Saturday, December 29, 2012

best of 2012

I love end-of-the-year lists. I've been thinking about and listening to these songs for the past couple weeks trying to compile a list of my absolute favorites. So here they are, my favorite songs from 2012:

20. Time to Run- Lord Huron
19. Anything Could Happen- Ellie Goulding
18. The Riot's Gone- Santigold
17. Belispeak- Purity Ring 
16. Nuclear Seasons- Charli XCX 
15. Thinking of You- Ke$ha 
14. Some Nights- fun. 
13. Neopolitan Dreams- Lisa Mitchell (Sound Remedy Remix)
12. Hold On When You Get Love- Stars
11. Don't Wake Me Up- Chris Brown (Panic City Remix) 
10. Primadonna- Marina + the Diamonds
9. Got Somebody- Moon Boots
8. Dirty Paws- Of Monsters and Men
7. Hollywood- RAC feat. Penguin Prison
6. Say My Name- Destiny's Child (Cyril Hahn Remix)
5. Losing You- Solange
4. We Got the World- Icona Pop
3. Lost- Frank Ocean 
2. Carried Away- Passion Pit (Viceroy Remix)
1. Die Young- Ke$ha

I know what you're thinking. TWO songs by Ke$ha? But they're so catchy guys. I want to see her in concert. Tried fighting how much I love "Die Young" but I can't. Every time it comes on I want to clap along and dance (I usually do) and I am always on the hunt for new remixes. There weren't very many albums that I got into, but I really fell in love with Purity Ring this year. I would love to see them as well. I define a good album by something I can listen to straight through without skipping. Here are my favorite albums of 2012:

4. Halcyon- Ellie Goulding
3. My Head is an Animal- Of Monsters and Men
2. Shrines- Purity Ring
1. Channel Orange- Frank Ocean

There you go, my favorite music from this year. I'd love to hear yours!

Friday, December 21, 2012

i'd like to hang out with you for my whole life

This has been the best week because I'm home for Christmas break, Preston met my whole family and on Monday proposed to me!!! Above was one of the pictures I took before he asked. Let me tell you how it happened.

My family and Preston went to DC on Monday to look at the monuments and museums. We ate at Shake Shack because I made everyone go because I've heard great things about that place. It was pretty good, but what made my experience was LaWanda. She was a sweet employee who saw me standing next to the outlet by the bathroom charging my phone. She offered to charge it in the kitchen until we left. Little did I know I would be needing all the phone battery I could muster for that evening's events. We ended the day at the National Air and Space Museum. All of the museums were about to close so Preston suggested we go to the National Gallery of Art across the street. We got there and were told it was closed. So then Preston was like, "Hey let's look at the Christmas tree in front of the Capitol." I agreed and we walked to what I have now learned is the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial or what I've been telling people "a platform across from the Capitol." We stood there for a little bit and took pictures of the Christmas tree and Capitol and then Preston told me he had a Christmas present for me. Half of me thought I was about to get an engagement ring and the other half thought I was going to get a Christmas present. Prior to Monday, I was debating whether or not Preston was going to propose while he was in Lancaster. I thought maybe he would try when we went to DC but as the day wore on, I decided that it was not today. Also I should mention it was his birthday. How unselfish right? I got a Christmas present in the form of an engagement ring because Preston told me he loved me and got down on one knee and asked to marry me. It was perfect and I said yes.
This is my favorite picture of us. This is at the World War II Memorial.

After DC we stopped by the DC Temple and it couldn't have been more beautiful to me. My phone was too dead for me to take any pics, but let me describe it to you and maybe put up a picture from Preston's phone later. It was super foggy so you couldn't even see the top of the temple but it was completely surrounded by fog and looked like it was floating. I had never seen a more celestial sight. It was so special to stand in front of it with Preston knowing that someday we would be married there.
Here's the ring pic with the good ol' Capitol and Christmas tree in the background. I am obsessed with my ring and can't wait to wear it every day and stare at it. I couldn't sleep Tuesday morning and woke up at an unreasonable hour just to put it on my finger and look at it.

YOU GUYS. I'm getting married.

Friday, December 14, 2012

the errand of angels is given to women

 Recently Thought Catalog published this article about mommy bloggers. I have kind of stopped reading Thought Catalog, and not just because of this article. For every smart, witty and hilarious article there is on TC, there's 15 melodramatic, repetitive annoying ones to match. Like how many times can you complain about being a 20-something? We get it, our lives are hard. And they sooo are. I'm not disagreeing. This is not my point. My point is mommy blogs. I read this article and LOL-ed several times. The part about MILFS and Adderall? GOLD. A lot of this article is true I think. These mommy blogs are quite literally a smorgasbord of high definition photos of young mothers toting their annoyingly well-dressed toddlers around posh cities with the occasional "date nite w hubby" pic. As a reader, you're kind of like... sooo what do you do all day? But that's just it. What they do is motherhood, which is the hardest job in the world. And that is what disturbed me about this article.
We sing a hymn in church called "As Sisters in Zion" and one of the lines is, "The errand of angels is given to women." It's one of my favorite song lyrics of all time because it verbalizes the unique and divine role of women. I think of all the women in my life who have been examples to me and they are really angels on earth. Being a mother is hard azz work. I wouldn't know, but I do know how annoying I am and how annoying children of all ages can be. After a long day of babysitting, it is so nice to be able to leave the children at the end and go on your merry way. Being a mother is having those long days everyday, no breaks, no pay.
I know Thought Catalog published this article to be funny. I get that. I roll my eyes when I see another mommy blog pop up on my Tumblr feed. I'm flabbergasted when Naomi Davis gets 450 likes on her Instagram of her baby's feet within 1 minute of posting (what even?) But you better believe I'm clicking that 'like' button too. I'm not mad at Thought Catalog or discrediting the publication. I am saying that this article got it wrong. Being a mother is not just yoga and J.Crew and baby Instagrams. Motherhood is the essential fiber of our society. It's what stops people from doing stupid things. It's what molds people into doing extraordinary things. 
These women manage to raise children in a society that mocks their decision everyday. Do you know how hard it is to raise a child? I don't. I'm scared as hell for the day I become a parent. These women have this scary responsibility and manage to do it while successfully making delicious and pretty dinners, maintaining a healthy relationship with their cute husbands and looking bomb while doing so. Why wouldn't you want to share that with people? Mommy bloggers, here is a quote from one of the greats:
"Yours is the grand tradition of Eve, the mother of all the human family, the one who understood that she and Adam had to fall in order that "men [and women] might be" and there would be joy. Yours is the grand tradition of Sarah and Rebekah and Rachel, without whom there could not have been those magnificent patriarchal promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which bless us all. Yours is the grand tradition of...the mothers of the 2,000 stripling warriors. Yours is the grand tradition of Mary, chosen and foreordained from before this world was, to conceive, carry and bear the Son of God Himself. We thank all of you, including our own mothers, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God, in bringing to pass the mortality and earthly life of His daughters and sons, so that immortality and eternal life can come in those celestial realms on high-" Jeffrey R. Holland

Thank you Thought Catalog for your article. It made me laugh but it also made me think about the incredible women and mothers in my life. Thank you mommy bloggers. I roll my eyes at you, but deep down, I just want to be you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 holiday gift guide

 girls holiday gift guide 2012

1. Hanae Mori No. 7 Perfume This is my current favorite scent. It's flirty
and playful and the right amount of sweet. I put it in my "candy"
perfume category.
2. Fair Isle Sweater There's only a few times a year you can get
away with Fair Isle, and we are right in the midst of it. The weirder the
print, the better. I've had some trouble finding cute girl sweaters, so
hit up the extra smalls and smalls in the guys' section too.
3. Capri Blue Volcano Candle This is my favorite candle I've ever smelled
and if you don't like it, you are wrong.
4. Marc Jacobs iPhone Case iPhone cases are one of those things you don't
actually want to buy, but you should, which is why it makes a great gift.
I not-so-secretly love the outrageousness of this Marc Jacobs one, but
there are more subtle options if you are not as Asian as me. (I've had
the MJ Dreamy Logo Metallic case since I got my 4S and still love it).
5. Coffee Table Book Another thing you don't actually want to buy,
but is so great to have. Coffee table books are pretty to display and
look at and make great conversation starters. I got an awesome one
last year (Savage Beauty) and highly recommend it along with any
fashion ones.
6. J.Crew Camp Socks These socks are warm, cute, functional and
warm. If they were the only socks I owned, I wouldn't be mad.
7. Bangle Bracelet I read in a gift guide that jewelry was a bad gift to
give to a girl, but I disagree. Jewelry is one of my favorite gifts to receive!
A pretty bangle dresses up any outfit and you'll probably see it make an
appearance at a holiday party.
8. (Chic) Snow Boots Recently bought myself a pair of L.L. Bean boots
and they have been my favorite purchase this season. Especially living
in Utah, it's important but difficult to find all-weather shoes that are
both functional and chic. Sperry and L.L. Bean do it for me.

mens holiday gift guide 2012
1. Boots These are just cool. You can tell a guy knows what the hell he's
doing by his shoes. If you are sporting these, I bet you know what you're
doing or associate with someone who does.
2. Diptyque Tam Dao Cologne This smells like Christmas and lasts so long.
The Diptyque candles are amazing and I recently learned they have a
fragrance line that is now being sold at Nordstrom.(used to only be
available at Barney's, Saks, Neiman's, etc.) The colognes and perfumes
are delicious and so festive. Tam Dao is a cabin at Christmastime in a
3. Timex Field Army Watch I'm really picky about men's accessories.
You shouldn't be more accessorized than me. This Timex is simple and
does the job and the absolute best part is you can change the bands.
This is a great gift to give because you can give watch bands for the rest
of your guy's existence.
4. Fair Isle Knit Tie So down with this tie. It's cool and unique. I think
I've only seen one of these in real life and it looked awesome.
5. Coffee Table Book Specifically this book. You know the blog?
Yeah, well they made a book and apparently it's hilarious. Also girls,
you can look through it and be like, "This is looks sooo good don't you
6. J.Crew Leather iPhone Case Preston and Alyanna both have leather
cases from J.Crew. They're chic without being loud and are great quality.
7. J.Crew Camp Socks Same goes for guys. Cozy, cool and FAIR ISLE!!

I tried to think of things NOT to buy a guy or girl, but nothing I write
will be as funny as this list. I love giving presents, but I especially love
giving gifts that I know my recipient has mentioned wanting or has
been admiring for a while. Hopefully this gave you some ideas for
this year. Everyone have a bomb Christmas and remember that
giving is way more fun than receiving.

Monday, December 3, 2012

they say you're a freak when we're having fun

I have had some fun times since I last blogged. First Thanksgiving break happened. Preston and I joined the Baker family in Colorado. I think the first picture sums up the week. The Bakers have adopted Preston for Thanksgiving since he's been at school and this year I had the privilege of joining him. I just love this family and loved Thanksgiving break. It was a week of reading, eating, shopping and eating. I finished Charles Bukowski's Women. I have wanted to read that book for a year or so now and I finally bought it. Charles Bukowski is like Chuck Palahniuk to me. You expect every book to be something revolutionary because Tumblr says it will be based on the absurd amount of reblogs these authors get but then you read it and it's the same vulgar prose with a few chosen lines that are excellent. That was what Women was to me. Filthy, but a few notable passages sprinkled throughout the filth. I started 1Q84 and I love it. It might be my favorite Murakami yet. It's a long read...800+ pages I think, but I haven't been able to put it down. Another fun thing that I got to experience over break was Preston's mission. Preston served in Denver and on Sunday we drove around his areas and got to visit some wards he served in. It warmed my heart to see the people that remembered him and how happy they were to see him, especially the ones he taught and baptized. Missionaries are cool.
I turned 21 last week! It was such a fun birthday. Usually celebrations are pretty low-key for me because my birthday always falls during Thanksgiving break or actually Thanksgiving. I'm lucky enough to have friends that made me feel special from the moment I woke up to the last hours of my day. Above was my birthday dinner with some of my favorite people followed by a surprise party. I've never had a surprise party in my life! So that was a lot of fun. My friends are the sweetest people :) I'm excited to be able to attend 21+ shows now. 
This weekend I saw The Nutcracker in Salt Lake. Did you know I LOVE THE NUTCRACKER?? Ballet was my first love. Honestly. I remember my parents letting me try every single sport. My school district did this thing called summer academy where you could enroll in random classes like karate or jewelry making or chemistry. I took a dance class and fell in love. My mom enrolled my sister and me in ballet and tap that fall and the rest is history. I joined a company when I was 9 and danced until my junior year of high school. Dancing has a special place in my heart, especially ballet. I know ballerinas actually hate performing The Nutcracker, but it is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. It was such a joy to see Ballet West perform it. During some of the opening sequences my eyes started watering and I was like what the hell? I guess I just miss it a lot and after watching any dance performances I start considering abandoning my schooling to pursue a career on stage. After, Preston and I attended my ward holiday ball which was actually in the middle of nowhere. But it was a pretty event and we were in charge of the dance playlist.

This is the last week of classes, next week is finals and then I return to Lancaster with Alyanna and Preston. I have never been more excited for a Christmas break. Happy studying!