Tuesday, January 29, 2013

weekend schmeekend

This weekend was a whirlwind of excitement.

But, first off, let's talk about hair. I got my hair did! I finally did it--I finally got straight across bangs. And I love them. They complete my personality. How did I live without my bangs? I must have had some sorry excuse for a life.


 Please ignore my tired eyes. I didn't get much sleep the night before. Anywho, Clint the hair mastermind did a fantastic job.

We went wedding dress shopping for seester on Saturday and she looked amazing in everything she tried on of course. Here are a few shots of the runner-ups.

 Cancun sure did her right. Look at how tan she is!

 The ladies.

 Towards the end of the day I was getting a little bit loopy. Seeing that many sparkles in less than 24 hours can do that to a girl.

My cousin Chase had his homecoming on Sunday and we celebrated with too much dessert and some classic family pictures. Loving the look Garrett is giving Bri.

Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is the day I watch The Bachelor. I am ever so excited. I swore I wasn't going to watch it this season, but alas, I lied to myself. Oh well. We're all entitled to at least one guilty pleasure, right?

HAGD! (Have a great day)

Friday, January 25, 2013

good book friday: the diviners

I don't know about you, but I'm in love with the '20s. Flapper twirly dresses, short bobs, lipstick, jazz bands, snap poetry, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the lost generation of writers in Paris, Langston Hughes and all those involved in the Harlem Renaissance, oo baby I'm there.

There's nothing better I like than a murder mystery mixed with ghosts and the un-explicable set in the 1920s. The Diviners was one such book. Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors. Her Gemma Doyle trilogy made me want to be a writer. She is very entertaining and clever and spot on with her young adult voice.

Definitely a page turner, this one. And incredibly spooky too. I didn't like reading it late at night when Brett was asleep and everything was still but my thoughts about ghosts and all the hidden creepy crawlies. 

I can't wait for the sequel to come out.

What is one of your favorite books?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Brett and I have had a lot of reunions lately with lots of great people.

We went to my freshman year reunion with all the people from the dorms. It was crazy to see all these guys back from their missions and to talk to all the girls I spend endless nights talking with and doing immature things with until the wee hours of the morning. 

Brett's parents came to Utah to complete training for their mission. They just barely left for Argentina and we are very sad but very excited because we know that they'll do amazing things for the people both in Argentina and in Chile. 

 While they were here we went to amazing Kneaders, celebrated Mamacita's birthday, and went on a glorious, trip-of-all-trips, I'm-going-to-pass-out-because-this-is-so-unbelievably-awesome trip to Costco where we literally got food to last us for two months. Brett and I had a field day when we put all the food into our nearly empty refrigerator. Thank you for treating us!

 This does not happen!

My cousin Chase got back from his mission to Brazil! He definitely has a thick Portuguese accent and a crazy farmer's tan. We're so excited he's back so now we can play Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit again.

We met up with some friends at Pizzeria 712. Elliott flew up from Texas and it was great to see him.

My good friend Jenn is leaving to Japan next month to be a Disney princess at the Tokyo Disneyland. She'll be gone for a whole year! Naturally I had to have her over for dinner and take very awkward pictures with her.

Have such a great time Jenn! I'll miss our dance parties to Disney soundtracks and Pirates of the Caribbean.

My mom and sister are coming tomorrow so we can go wedding dress shopping for my sister's upcoming nuptials and I positively cannot wait. So many great reunions with the best people in the world.

Have a happy day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

good book friday

I'm going to start doing this thing on Fridays called Good Book Friday. I read a lot of books for school, for my internship, and just for kicks and giggles. I'm trying to get back into blogging, because well I like to write, so I thought that this would be a good addition to make things interesting and focus on what I know best--books.

This is one that I read over Christmas break. It's Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. Stegner was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and an incredible intellectual. This book took me back to a time when there weren't computers, iphones, or any of those electronic contraptions that clog our lives. He focused on nature and friendship and literature--clearly the things that matter. Stegner's writing took my breath away. I read and reread sentences because they were so beautiful. Nerd alert? I think yes. But seriously, I love it when a writer says truth in such an eloquent matter. I love it when a writer gets to the heart of what it means to be human, and what it means to be a friend. This book did just that. I felt God in this book in many ways even though the main character's aren't spiritual. Read it.

Congratulations to my hubbie for getting an internship with the Royal Bank of Scotland! He is the smartest person I know and I am so proud of him in every way. Marrying your best friend is the happiest thing one can do, I'm convinced. 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

christmas with the candlands

I miserably failed at taking pictures whilst in Dville for Christmas. But, you know what, that's just a-okay with me. It was nice to relax and not think about capturing every single candid photo opportunity like a possessed soccer mom.

Christmas was amazing. I got a lot of really nice things because the Candlands spoil me silly. I really feel one of the family now. It was hard for me to get adjusted to the in-law family when Brett and I first started dating because they are all much older and mature than me. I felt like they didn't take me seriously . . . which was more of my own insecurity than reality. I feel embraced by them now and know that although sometimes I am impossible to deal with-- especially when I am a serial consumer of ALL their salt and vinegar chips-- they still love me. And guys, that's what family is. Ohana means family. I'll give you a hundred dollars if you can nail the movie reference (not really).

 On Christmas Eve, we drew a name out of the hat and then went to Tar-get (complete with the French accent) to shop for our person's stocking items.

Christmas morning:

Ashley got a new lense for her camera and was obviously thrilled.

Brett got a toy helicopter! Who said we had to grow up? Not Santa!

Brett's parents are leaving for Argentina and Chile for 18 months serving on an LDS mission. We shall miss them dearly.

Christmas dinner. Notice that Brett is still in his pjs . . . poor guy had a flu on Christmas day.

I felt like Christmas in Dville was somewhat of a hibernation, bear style. I don't think I've ever slept so much in my life. Blissful is the only word to describe it. Brett and I got the flu and then a couple days later I got a cold plus other female ailments. Thus large amounts of sleep were not only appreciated but needed.

Other than sleeping, we saw Les Miserables. This is my favorite musical OF ALL TIME. The movie did not disappoint. Hugh Jackman made me weep and Anne Hathaway made me shiver. By the finale when all the deceased people were singing about the "garden of the Lord" I was a goner. The most cathartic experience I've had all year.

We also saw Jack Reacher which was palatable, but not superb. I couldn't get over the fact that the Jack Reacher in the Lee Child series Brett and I so dearly love is a 250-pound, 6'5" man--and the casting director chose Tom Cruise for the part. TOM CRUISE? Are you nut-so? The casting director should be fired and be refused at every movie studio in the world. Yes, I am being hyperbolic, but that is my specialty.

We also spent time with friends including Phil & Aubrey, and Dallin & Kayla. After we saw them, Brett and I both sighed and wished that these people lived in Utah. Our group of friends in Utah is slowly dwindling to only a few couples. Es triste. We will get out of this here Provo as soon as possible. Hallelujah.

I want to go back to Dville and relax again. This semester is going to woop my behind. I can feel it in my bones and I can see it on my calendar with all the deadlines and due dates that make my brain melt and spill on the ground like oozing hot carmel. Lovely image to end with I dare say.

Have a great hump day!

Friday, January 11, 2013

back with a vengeance

I am back . . . with a vengeance, also known as three months of pictures. Get yourself prepared.

We had our friends Laina & Tim and Courtney & Chase over for treats and games

 I made myself a delicious dinner and decided to take a  picture of it. It's spiced salmon and an arugala salad with goat cheese and strawberries. yum. 

My dad came to visit and spoiled us with a sushi lunch. Amazing. 

We went to the Northstar banquet for Brett's work and he got free tuition for a semester because he rocked it this summer!

Church with the dad and sister and her new fiance!

Bri whipped Jenna's hair into a sweet curly mohawk. 

My cousin Tara had a birthday! 

Pizzeria 712 with Brett and Dad. The best pizza place in the universe.

Brett got a new suit and he looks oh so suave. He went on a weekend networking trip to San Francisco and worked it.

 Halloween. We were the Romneys. We celebrated by handing out candy to adorable trick-or-treaters and going to Red Robin with friends. 

 Made apple pie and chocolate cream pie with family to celebrate Thanksgiving since we wouldn't be with them on the actual holiday.

Made popcorn with our popcorn popper!

The first day of Thanksgiving vacation, Brett fainted and split his head open on the bathroom counter. We rushed him to the ER and he got lots of stitches and a massive black eye.
Brett and I had a joint Thanksgiving with both of our families up in northern California. It was joyous to have everyone there. While Brett recovered and went to a work meeting, I explored the city with my family.

 We went on the wrong side of the Golden Gate bridge--the bike side. We got a lot of angry looks and a lot of people shouting at us, but it was worth it. We McCloskeys don't play by the rules.

 We had a divine crab feast on Fisherman's warf. There isn't much in this world that beats fresh seafood.
 Thanksgiving day.

Aren't these turkey cakepops adorable?
And below is my mom's appetizer platter. I don't think even the Barefoot Contessa herself could do anything prettier and more delicious than that.

Aunt Annie relaxing after a full meal.

 We hiked Rock City in the mountains of Danville.

We went to the annual Danville Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The choir was beautiful and sang many lovely Christmas songs.

 Sophie reading at the Danville library. She is the best little reader in all the land.

I had a party with my team at Schwa, the Linguistics journal at BYU. The Art Director made the schwa symbol cake--the upside down e. 

 We made gingerbread houses with Stannabel and Brennica. The Candland gingerbread house was a fortress complete with a moat, drawbridge, and spiky walls.

We endured finals and moved apartments and then went to San Diego for a week. I looooved being home. I feel like I never spend enough time in my beautiful land of ocean and palm trees. In the two pictures above we are looking at the venue for my sister's wedding reception because she is newly engaged!

 We went caroling. Caroling would not be complete without goofy hats and star-shaped jingle bells. 

 California Adventure and Disneyland! This was the first time Brett and I have ever been to Disneyland together. It was glorious and thankfully not too crowded. We met up with our good family friends the Stones. 

 We took a cartoon making class in California Adventure. We learned how to make Phineas and Ferb caricatures.
Picture from California Screamin'.

 The cutest little family you ever did see. They are soon to have baby number two and are naming her Cosette. I think that name is very appropriate considering the movie just came out . . . which was more than amazing if you ask me.

 We made the stupid decision of going on Splash Mountain at 9:00 p.m. in forty degree weather. Worth every water drop I got on my legs, face, and hair.

Tower of Terror.

Sophie's first grade class had a Christmas concert. She sang and it was adorable. 

Triple date at the potato shack with Mom & Dad, Bri & Garrett, and Me & Brett. The pancakes were huge and fluffy and now my mouth is watering.

 Sophie had a piano recital. She is taking lessons from the woman who taught me for fifteen years. Here  we are reunited with my beloved Reta.

High school best friends reunion! I haven't seen these girls since my wedding. It was more than amazing to see them again and catch up. 

Next post I'll go over our two weeks in Danville for Christmas. Isn't that just thrilling?

Brett and I are celebrating the weekend by hanging out with friends tonight and possibly going out to eat. Then I have a meeting tomorrow for my new internship at a publishing company called Familius and we will organize everything in our new apartment. Then we shall top the weekend off by going to church on Sunday and having dinner at the McCloskeys' of Utah house since I miss them so very much! 

Have a great Friday!