your hubbie comes home, don't always be in your sweats.
9) Write little love notes.  Put them in his lunch or hide them in places where he will find them.
10) Pray together every night.  Express gratitude for your spouse in prayer.

These are the top 10 that I hold near and dear in my not even 2 month old marriage to my beloved 
Don Brett Candland.

Friday, August 12, 2011

so here's the shin dig

About two weeks ago, Brett and I were supposed to go to North Carolina for the rest of August.
But we ended up staying in Minnesota instead.
This would have been a complete nightmare for me because I think I might have literally died of boredom, but thankfully we moved out of our apartment in the middle of nowhere to a beautiful extended stay hotel that serves a complimentary breakfast every morning and dinner three days a week.
AND we have cable, AND there's a Barnes and Noble a block away.
My absolute dream come true.
I go read books for the majority of the day and I'm in English major nerd heaven.
I just finished Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy and loved it, even though pretty much everyone I know hated it.  Personally, I love the ending...not too happy and not too sad. 
I'm now reading The Help and it is so good. Cannot put it down.

There are a lot of restaurants right near our hotel, so we were finally able to go out to for my birthday dinner.
We went to Buca di Beppo, a fun Italian restaurant with an array of Italian pictures all over the walls.  I went there for my 16th surprise birthday party, so I figured why not go back again with my hubbie for my 20th birthday?  We had a blast and ate some y.u.m.m.y. food.

 Togeza foreva.

 The bruschetta was amazing.

 Ma baby.

 We got a piece of celebration cake to go and ate it this morning. Sugar high.

So we're still in Minnesota, but it's about 9 million times better than before :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

i'm so happy i could cry

Remember that post a couple weeks ago where I whined about how anxious and scared I was because we hadn't found an apartment yet for the fall?
Welp, we found one!
And it's perfect!

900 square feet, two bedrooms, washer and dryer in unit AND dishwasher...what more can you ask for??
We both feel so blessed to have found such a place and actually be the ones chosen to live in it!
 It proved to be very difficult trying to find a place when we're not actually living in Provo and thus are unable to go see what the different places looks like. 
I would highly un-recommend it.
Thankfully, I have amazing extended family members who took pictures of apartments for us.

The relief I feel right now is exquisite.  
Even though this was such a trivial predicament compared to all that's going on in the world, I know that God heard Brett's and my prayers and answered them. 
I'm grateful that He listens to me and my husband and cares about us.

Here's a picture of our new place:

It'll look a bit more homey when we furnish it :)

Happy, Happy Tuesday! Life is good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

dream job

Lately I've been wondering what my dream profession would be (apart from being a mom that is).
I love to write, I love to experience new things, I love to travel, I love to spend time with family, I love to use what I have of creativity.
What job encompasses all of these??

Travel Journalism!!!!!!!!

How incredibly awesome would it be to go to exotic places and get pampered at high-end resorts for free in the name of travel journalism.
I could alternate taking a few family members and friends every trip and spoil them rotten.
We could go see the Eiffel Tower, and the Great Wall, and the Pyramids, and Thai temples and the natural hot springs in Iceland and the Parthenon and the Maori war dances, and Golgotha, and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio and the Berlin Wall and the Sydney Opera House and St. Basil's Cathedral, and the Amazon River, and the Sahara Desert, and Big Ben and the Andes Mountains and the beautiful scenery of Bali among many, many other places.

The place that I want to travel to the most is New Zealand.  I've wanted to go to New Zealand for such a long time because I am in l.o.v.e. with the Maori culture.  

I mean, look at how awesome they are!

I've deeply loved them since I was 14. 

What is your favorite culture?  Where do you want to go the most?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

we're featured

All the engaged ladies out there, you should check out Avenia Bridal.  That's where I found my wedding dress and I l.o.v.e.d. their service.  The ladies there helped me custom design the petal sleeves and neckline of my dress and they turned out exactly how I wanted them too.  They made me feel so special and the decor inside the place is so girly and adorable. AND they were really fast in the delivery of my dress...they got it in in three weeks!

Avenia asked me to share some info and pictures with them about our wedding and I thought it was cool to be featured! They did a spotlight of Brett's and my wedding on their website.  
Check it out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

brand it

Ok, so a lot has happened since I last blogged and I'll talk about that more tomorrow because this particular thought has been on my mind for a while and I want to share it with the blogosphere and whatever readers I have.  Wow, long sentence much?

A few weeks ago when Brett and I were knocking doors, we ran into this a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. lady named Roxy McCan.  She invited us in and we talked for a while about security systems but also about how she has raised her daughter and how she unites her family together: her husband, her daughter and herself.

Roxy said that she and her husband have given their family a brand.  Yep, like a cow.  It is comprised of characteristics that they both want their family to have and that they want to instill in their daughter. 
She says, "We are the McCans: we work hard and we always tell the truth."

For some reason, that conversation has stuck with Brett and me since.  Based off our life experiences and trials we have had after that day, we have figured out our Candland brand; the specific characteristics we and our children will hold forever.

We are the Candlands and we have faith in the future.  We are the Candlands and we never settle.  We are the Candlands and we work freakin' hard for the things that we want.

Together we will conquer the world.

I'm sure more things will be added to our brand.  I love how it unites Brett and I together and how it will help our future children develop good morals and a strong work ethic.