Tuesday, April 30, 2013

never ever ever

Never ever ever will you hear me say.......

1. I don't really need another cake stand.

2. I just hate shopping at Ross.

3. No, I'm not in the mood for watching 27 Dresses right now.

4. Let's go camping!

5. I have way too many skirts in my closet.

6. Let's just drive by Target, I don't need anything.

7. We're in Salt Lake, but let's just skip going to Chick-Fil-A or Jimmy Johns.

8. I'm totally not addicted to Dance Moms.

9. I am never going to buy another picture frame again.

10. Nah, I'd totally love to do the dishes.

11. Star Wars is completely overrated.

12. I'd just love to get ready in a messy bathroom, it's my favorite thing.

13. No more diet coke, I'm so over that stuff.

14. I wish I could just dig ditches all day.

15. Snow is my favorite, especially when it ices over and I get to drive on it!

Any of you that know me even a little bit, know that I would NEVER say any of the things listed above!  especially about my beloved Diet Coke. Linking up today at A Complete Waste of Makeup.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ahoy! it's a boy: a baby shower story

Between finals quickly approaching, me having spring cleaning fever and a billion other things happening, I have neglected you dear blog.  For that, I apologize.  There's a ton of things going on, some of which I really don't want to reveal just yet as not to jinx it (p.s., I'm not pregnant.  I get asked that question far too often), just know we're happy.  We're healthy.  We're blessed.

In the midst of all of life's craziness, I got to do something very therapeutic and something that I love...PARTY PLANNING!  My beautiful cousin, Rachel, is preggo with her first baby, a little boy due in June.  We decided the time was perfect to have a family get together and celebrate the baby to be.  I chose (after consulting with the gorgeous mama) to go with a nautical themed baby shower.  None of these pictures are good quality, all just taken with my iPhone, but I think everything came together in a really cute way.  

The cake and cupcakes show above were baked and decorated by yours truly.  I was so nervous!  I've never worked with fondant before, plus, the anchor cake is a gluten-free cake (the mama to be and I are both gluten intolerant) which has a very different texture then regular cake.  Overall, it came out well.  I definitely know how to adjust my recipes (i.e. the cake was just a little too dry for my tastes) and make things cleaner, but for a first try I am just glad it was presentable!

Hope all is well with you and yours.  Cheers until next time!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


So I was going through the many blogs I read, trying to catch up on all of them (mostly because I was avoiding doing my homework) and I was reading the beautiful, talented and lovely Michaela @ Our Dimond Life talk about a neato little thing called the Liebster Award.  Basically, a fun way for smaller scale bloggers to promote each other and get to know each other better.  As I read the post, I learned lots about Michaela and thought that this was such a cool thing.  As I reached the end of the post, I saw SHE NOMINATED ME!  AH!  Could life get any better?  I submit that it could not.   

My blog is pretty low key.  I created it as a newly wed, living and loving in Wyoming where all of my family lives in Utah, Nevada, Texas and a million other places.  I figured this would be a fun way to keep in touch with everyone.  As I've continued blogging, I've found that it is a wonderful way to express myself.  It has become much more important than I ever intended.  So, Thanks Micahela!  You're a doll and I'm so happy you love my blog enough to nominate me for such a cool honor!  
The Rules:
1. Thank and link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
2. List 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
4. Present/Nominate a Leibster blog award to 3-5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.

11 Random Facts About Myself

1. I LOVE LEMON!  My love affair with citrus started early in my life and never ended.  I still cook with lemon or lime at least twice a week, have lemon/orange/lime/grapefruit scentsy bars melting at all times of the day and I even have the gosh darned cutest lemon shaped tea pot.  Once we finally purchase the house we want, I want a completely citrus themed kitchen.  Yeah, that is happening.  

2. The hubs and I were high school sweethearts.  And, I love him and I am so grateful that we met, but it SUCKED.  Being practicing members of the LDS faith, we knew we loved each other, we knew we wanted to get married, and there was literally nothing to do about it.  He had a mission to go on, I had school to go to.  It was basically a situation in which we just had to put our faith in the Lord and listen to what he needed us to do.  Eventually he got home, we dated for about two years and then got married.  It worked out perfectly for us, marriage is the best thing to ever happen to me.  However, I would never hope for anyone to go through that.  Because the five years (two of which were spent 3000 miles away) spent just waiting for the time to be right, was difficult.  The Lord knows what we need and as we follow His counsel, we'll always be in the place we need to be.  It just was not fun at the time, now I'm grateful for it. 

3. Ellen Degeneres will make me laugh no matter what is going on in my life.  She really is the best.  To quote my good friend, Cody, "You either love Ellen Degeneres or you let the terrorists win."  And if you think otherwise, feel free to watch the following clip that will, ultimately, change your mind.

4. I sang in Carnegie Hall when I was 18.  Seriously, one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life.  I absolutely love New York.  I can't wait to take my husband back to New York City someday and have him experience the east coast too.
5. My hubby and I spend most nights watching Doctor Who and The Big Bang Theory.  And I spend basically all of my other tv time watching Food Network.  LOVE IT!

6. Cooking is super relaxing for me.  I love to make up recipes as I go along, so I'm terrible at actually writing a recipe down to follow it.  Someday maybe I'll get good about writing my recipes down, but for now I just have them all up in my noggin. 

7. In addition to cooking, I LOVE BAKING!  I love baking cupcakes, cakes, and any other sweet concoctions.

8. I am obsessed with fun hair colors (i.e. putting purple/pink/other things) in hair.  Never have I been brave enough to do it myself, but I love how it looks on other people.  Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to put a little fun color in my hair somewhere.

9.  I love anything with mint in it.  If mint is anywhere related to the food, I will most likely eat it.  

10. I love to cross stitch.  I know, I'm basically an 80 year old woman in a 20 year old body.  Currently I'm working on a little cross stitch for our (hopefully) new home kitchen.  

11. Getting dressed up is one of my favorite things.  I like taking the time to pick out a cute outfit, wear skirts and dresses, do my hair and put on all of my make up.  Nothing makes me feel better on a rough day then just making myself look a little bit better.  

11 Questions Michaela Asked Me

1. What is your go to comfort food?
Oh. Em. GEE.  I freaking love my dad's homemade stroganoff.  He makes it with gluten-free condensed mushroom soup and ground turkey with gluten-free quinoa noodles, just for me! (Lots of food allergies, he's a champ and adjusted the recipe for me.  He makes the real stuff for the rest of the family.)  However, my mom's pasta salad is also a real winner. 

2. If you could be any animal in the safari, what would you be?
I have a thing for tigers and zebras.  Since I was young, I was obsessed with anything with stripes.  I even had an imaginary friend named Tina the Tiger.  I was an odd child...
3. What is one of your bad habits?
Ick, I bite my nails basically all the time.  Drives my poor hubby CRAZY! 
4. What is your favorite Snack?
I love popcorn.  Plain and simple.  It's my go to most of the time.
5. What is something you wish you knew more about?
I love psychology and would love to learn more about it.  I've taken a few psych classes in college, but I'm always up for absorbing more about how the mind works.
6. What are three things on your bucket list?
Own a house (in full, not just have a mortgage), Take my hubby to NYC, See Mt. Rushmore in real life (it sounds weird, but I've always wanted to go there!)
7. Name three things in your purse right now?
Wallet, Baby Lips Lip Balm, Favorite VS Lotion
8. Favorite beauty tip?
ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE AT NIGHT.  No matter what.  Even if you're all cuddled up in bed, warm and cozy, ready to sleep.  Wash your face.  With whatever cleanser works best for your skin, just do it.  If you do nothing else, do that.  Your skin will THANK YOU! 
9. What is one thing we will never catch you doing?
Skydiving...or Rock Climbing....Or basically anything that will put me in mortal danger.  I'm not a risky girl, I like being alive far too much. 
10. What is the happiest moment of your life so far?
It sounds super cliché, but the day I got married was definitely the happiest.   As well as basically every day after that. (The day I finally beat Pokémon Ruby is a close second)
11. What is your favorite quote?
I am obsessed with quotes and my favorite changes basically every day.  I have journals FULL of quotes sitting on my bookshelf ranging from when I was 10 to the present.  I think the favorite that always seems to make me happy is simple:

"Choose your love, Love your choice." 

-Thomas S. Monson

I choose to nominate the following AMAZING blogs that I read ALL THE TIME!  You people make me laugh, occasionally cry, and always feel better about life after reading your lovely words.  Congrats to:

Kathryn @ Sentiments from the Support Staff

Summer @ Summer Simmons-Turpin
Jenni @ Jenni & Chauncey
Bree @ Scribbles & Snapshots
Alicia @ The Deyoung Life

And the 11 questions for you lovely ladies are:
1. What do you doodle when you let your mind wander?
2. What is your guilty pleasure?
3. Favorite Movie?
4. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
5. What is one of your pet peeves?
6. Would you rather go to a party or cuddle up at home?
7. What is the best advice you ever received?
8. What is the best advice you have ever given?
9. Are you a writer, a reader or both?
10. What is your favorite board/card game?
11. All time favorite recipe?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

sunshine in my soul

On April 1, 2013 our life was turned upside down yet again.  Every evening I read the Salt Lake Tribune and the New York Times online to catch up on the news of the day.  As I read an article on the Salt Lake Tribune, a breaking news article popped up.  It listed that  Nevada woman had been killed in a car accident.  Curious, because my home state is Nevada, I clicked on the article.  As I read the name "Marissa D. Watkins, 20, of Moapa, NV" tears filled my eyes.  One of my best friends was dead.

There are a few things you need to know about Marissa.  Marissa was a daughter of God and she knew it.  It radiated from her.  Marissa was so happy and positive, it was almost annoying.  Whenever I was feeling down or upset, she always was so happy and uplifting.  She'd read scriptures with me, she'd tease me to make me smile, she'd make me feel better about myself.  We became friends in elementary school.  Soon, six of us began getting together all the time.  Marissa, Alison, Jordan, Jessany, Kimberly and I were inseparable throughout our childhoods and throughout our teen years.  Marissa was a member of the high school dance team, where she shined.  The five of us would often go to games to watch Rissy dance. 

Reverse Date 2011

Pirate Motion Dance Review 2010

 Following the final performance of "Don't Drink The Water" MVHS Theatre 2010

Marissa Dawn Watkins changed my life for the better.  Even when we were competing against each other for roles in the theatre or choir, her competitive spirit made me better.  When Marissa wanted something, there was no stopping her.  That was always something I greatly admired.  I often gave up if things became too difficult, but not Rissy.  She was a fighter and she'd never stop until she got what she wanted.  Marissa had an intimate relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  To quote her journal "The power of the atonement is awesome."  Marissa continues to teach me everyday about the gospel and about how to pattern my life after Jesus Christ.

The day after hearing the news and finding out when the funeral was to be held, I immediately booked my plane ticket.  On Friday afternoon, I departed the Salt Lake Airport and began my flight to St. George Utah where my best girlfriends were waiting for me.  Kim, Kim and Alison (yes, two Kims...it is very confusing) and I jumped into the car and headed over to meet our other friends at the St. George Utah Temple.  There we met up with Jordan and did a session together.  Out of our group of six friends, four of us are endowed so it was so special to be able to have that experience as best girlfriends to attend a session together.  After our session, we met up with Kenna, Jacqulyn, Danielle and Victoria.  We ate the most delicious dinner at the Black Bear Diner and then headed to my hometown of Moapa Valley.

The next morning Kim was prepared with an entire box of tissues in her bag for the viewing and funeral services.  All 5 of our group of friends was able to get together to celebrate Marissa's beautiful life.  Marissa's life was a gift to anyone who was able to interact with her.  We were blessed with 20 miraculous years with one of Heavenly Father's angels.  Marissa loved the gospel.  Marissa loved the people surrounding her.  Marissa radiated light and her beautiful smile brought people to her.  The services were beautiful, filled with lots of purple flowers (Marissa's favorite color) and beautiful music (another passion of Marissa's).  The five of us cried a lot, embraced each other and were inseparable for the entire day.  We lost a member of our group of friends, and all of us were still trying to process that loss.

After the beautiful graveside service where Marissa's wonderful father dedicated her grave, the five of us met together for lunch.  We were able to eat, enjoy each other's company, reminisce about our high school days and catch up on what we were all doing now.  Alison entered the MTC just last week to serve in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Kimberly will be leaving for the Brazil MTC in June.  Jessany is a few weeks away from submitting her mission papers.  Jordan and her husband, Jay, are living in Henderson, NV.  And, of course, my husband and I live in Kemmerer, WY.  It is amazing that we are all so far spread across the world, but we still are able to keep our friendships strong.  

Even though a member of our group of friends is missing from the following images, we all have comfort knowing someday we will all be reunited again.  We will be able to love, laugh and have fun while together on this earth.  One day, we will be able to do all of those things together again.  I am so grateful for the gospel and for the knowledge that families (and friendships) are forever.

All of us minus Jessany after the funeral service

Jessany, Me, Alison, Kim and Jordan
April 6, 2013