Sunday, July 28, 2013

little explorers

ship wheel bookends, penguin classics, shark jaws & a wedding invite // our baby esperanza // books & a bone

We assembled bookshelves a few weeks ago to house some of our favorite belongings. New shelves and books have inspired a hunt for quirky, inexpensive bookends. Preston found these (overpriced) ones and sent them to me the other day:

We went to go look at the bicycle and the alligator, and though they are very cool in person, we held off on buying either. To our delight, we came across the ship's wheel bookends at Salvation Army on Friday night. $5 for those beauties! And they actually spin! We found some other great things that night including a nutcracker doll for Christmas, more books and glass cloches. I love our new nautical bookends. Also pictured are shark jaws found on eBay and our own wedding invite in a DI frame (Here are some other frames we made and what we put in them.) Our pet cactus, Esperanza, was purchased in Provo and made the journey to Dallas with us in the middle console of the car. Preston found the bone on a camping trip. 

deer bookends // goldie & me

The bookend gods were smiling upon us this weekend cuz we came across these deer bookends at Ross for $16. I like the way they cradle the books horizontally instead of the usual vertical sandwich. Finally, we found this gold skull at Z Gallerie and for $15, we couldn't pass him up.

Our bookshelves are my favorite part about our little home because they encompass Preston's and my life before and with each other. Every shelf holds a book or trinket that we have enjoyed, holds a memory or simply like to look at. There's no real theme of our apartment, except maybe what Preston has started to refer to as "little explorers," which I guess we are.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

cool stuff for cool people

lula b's vintage store // groovy mannequin // korean mannequin // anatomy posters // curiosities antiques

Since we've been in Dallas, the main and (we are nervous) only things to do are eat and shop. Don't get me wrong, those are my top 2 favorite activities, but these activities get expensive and fattening, 2 things we want to avoid. However, we are not opposed to bargain hunting and thrifting. For a while, I only really liked to look for used books. While this is still our favorite and most popular thing to buy, ever since we moved into our new apartment, we desperately want to decorate it with things we love. Dallas has an incredible selection of vintage and thrift stores ranging from beautiful and price-y antiques, kooky vintage and your basic Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. Last weekend we hit up a bunch of these stores before what's become our weekly Ikea date.
dream bike // carry-on luggage option 1 // carry-on luggage option 2

Lula B's was very cool because it's composed of different vendors, so the store is broken up into little squares of completely different things. Here is where I discovered the bike of my dreams and 40 suitcases I wanted to replace my current one with. The ones pictured were the finalists, but neither will fit in the overhead compartment. The anatomy posters and mini-drawers were from Curiosities Antiques, the coolest and craziest of the places. Honestly, you could spend a day in a single part of that store. The thing about vintage stores is everything is on sale and nothing is just for display, so if you see something, even if it's a rug, you can have it for the right price. Curiosities had some kooky and scary things and I was nervous to turn the corners sometimes. Lots and lots of taxidermy, antique surgical tools and severed and re-attached babydoll parts were just some of the insanities in that store. We left with a pretty fan coral which I'll display in an upcoming post (featuring our new bookshelves!!!!)
the only thing i really wanted

If it wasn't so damn hot here, I would go back for that beauty. Books are still our most prominent purchase. I think we buy used books as often as we buy milk. There are a bunch of Half-Price Books stores scattered throughout Dallas that we have fallen in love with. They have all the recent titles and selections of Barnes and Noble for half the price. Most of the books are in almost perfect condition. Then they have clearance sections with books ranging from $1-3. These places are huge and open til 11 pm so they've become a popular post-work activity. That's another thing. Most of these stores close at 6 and Preston doesn't get done until 5:30 or 6, so we're always rushing or cramming all the places in on Saturday. 

Thrifting is chic and cheap and there's something for everyone. I used to hate going to used anything shops because they smelled weird and I felt like everything was dirty. I still feel this way about the smell and dirt, but my heart has softened since I've found some gorgeous shoes and well-loved books from thrift and vintage stores. (Check back for a compilation post of my favorite thrift store finds.) Even if you're a snob like former me, give thrifting a chance. You might find some gems. And remember, you can always wash clothes. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

oh canada

vancouver from the grouse grind gondola // baby's first baseball game // vancouver aquarium 

We drove to Dallas the morning of July 5th and arrived at our new apartment in downtown the afternoon of the 6th. We bought a bed, some groceries and re-packed to leave for Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday.

Preston's goal was for me to beg to move to Vancouver by the end of the week. This did not happen, but I did really love his hometown. The first night I went to my first Major League Baseball game, Mariners vs. Red Sox. (We flew into Seattle and drove to Vancouver). The first thing I noticed about the Pacific Northwest was the perfect summer weather. We had just come from east coast humidity, desert heat and southern humidity, so the 72 degree weather felt miraculous and refreshing. 
So Vancouver is the Asia of North America. Maybe not, but there were so many Asians for miles and miles. Growing up as the token Asian girl in every group of friends and even at BYU for a bit, I couldn't get over it. I made Preston take me to bubble tea as many times as possible (which is the Vancouver's equivalent to frozen yogurt in Provo). It is a very diverse and active city. No fatties. 
difficult but beautiful hike // an effing bear // me and my trainer

We hiked the Grouse Grind aka "The Peak of Vancouver." This was very difficult for me, but I am proud to say I kept up with Preston the whole time. This was also the most beautiful hike I've ever done. It was all in the forest and the end was a very worthwhile view of the entire city. We took a gondola on the way down. Also I saw a bear. Another day we biked around Stanley Park (it was also very hard to capture the lil azn babies strapped to the bikes, but I was able to do that as well) and went to the Vancouver Aquarium. In addition to a baby panda or tiger, I would be content with a tank of jellyfish. Stanley Park was really pretty, like the rest of Vancouver, and I was still not over the incredible weather. It was perfectly pleasant to be outside the entire week. One of the downfalls of Dallas is the intense heat makes it impossible to do any outdoor activities that don't involve a body of water. I liked how you could be outside all day and be completely comfortable.
stanley park // azn bb madness

Seeing Preston's hometown and meeting his friends was such a treat. We also went through old boxes of school work and pictures and found many gems. Preston was a very avid illustrator and author in elementary school. I should have brought back some of his early work. Also he was/is very good at basketball and sports in general. Lots of trophies and scrapbooks full of newspaper articles. Swoon.

My parents came on Friday and we had reception #2 on Saturday at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Center, a few minutes from his house. I was stoked to wear my dress a second time and also meet the people Preston grew up with. The reception was beautiful and the Kutney family friends were the sweetest. We were overwhelmed with both of our families' friends' kindness and generosity. We returned to America July 14 and Preston started his new job on the 15. So will begin the record of our adventures in Dallas.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

land of the free

stadium of fire
baker family portrait 4th of july edition // sibling couples

We flew back to Utah on June 30 (only after spending 400 hours in Atlanta but we got to see Maren for 2 of those hours which ruled). July 1-4 was spent in Provo packing and shipping our belongings and spending as much time as possible with our friends. Preston and I made a point to leave after the 4th of July because there is truly nothing like the 4th in Provo. Celebrations began the night before at 7-11 where every creature comes crawling out of the Provo woodwork. Thursday morning we biked to the parade. My little orange bike, which I have no pictures of, died the night before, but Molly was kind enough to lend me her cute cruiser. After the parade we went to the Morley family BBQ with Grady and his entire family from all over the country. It is/was the most American part of our 4th. Later that night we had the last supper at Slab. Our good friend Deb was leaving that night for New York so we said our first goodbyes after dinner. That's when the tears started. After dinner we biked to the Freedom Festival and finally took our places on the street to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks.
last provo bike ride

I'm not sure when during the display I started crying, but I pretty much wept on and off the entire night.  My eyes still water thinking about that night and the next morning. Provo and BYU were such an enormous part of my and Preston's life. It's where we met our best friends, had our most fun times and met each other. I did not expect our last night to be so sad and happy and sad. But I guess our difficult goodbye just proves that's it's not where you are, but who you're with. Provo is like, an okay town and probably not that cool to 99% of America, but it will forever be one of my favorite places because of the memories associated with it. It has never been harder for me to leave a place. Thank you to all of our sweet friends for making our last week so memorable. We miss you terribly, love you dearly and are looking forward to our reunions.

Friday, July 19, 2013


colorful houses of bermuda // flips n tricks // colors // favorite beach activity // churches everywhere // ocean

So I have 3000 blog posts I'd like to write, but I'm going to do one at a time starting with the oldest events.

Right after we got married, Preston and I went to Bermuda for 8 days. We stayed at this sweet old lady's guest house and rented a scooter for the week. The scooter was one of my favorite parts because I felt like Audrey in Roman Holiday. Bermuda was beautiful. Another favorite part was the white roofs and pastel colored buildings. Even convenient stores were cute. We couldn't get enough of the architecture and pulled over so many times to snap pics. I've never really been to a tropical island, so I was in awe of how pretty and clear the water was. The sand is actually pink, and we brought some back with us to display in our little apartment. We got so. Dark. Sorry Mom. OH. One of the days we found this thrift store that had the most amazing used book section. $0.50 paperbacks and $1 hardcovers and most of them were new titles and in great condition. It's because all of the tourists bring their new books and leave them behind. Preston and I left with 8 new books or something. 

Bermuda is a really religious country and there were churches everywhere and they were all beautiful. The people were so friendly and it was such a lovely experience. I recommend Bermuda to anyone looking for a peaceful, relaxing and tropical vacation. 

I'm currently sitting on the 25th floor of our apartment building because it's the only place with wi-fi. We have yet to get it in our apartment. Dallas is hot as hell, but I like our apartment and exploring. Keep checking back cuz I have a lot of adventures to blog about!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

newly wed

I married Preston Kutney on June 21st in Washington, DC and partied after in Lancaster, PA. We went to Bermuda on June 22nd. We came back to the Provo, UT on July 1st. We're driving to Dallas, TX on July 5th. We're flying to Vancouver, BC on July 8. We're flying back to our new home (Dallas) on July 14. 

Right now we're in the midst of packing and shipping our belongings and seeing our friends before we leave Provo. Today we shipped 213 lbs. of books. My husband is super responsible and organized. I want to take a nap. I'm excited, exhausted and stupidly happy.