Wednesday, December 31, 2014

year in review

0:  sushi rolls Stefi ate
1:  new apartment, graduation, turkey bowl, new car, bout of food poisoning
2:  year anniversary celebrated, trays of burned cookies, awesome weddings attended
3:  new church callings, new countries visited, new states visited
4:  new favorite TV shows, trips to IKEA, hours spent researching donut shops
5:  meltdowns in primary, pairs of booties Stefi purchased then returned
6:  new books read, batches of Apple Betty made
7:  sushi rolls Blake ate, snow days off of work (yay!), Harry Potter books Stefi reread
8:  bottles of nail polish purchased, times a kid sneezed in Stefi's eyeball
9:  dozen red velvet cupcakes made, Field Notes notebooks Blake purchased
10+:  movies seen, hours stuck in traffic, flights taken, Target runs, hours spent listening to Serial

2014 was a great year!
We're ready for you 2015

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What we know

Who is ready for this???

Let's all get together for a Serial support group as we wait for Season 2. 

I'm planning on getting my mom and Amy hooked on this over Christmas break.
Get ready!

Friday, December 12, 2014

December happy list

It has been a rollercoaster week so a happy list is just the pick me up I need!

  • Traveling to Utah in 6 DAYS!
  • The new serial episode this week. I can't believe the final episode is next week. (#1 on the sad list)
  • Meeting Lisa's new baby Livy soon. Nothing is better than holding a little new babe with the fresh heaven smell.
  • Discovering my new favorite ice cream. Damn you Ben and Jerrys. 
  • Gilmore girl marathons in fuzzy socks
  • This anthro iridescent jar candle is gorgeous. WHAT IS THE VOLCANO SMELL? One of life's greatest mysteries.
  • Twinkle lights
  • Thinking about consuming Banbury Cross donuts in less than a week.
  • Marshmallow bits in my hot chocolate. I think I'm the only person that likes the gross mini gas station marshmallows.
  • We bought our first Christmas tree! A cute little 3 footer.
  • I think this needs to be consumed at some point. Soon. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 highlights

Some highlights of 2014:

Blake is finally done with school. He graduated from Georgetown University with his LLM in Tax Law. He crushed his LLM year and I'm so proud of him. We are able to travel to Paris in the spring so he could attend a tax conference with students from all around Europe and the US. I was so happy to tag along!
After graduation we then took off for a whirl wind trip to Asia. Due to Blake cashing in his all his points/miles/whatever we were able to fly business class and stay in some great hotel for free! We landed in Bali and quickly fell in love with the beautiful beaches and people. The resort was fairly empty so the staff gave us special treatment like cutting up Blake his special plate of (yellow!) watermelon every morning.

Next up was Hot Hong Kong. I've never been so hot or sticky in my life but it was great! The harbor is gorgeous. In between catching the sights we walked from one McDonalds to the next and bought $1 drinks and used the free wifi for 20 minutes to cool off. It was beautiful and we loved the morning we spent at the LDS Temple.

Last up was Tokyo. I've never eaten so many McDonalds happy meals or Snicker bars in my life. But Blake loved the local cuisine :) I ate Indian food once and I felt preeeetty adventurous. It was crazy crowded but it felt nice to be in a crowd of people my same height for once. Blake didn't stick out at all...Bonus: I was able to buy a maxi skirt without having to hem it! Winning! Speaking Japanese would have really come in handy but we Blake managed pretty well with gesturing and talking loudly. People seemed to really love that. Overall it was an adventure and I'm grateful for the time Blake and I were able to spend together after a crazy school year.

With some pretty awful timing we moved from our first little apartment the week we got back from Asia. Jet lag + packing made for some good times that week (insert clenching mouth emoji). We love our new place and love our new ward though! We are both in the Primary and its safe to say the kids all like Blake more than me. I inadvertently use a lot of therapy terms with them such as "quiet body" or "use your words". I'm working on it...
Blake started his new job at KPMG in July working in the Mergers and Acquisitions group. I don't fully understand what he does but he loves it. He still tells a lot of tax jokes at big parties with strangers so life is good on our front.

Time to head home for Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

well that didn't work....

Let's just say that wordpress is much too much confusing for me to figure out so back to blogger it is! Glad to be back! 2014 has been a kick A year. Some highlights are coming up soon!

Friday, January 24, 2014

new year. new blog.

Our blog is moving to a new site!

Hopefully in the next couple of months I can transform it into something actually pretty to look at. Apparently I need to learn how to "code" (yikes). So we'll see how it goes!

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Friday, January 17, 2014

january happy list

the book Where’d Ya Go Bernadette? Sooo good
our trip to Atlanta this weekend!
Butter London cooper sparkly nail polish- on sale!
hot bubble baths
fleece lined leggings
The Golden Globes
sugar cookie scented candles
Downton Abbey marathons
a trip to Utah next month!
Saving Mr. Banks
Trader Joe’s hot chocolate
fuzzy socks
planning our graduation trip to Bali, Bangkok and Toyko! May come faster!

Monday, January 13, 2014

happier at home

Blake is really good about finding cool stuff to do around the city. Sometimes I forget we are still young and need to get out of the house during the week- we can't have a Scandal marathon everyday after all ;)

A couple of weeks back he bought tickets to a book lecture by Gretchen Rubin author of the Happiness Project and Happier at Home. We went last week and I was so impressed with her! She was fabulous speaker and all of her points really resonated with me. I consider Blake and myself to be pretty happy people but who doesn't want to be happier?! 
I wanted to blog some of her points more for my own sake but if you're interested read away! 
  • Rather than having a vague goal of being happy, it's more realistic to think about being happIER. Think of happiness as a range, you are probably doing OK but you could also probably be doing better.
  • According to Gretchen's research, 50% of happiness is genetic (thankfully I have a happy mom!), 10% is life circumstance but the other 40% is the way you think/act!
  • Sometimes it can feel selfish to want to be happier for some reason. But research shows that happy people are more interested in the problems of the world and are more altruistic. So in fact, being happy makes the world better :) 
  • 3 good places to start on the journey to being happIER
    • Body
      • Gretchen's biggest piece of advice is to GET ENOUGH SLEEP [I'm looking at you mom ;)] It can be hard to do, but it's very hard to feel happy when you are consistently tired. 
      • Get some exercise. You don't have to go crazy, but give your body the energy it needs and deserves.
      • Cultivate good smells. I've never thought about this but Gretchen brought up a good point- smells don't cost anything. Take time to soak in your surroundings- smell the dinner you are cooking, smell the rain outside, smell your baby's skin after bath time  ---- smells make us feel more alive.
        • This is so true! Lighting a yummy candle definitely changes my mood
    • Possessions
      • She wasn't talking about having a lot of possessions but rather what you do with your possessions.
        • Mindfully arrange things in your environment to make you happier (a shrine to Harry Potter, a corner dedicated to books, whatever it is). 
          • This makes our home feel more connected to us
      • You don't need a lot of possessions but rather intentional items that make you feel happier forever- not just in the moment you buy them. 
      • Outer order contributes to inner calm! *** I'm a big believer in this!
    • Relationships
      • People need to confide, belong, support and give support to be happy
      • Make traditions! *** I'm a big believer in this! Blake is always teasing me for making a big deal about holidays, etc. but traditions make life special. 
        • "The days are long but the years are short"- Gretchen's most famous quote
  • For a lot of things--- including happiness --- there is no finish line. You don't really reach a happiness 'stopping point' but rather you keep going! There are always exciting ways to improve.

The lecture was in a beautiful old synagogue in DC and it was a great night. She signed everyone's copy of her book and even took an awkward picture with us. Bless her.
We can't wait to start reading! Here's to a happIER new year!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Seattle Christmas

We had such as great Christmas in Seattle this year. I love Seattle more and more every time we visit. It is a great, clean city with lots to do and I love counting how many people I see wearing socks with sandals so it's always a good time. Blake's parents spoiled us with attention, shopping, movies and delicious treats this year. My favorite gift was a night away at the Salish Lodge on top of Snoqualmie Falls. It's a short drive from Mercer Island and it is the hidden gem of Washington!

I was blown away when we arrived. It was the coziest most romantic lodge tucked away in the fog. I especially loved the big bath tub and fireplace in the room. :)
Blake took me to an old family favorite- Scott's Dairy Freeze. I'm a sucker for old school diners.
We had a great Christmas morning together. Everyone got together and surprised Lance with a new briefcase but we didn't know what style to get so we let him pick from six :) Lawyers and their briefcases...
We spent lots of time relaxing, baking, running errands and eating. Ramona made the best treats everyday! We have to hit up Pike Place Market every time we're in town of course. Beecher's mac and cheese is my favorite. I love the market! Sadly there weren't any pretty peonies like in August so we'll just have to come visit again this summer!

Thanks family for a wonderful Christmas! We miss you already!