Wednesday, December 31, 2014

christmas in canada

Happy New Year's Eve! This year we spent the holidays in Preston's hometown of Burnaby, British Columbia. 

We left on December 19 and flew into Seattle, Washington. We stayed overnight and spent the 20th in Seattle. Our first stop was the Seattle Public Library, a real architectural dream. The inside reminded me of Ikea because of all the escalators and giant block fonts. 
I have finally experienced Pike's Place and during the bustling holiday hours no less. This place is great and we had lunch at Piroshky Piroshky, a delicious Russian bakery that was highly reviewed on Yelp.

Obviously we had to go to the Gum Wall. I have never seen a more unique and disgusting work of art.
I went to Preston's home ward for the first time on Sunday, so you know it's really serious.
We tried to pack in as much nature as possible this trip and our first stop was the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. I first learned about this spot on Lululemon's Instagram when they were launching their #OURVANCOUVER campaign, although Preston was not down to wear head to toe Lulu and pretend to run across the bridge like the original Instagram post. This was the one outdoor activity I was adamant on and it did not disappoint! My only other experience in BC was last summer and let me tell you, it was just as beautiful this time around despite the cold and rain.
Our first hike was to Dog Mountain. This was supposed to be a snowshoe trail but unfortunately/fortunately it was unseasonably warm in Vancouver this winter so there was not enough snow to do our anticipated winter activities.
This is the top of Dog Mountain. So beautiful right?
Our second hike was Quarry Rock which was along the North Shore. Just as beautiful. I should also note that we bought some salmon jerky in Seattle and I wanted to eat some on the train from Seattle to Vancouver but Preston said he wanted to wait and eat it on top of a mountain, so we did.
On Tuesday we braved the rain (Preston was brave, I was grumpy) and went to Lighthouse Park which was very East Coast to me, but Preston said it was quintessential British Columbia. 
After Lighthouse Park we went to another suspension bridge. The Capilano Suspension Bridge was like a magic treehouse kingdom-- there were treetop bridges and walkways everywhere. However, I would suggest if you want to go to a suspension bridge, Lynn Valley was just as cool, less crowded and free! (Capilano cost $30).
On Christmas Eve we went downtown and skated at Robson Square. I always underestimate how terrible I am at ice skating until I step onto the ice and instantly fear for my life. Preston was confused that I didn't take ice skating lessons when I was younger to which I explained that in America, only children interested in pursuing ice skating or hockey did ice skating lessons and it wasn't a thing everyone did like swimming lessons.
Christmas morning! Matching pajamas! This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip because it encapsulates my joy for the holidays and Preston's indifference. (Preston likes Christmas too but was never as excited as I was during the month of December).
Best part of Christmas day was a family Skype session with my favorite missionary. Elder Padilla is currently awaiting his Visa in Rochester, Indiana. He's doing very well and loves serving the people of Indiana. A direct quote from him: "I'm ok with rejection from people probably 'cause I worked in sales." Word.
On Boxing Day we took a long walk around Stanley Park, one of my favorite spots we visited last summer. I also participated in some Boxing Day sales while Preston played basketball. After 5 minutes in the mall I instantly regretted my decision. 
Bubble tea is to Vancouver as frozen yogurt is to Provo. I was in heaven last week and had 8 bubble teas in 7 days. One of the main things I miss about Vancouver are the bubble tea cafes and the plethora of flavors. 

We had such a great time and the 29th came much too fast for either of our liking. I hope everyone had an equally as enjoyable Christmas and I wish you the happiest New Year and a 2015 filled with joy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

monthly playlist: december

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Monday, December 8, 2014

2014 holiday gift guide

'Tis the season of giving and coming up with things to tell your siblings, parents, in-laws and significant others. I love looking at and creating gift guides. Here is your his and hers 2014 holiday gift guide from our home to yours:

Untitled #11
1. Hugo Guinness for J.Crew Bliss Sweater- Last year J.Crew did their first collaboration with Hugo Guinness and this year he made some fun, quirky pieces for winter. I love the word 'bliss' and navy so this was a dream sweater for me. It's also really soft.

2. Rifle Kid's Classic Books- I love pretty books and I love Rifle Paper Co. The Little Princess is one of my favorite books and this edition would look darling on our bookshelves. I have also seen Rifle versions of Heidi and Little Women, both equally as adorable.

3. Madewell Silk Pajama Set- This is a great Christmas Eve gift because who doesn't like to be wearing cute pajamas Christmas morning? No one, that's who. This is a cute set that's not too cheesy and can be worn all year long. Also, if you're like me and hate wearing pants to bed, these are a great solution.

4. Lucere Floral iPhone 6 Case- Rifle Paper Co. made my list twice this year because who can resist these darling floral prints?? And is anyone else as confused as me at the lack of iPhone 6 cases in retail stores this holiday season? Problem solved.

5. J.Crew Wool Plaid Scarf- This scarf could double as a blanket, but when tied well it's an incredibly chic addition to any outfit or coat. I like to wear mine with an all black outfit as a pop of subtle color.

6. Troi Ollivierre Lipstick- This is the stuff they put on the J.Crew models in the style guide so you know it's legitimate. I have tested both colors and they are the most amazing matte shades. I like George, but Parker is a fantastic red that looks good on everyone.

7. Creed Millesime Imperial- Creed fragrances are the best of the best and this is my favorite scent from the brand. They make incredible perfumes and colognes that last all day and night. This particular scent is unisex and is very versatile. According to Neiman's it has "crisp fruit notes, sea salt, Sicilian bergamot, mandarin, Florentine iris, musk and woody notes." Basically it is fruity, woody, musky and sweet at the same time and one of my all-time favorite fragrances.

preston giftguide 2014

1. Old Growth Pine Tree Print - Such a simple, creative idea, that really turned out beautifully.  Made by an artist from Provo, I would love to have one of these on my wall.  A perfect gift for that "Lumbersexual" in your life.

2. Chippewa Service Boot for J. Crew - These boots really caught my attention in store and I don't think the stock photos do them justice.  My pair has broken in really well, the cordovan color has deepened and the contrast stitching really looks great.  I also think these boots are a good compromise between form and function - they clean up well enough to wear to work, but won't be the cause of your early demise come first snowfall since they have a decent tread.

3. Baxter of California/Saturdays NYC Santalum & Cedrus Candle - A really cool collaboration, and one that in my mind can't go wrong - thus, without giving this a sniff, I can still confidently recommend it.  You can't go too wrong with cedarwood, sandalwood, and vetiver.  This candle is so "menswear".

4. Tivoli Model One Radio - I have wanted one of these for ages. I know there are tons of fancy little bluetooth speakers on Amazon that cost a fraction of the price, (a fact that has thus far presented an insurmountable dilemma to my "pragmatic" side) but this is a really beautiful and simple work of design.

5. New York Bike Style Coffee Table Book- I bike a lot, and often it cramps my style.  But I don't think there's anything cooler than some dapper old guy in a suit riding a beautiful vintage bicycle - something to aspire to one day.

6. Steven Alan Alpaca Stripe Throw - Ynna has turned me into more of a homebody (cuz I don't always enjoy dragging her kicking and screaming for a night out on the town) so I have been introduced to the world of expensive blankets and this one looks right up my alley.  We try to stick to simple colors that won't look out of place in the living room or bedroom, and of course we always buy fair trade handmade artisan blankets. You never want your blanket's dubious origins to keep you up at night.

7. The Martian by Andy Weir - I'm still on an "Interstellar" high, so anything about space exploration/colonization is really hitting my entertainment sweet spot these days.  This book might be one of the fastest to ever get picked up for a movie, so read it before then! (even though I have my doubts about the whole "read the book before the movie" thing - why not save yourself some time and just watch the movie?)

I hope you enjoyed our list and got some good ideas for the special people in your life. Here are previous gift guides from the past 2 years. Some of the things are obsolete, but a few are still great options: holiday gift guide 2012 and 2013. Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

monthly playlist: november

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

separated from the sea by a shifting shore

This past weekend we took a trip to Padre Island and Corpus Christi to meet Preston's parents. 
South Texas beaches are not the prettiest in the land, but it was nice to be close the ocean for a few days. We arrived late Thursday night and Friday morning was cold and windy. We went to the Texas State Aquarium and then walked along Michael J. Ellis beach.
The jellyfish were one of my favorite parts of the aquarium and this is a great picture Preston took of the little guys.
The second day was much warmer and we laid in the sun and played in the water. It was still a little chilly, but fun. At the Padre Island National seashore there were fields of sunflowers and I was in heaven! If we had been staying longer and the bugs weren't so bad, I would've picked bushels of them.
On Saturday night we wandered along one of the piers to see what the fishermen were catching. I was reluctant to go because who cares what the fishermen are catching but we saw SEA TURTLES IN THE WILD. I love sea turtles. I think they're the cutest little babies and then when they grow up they're so peaceful and still adorable. I wanted to jump in and play with the turtles. Someday I would like to participate in a sea turtle hatching to help the little guys to the ocean.
On Sunday we drove back to Dallas with Preston's parents and stopped in San Antonio and Austin. San Antonio for the River Walk and the Alamo and Austin for Gourdough's mmmm. If you're ever in San Antonio, stop by the River Walk! It's really beautiful and doesn't feel like Texas. I've never been to Venice, but the River Walk is what I imagine it to be a little bit. I'd like to make a trip back and spend a weekend, I liked it that much.
Monday and Tuesday were spent showing my in-laws around Dallas and last night we said goodbye til Christmas. We had a great weekend trip and visit. Here's to living large in Texas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

darling i'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream (banana)

This weekend I visited my childhood best friend Maren in Atlanta, Georgia. Maren and I have been friends since kindergarten, in the same ward our whole lives, left for BYU together and marriage and jobs have brought us to the dirty South. Because I haven't seen her since Christmas and have never gone that long without seeing her, I decided it was time to venture to ATL. I left Saturday morning and arrived in Georgia just in time for lunch at Gladys Knight's Signature Chicken & Waffles. Naturally, this had been my only request stop for the whole weekend. Get the Midnight Train and mac and cheese.
After lunch we went to a Halloween party where I dressed as a banana and Maren and a group of her friends from the ward dressed as greyscale 50's characters. The party was held at the most magnificent house and I had fun dancing as a banana.
At the very end of the party we set off paper lanterns like in Tangled and it was magical! These things go SO HIGH and are a spectacular sight to see.
 Of course they won best group costume because come on. They are black and white starlets.
Maybe the best part of the trip was going to the grocery store after the Halloween party in our costumes. We figured, hey it's the weekend before Halloween there are tons of parties going on tonight it won't be that weird. This didn't stop us from cracking up every time we saw ourselves in the security cameras.
Sunday was spent sleeping in, going to church and driving around the pretty neighborhoods of Atlanta. Atlanta is very similar to Dallas, but the area Maren lives in is much more scenic. I love looking at old houses so I was excited for this little tour. The house above is President Snow's house in The Hunger Games. Like that house is in the movies and J.Law herself was there. 

Georgia was great but the best part was talking and laughing about our lives and memories with my BFF. 
This came out the morning I flew back to Dallas and if you haven't done a complete run through of every track, stop what you're doing and listen. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVES??? I'm all about "How You Get the Girl" (my #1 I think), "Blank Space" and "Style." I love this album and cannot wait for tour dates.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

monthly playlist: october

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Thursday, October 16, 2014

austin city limits 2014 weekend 2

This weekend we went to Austin for the 2nd weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. We went with our friends Mike and Cheryl and had a fantastic time and saw so many great acts.
This picture was taken right after we saw Sam Smith on Day 1. We got into Austin right at the beginning of set on Friday night. It felt like there were 100,000 people at Zilker Park, no exaggeration. Compared to Coachella, my only other music festival, ACL felt ENORMOUS. Day 1 was the sweatiest day but we saw: Sam Smith, Childish Gambino, Belle & Sebastian and Outkast.
We got pretty good seats for Belle & Sebastian^^
Outkast was a blast!

On Saturday morning it rained and stopped right when we wanted to go back to the park. This made for cool temperatures and lots of mud. I was kind of in shock that I was a little bit chilly on Saturday compared to Friday's sweat fest. On Saturday we saw: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Zoe, Iggy Azalea, The Avett Brothers, Broken Bells, Skrillex and Eminem.

Iggy Azalea was one of my favorite shows of the weekend. I have an Iggy running playlist and I've always liked her songs, but after seeing her perform, despite being super far and super crowded, I have the biggest crush on her. She's beautiful, so sassy, sexy and can spit. Dem. Beats. A guy puked in front of me at her show and if I weren't wearing sandals, I would have stepped in it to get a little closer. At the end of the weekend, I rated all the shows we had seen by whether or not I would pay to see them if they came to Dallas. I would 100% pay to see Iggy again.

We got great spots for Broken Bells. This was one of the coolest shows of the weekend because James Mercer and Danger Mouse are incredible musicians. Also, this show was visually amazing. At the end there were giant bouncy balls in the crowd.
 On Sunday we walked around the University of Texas campus and had the best donuts in the world at Gourdough's, pictured above and below. If you are ever in Austin, make the stop to this food truck because it's insane.
Another really great part about ACL were the food stands. All the stands were local restaurants that took the best things from their menu and sold them. It was a great variety of delicious foods and I had everything from gyros to brisket nachos. Also, ACL is super tech savvy and when you activated your wristband, you could attached a credit card to it and pay with your wristband. Maybe that's not a new thing, but I was very impressed with this system.
On Sunday we saw Cults, Jenny Lewis, Lorde and Calvin Harris. Preston also saw Zedd, but I was too deep into the crowd for Lorde to join him.

Cults were great and Madeline Follin is adorable^^
Probably my favorite show because we were front row was Jenny Lewis. I love Voyager and listened to a lot of Rilo Kiley in middle school, so it was an absolute dream to see her so close. Jenny is wildly talented and I wanted to hang out with her afterwards. She had a beautiful voice and such a great stage presence, I was stoked to be in the front row.
I would probably not pay more than $30 to see Jenny Lewis if she came to Dallas only because I couldn't have asked for a better show in Austin. She makes my all-time girl crush list forever.
I'll be honest, I was most excited to see Lorde and she probably would have been my favorite show if 1) I had been closer to the stage and 2) she would have sung more. I was surrounded by giants at the beginning of Lorde and had to weave my way in, but by the end I had a pretty good spot for a headliner. So I still have a lot of respect for her, but my biggest complaint after her show was the fact that I felt like didn't sing as much as she could have. She would do the thing where she had the audience sing or she would just thrash around and let her backup singers do the work. I think she has great stage presence, but I paid the big bucks and squeezed my way through a crowd to her Lorde sing, not the weekend 2 crowd or her backup singers.
 Overall, I thought she was great and I had a good time. She was worth it to me and I think I would still pay to see her in Dallas.

We ended the night with a Calvin Harris dance party and drove back to Dallas. ACL was a great time and if you're ever in Austin when it's going on, go!

Preston made this super cute video of the weekend and I love it and if you didn't really read anything in this post at least watch this vid.