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:

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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!!