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.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

general conference october 2014

Another General Conference weekend has come and gone and I am always a little bit sad when it's over. If you have never read my blog before, welcome. After every General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I do a little recap of my favorite talks and quotes.

This year for the Sunday afternoon session, we biked to White Rock Lake an listened to the last session in the shade of a tree. I really miss cool fall weather and the changing of the leaves, but sometimes 75 and sunny isn't so bad. All of the pictures in this post are from Sunday afternoon.
One of my favorite talks was by Elder D. Todd Christofferson about the Atonement and how we don't automatically earn exaltation; it's a physical, conscious choice on our part. He also rebutted people who argue that they should not be forced to obey commandments and a loving God wouldn't make such high demands with this great statement: "A god who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is always a conference MVP and spoke at the General Women's Meeting, Saturday morning session and priesthood session! My favorite quote was about the church being a place for all kinds of individuals in all aspects of life with all kinds of testimonies- "I know of no signs on doors of our meetinghouses that say your testimony must be this tall to enter."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a fantastic talk about standing up for our beliefs, but remaining civil and loving everyone. I thought this topic was so relevant because of the constant ridicule and controversy the Church and its members face. It's important that we stand up for what we know is right, but also remain disciples of Christ.

Probably my favorite talk from the entire conference was by Elder Jorg Klebingat. He began his talk by asking the question, what would you do if you had an interview with the Savior in a minute? What would go through your mind? Would you feel ready? He then gave us 6 steps to improve our spiritual confidence:
1) Take responsibility for spiritual domain and well-being
2) Take responsibility for physical well-being 
3) Embrace whole-hearted obedience as part of your life
4) Become good at repenting thoroughly and quickly
5) Become really good at forgiving
6) Accept trials and setbacks as part of your mortal existence: "Millions of your brothers and sisters are being tested, why do you think you would be exempt?"

Elder Klebingat's message was very straight forward and kind of called me out, which is always a little startling, but always great in a talk. I highly suggest you re-visit this one.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a passionate talk about caring for the poor. My favorite part of this talk was towards the end when he admitted that he did not know how each of us can help the poor, but God knows. I think it's inspiring and humbling when such amazing and righteous leaders of the church can admit that even they are not sure about all things, but they are certain the Lord knows.

"Who can put a price tag on the influence of a mother?" -L. Tom Perry

And to close, Elder David A. Bednar addressed his talk to non-members and explained why Mormons are so eager to share the gospel with others. "Our simple desire is to share with you the truths most sacred to us."

I hope you enjoyed this October conference as much as I did. If you missed any of the talks or want to re-visit your faves, you can listen/watch/read the messages here.

I'm thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and especially thankful for the guidance of a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I know he and his counselors are messengers of God and the words and messages they chose to share with us last weekend are pertinent and relevant in our lives today.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

chanel, valentino and louis vuitton ss15

Chanel is always one of the most anticipated shows of the season. Karl Lagerfeld exhibits twice as many clothes as any designer and always creates extravagant sets for his shows. This season the set was Boulevard Chanel. The show started with psychedelic prints which I felt was a nod to the 60s "Make Love Not War" sentiment. Because there's such a vast variety of clothes, it's hard to pinpoint a single theme for Chanel. However, the show did end with the models "protesting" and holding posters proclaiming women's and gay rights.
This pink and white dress was my favorite look of the show. I also loved the next two black and white dresses with the sheer shoulder detail. Somehow Karl manages to make a tacky idea (rhinestone logo belt) into something cool and coveted.
Like I said, no real theme with Chanel, except that it was all pieced from the past. Karl cited his mother, a feminist, as an inspiration. Despite the wide array of looks, Chanel's signature tweedy prints and suits were rampant and started the show and were scattered throughout.
Valentino was really beautiful, and one of my favorites from Paris. The theme was "The Grand Tour" and touched on Italian architecture and interiors. I really loved the rich colors in this first dress. There were a lot of beautiful pieces using the white doily fabric, but this maxi dress was my absolute favorite.
What I loved about Valentino was how feminine and delicate it was. Here's that doily fabric again but in color. Towards the end of the show, a seaside theme took over with coral, man-of-war and starfish prints against luxe silks. This dress is probably my favorite from the collection. You can't take your eyes off that red and the coral print is equally striking. I hope to see this at the Golden Globes or Cannes. The show closed with the starfish wedding dress or at least I thought it looked like a wedding dress. Really gorgeous, light and dreamy.
Louis Vuitton was another highly anticipated show, with Nicholas Ghesquière at the head. The show
was held at Frank Gehry's newest creation, The Fondation Louis Vuitton, a space-age glass masterpiece amidst the woods. However, despite the futuristic setting, the clothes were very familiar to this day and age. I thought this collection was very strong and full of functional, wearable and beautiful pieces. It started with the Victorian collars shown in the first look and continued with structured dresses and skirts. I loved the fabric in the second look; Ghesquière did a pair of pants in it as well. 
You know I was all over the fur in this next look. I loved the pieced together fabrics in the red dress and the second to last look was this fabulous leather (?) mini dress.

Well that's it folks. Fashion week is officially over. Thanks for hanging around.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

teach and preach and work as missionaries do

Today has been an emotional whirlwind because my little brother went into the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah this afternoon. I talked with him on the phone while he had lunch with Alyanna and Drew before he was dropped off. I wasn't home at the time, but when I got back I texted Alyanna about Nic's status and she responded that they had just dropped him off and a second after that my mom texted in our family group text "Can I talk to him?" That's about when the tears started and they've been going all afternoon and into the evening.

Don't get me wrong, I am so, so thrilled for Nic or I should say Elder Padilla. He is doing the very best thing he could possibly do with his life at this point and I know he will do great things. Today it just hit me that he will be serving the Lord full-time for two years and started this afternoon.
To make myself feel better, I decided to listen to the General Women's Meeting that happened last Saturday. I missed it because I was working, but couldn't think of a better way to make myself feel better than to hear from church leaders about how much the Lord loves me. The meeting started with a video which featured women all over the world talking about the blessings of the temple. They shared their favorite experiences and many talked about the wonderful opportunity of being sealed in the temple. I started crying a lot during this part because I thought about how missionaries make this possible by spreading the gospel. By bringing people to Christ, they bring families together forever. My own family joined the Church after 2 sister missionaries knocked on our door in Tennessee. It warmed my heart to think of how my brother will be making it possible for other families to be together forever. If you haven't had a chance to listen to the talks from this meeting, I highly suggest downloading them and listening to them in the car or something. They're excellent and so uplifting.

This was mainly for me to talk about my feelings because I have so many of them. I really couldn't be prouder of Elder Padilla and his willingness to serve. I know he will be a wonderful missionary and that he is a great disciple of Jesus Christ. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you full-time missionaries around the world, past, present and future. Your efforts have changed lives, mine included. Thank you also the families, teachers and friends who support these missionaries because missionary work couldn't happen without you.

Elder Padilla would love to hear from you. You can e-mail him at: padillaj@myldsmail.net or write him a letter:

Elder Jose Nicolas Padilla
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604