Sunday, December 13, 2015

be of good cheer

Before I bombard your feeds with my end-of-the-year lists, I wanted to do a quick little update on my second favorite month of the year. I'm still missing these trips and people like crazy, so I'm happy to reminisce and share their goodness with you here.

On November 13 we flew to what's become one of our favorite places in the world- beautiful Utah, for the wedding of Callan Graham and Holly Brinkerhoff. Callan and Holly were married on November 14 at the lovely Payson Utah Temple. Payson Temple is so gorgeous!! And it's always such a joy to witness two friends come together for eternity. We partied in Provo that evening with a Slab buffet, so you could say it was the best wedding reception I've ever attended. Congrats Callan and Holly, you guys are perf.
On Sunday we brunched at Sundance because during my entire 4 years in Provo, I never made the trip. Then Molly and I bravely agreed to hike Lake Blanche with Grady and Preston. It was slippery and cold, but just the prettiest sight to see. Utah truly is one of the most beautiful places I've ever lived. I'll say it again, but all you Utah residents are BLESSED.
It's always fun going back to Provo and hitting up our favorite places and discovering new gems. Like I know it's old news to you, but Sodalicious is the bomb and I would've appreciated those 32 oz of goodness during finals week let me tell you.

For Thanksgiving we went to Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with my parents and Drew and Alyanna. Oh my goodness I loved this week!!! I love going home, I'm obsessed with my parents and my mom's cooking, I loved seeing Alyanna and Drew and I loved that we were in PA for Thanksgiving AND my bday. Oh yeah, I turned 24. And Maren and Kaile came to celebrate with me! There are no pics of my besties, but I promise many snuggles and giggles happened. 
On the 28th I decided to extend my bday and Preston took me to New York for the day because is there a more magical place than NYC during the holidays? We went to the Guggenheim and marveled at the architecture and got yelled at multiple times for sneaking pics. 
We walked through Central Park. 
We got cereal milk from Momofuku and Preston has since recreated it for us here in Dallas. It's actually pretty good. 
We stocked up on weird, adorable Japanese goods at Muji. We went to Washington Square Park and at first I was mad cuz it was dark, but the park looked so pretty at night I decided it was ok. We took notes of all the books we need to get at Strand. 
We had dinner at The Smith. And then we went home.

We left early Monday morning and now we're back in Dallas getting ready to leave this Sunday for California to be with Preston's family! Oh what a wonderful time of year it is. I hope you are having the best time with your families and friends and celebrating the real reason for Christmas, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today we had a such a lovely sacrament meeting and I got to sneak out of nursery for an equally lovely Relief Society lesson. I'm always so amazed and touched by the musical talent in our ward and the time and effort everyone puts into lessons. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

september and october 2015

Can't believe I haven't blogged since August whoops. I guess I a) have a life b) started watching Parenthood c) am too lazy. Probably a nice mix of B and C with a sprinkle of A. Ok so here's what happened in September and October. 

End of September Jen Riding and Jason Lamprecht tied the knot right here in Dallas so not only did we get to see the couple who went on our first date with us get married but all our friends came out here and we got to hang out with them and show them around our city. But back to J-squared. I love this couple. Like I said, they got the ball rolling for Preston and me to start dating by setting up a double date and four years ago this October we went to Bamboo Hut and Yogurtland and now we're here. I've been rooting for this pair since then and they finally, finally sealed the deal. Love you guys!!
Here's us with our little blondie Bakers <3 p="">
First weekend in October we went to Austin and went to Austin City Limits for Day 3 of weekend 1. I learned a few things that weekend like I will probably not go to another music festival again unless I have VIP passes. So the pic above is Years & Years from backstage cuz we had a friend working at ACL and got us some "crew" passes so that was pretty sweet but also spoiled me for the day because I kept looking longingly at the VIPers and wishing I was them during the rest of the shows. But we still had a great time. We saw Daughter, Years & Years, The Decemberists, Of Monsters & Men and THE STROKES and let me tell you I sorta lost my mind during The Strokes because they played mostly old stuff that I remember burning onto CDs in 8th grade and falling in love with. 
October 17th I saw Taylor Swift suuuuper close. Thanks Mommy and Daddy. I literally got those tickets November 2014 and finally finally saw her in October at Cowboys Stadium. It was everything I could have hoped for and she had a great surprise guest (Ellie Goulding) and one of my most anticipated nights of 2015 lived up to the hype. I should also mention I went by myself and made friends with tweens and moms and had to answer the questions "what school do you go to?" and "did you graduate?" a couple times. NBD. That was a great night.
Preston tries to see the good in Texas and scopes out fun outdoor activities. Here is me testing out our new hammock in the Great Trinity Forest of South Dallas, Texas. I need to have a better attitude about Texas' lack of nature, but this was a fun afternoon even if I did complain and grumble all the way there.
70% of the people at our ward trunk-or-treat knew who we were and I consider that a success because a) my anti-crafts self made these costumes b) it was a really short scene from THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE. We're Kronk and Yzma from the lab, guys. Remember? I originally wanted to be Kronk and Yzma in all their glory aka Preston carry me on his back in giant backpack, but both outfits were a little too sexy and kind of difficult to recreate. 

Ok so now it's November and the best time of the year because Thanksgiving and Christmas are within reach, it's finally cooling down in Dallas and it's my birthday month. Happy November!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

the tekulves

Oh how it hurts to be back in boiling hot Texas. Last Tuesday night I went home to Pennsylvania for my baby sister's wedding..

On Wednesday afternoon we went to the Washington, DC Temple so Alyanna could go through for the first time before her wedding
I spent Thursday going to the dentist for the first time in almost 4 years oops (no cavities wut wut) and getting ready for the next big two days. My family spent Thursday night in DC and we (Alyanna, Ynna, Mommy) woke up semi-early to get our hair and faces made up for Alyanna's sealing that afternoon. Although we felt like geishas, Alyanna looked perfect and the rain held out making for a perfectly cloudy, pleasantly cool wedding day. Drew and Alyanna were sealed for time and all eternity in the Washington, DC Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my most favorite temple in the world. The pics turned out great and I'm a big fan of Alyanna's photographer, Monika Ottehenning. After the sealing we went to a little familiar spot by the temple for dinner :)
Friday was party day!! Alyanna had her reception at the John Wright restaurant in Wrightsville, PA about 25 mins from Lancaster. The first time I saw the venue was that Friday and I was blown away. Gorgeous views of the Susquehanna River and cool, industrial-exposed-brick-and-pipes vibes inside. Of course decorations were perfect because my mother was in charge. The night was filled with happy tears, a few sad because our baby brother was missing, lots of laughs, smiles and sweaty, joyous dancing. I'm so happy for Alyanna and Drew and hope they are having a great time in Hawaii right now.
Left to right: Ynna, Vanessa, Alyanna, Desiree, Yuki, Serena. Favorite bridesmaid outfit I've worn/seen.
The royal couple aka Mommy and Daddy Padilla in traditional Filipino wedding attire. 
Just as excited to see these three as much as my fam to be honest. They have part of my heart forever.

Preston and I left for Philadelphia on Sunday morning and spent the day in city before flying to Boston. We managed to squeeze in 10:30 AM Shake Shack, Mutter Medical Oddities Museum and Philly cheesesteak lunches at Pat's. We flew into Boston that evening and spent the night in Cambridge. On Monday we walked what felt like the entire city, basking in the unseasonably cool weather and eating lobster rolls and ice cream. You guys it was 70 degrees most of the time we were in Boston which is LIT-RALLY 32 degrees cooler than Dallas right now. Pennsylvania > Texas. Boston > Texas. Almsot anywhere > Texas. Just kidding but...
We boarded a plane Sunday evening from Boston to DC, got stranded in DC for 3 hours, ate more Shake Shack, saw the White House and made it back home by 3:30 AM.
I am still so thrilled for my sister and new brother-in-law and their new life together. Drew is a fantastic guy and comes from a lovely family who I had the privilege of finally meeting this weekend. I already miss my hometown and parents so bad. My heart is on the east coast, sorry Texas. Another big congrats to Alyanna and Drew and humungous thank you to my parents, the Tekulves and all of our friends who came to support Alyanna and Drew. It was truly a magical weekend.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

monthly playlist: july & august

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13

Monday, June 29, 2015

kev & rachel & utah

Last night we got back from a five day vacay in Utah to celebrate the wedding of Kev Nemelka and Rachel Mclaws. We had a superb time and I'm already missing the majestic mountains and Cafe Rio and all our wonderful friends.

On Wednesday we left to go hiking and camping in southern Utah. We stopped first at Bryce Canyon and marveled at the beauties there. Utah is such a geographically unique and gorgeous state and I'm actually pretty envious of all our pals still living there. If you are, go outside!!
After Bryce, we drove to Zion's and hiked Angel's Landing. I forgot how effing hard that hike is, but the views are pretty rewarding. Utah was super hot, but unlike Texas, the heat is dry and somewhat bearable. Utah > Texas.
Such a treat to spend time with these guys. Callan rented a Chrysler Town & Country minivan and it was the best decision of the trip. When we came home Thursday night, Preston and I ate our first Slab in years and it was divine. (We ate again on Friday).
Saturday June 27 was wedding day! Kev and Rachel were sealed in the Salt Lake City temple and it was a sweet and lovely sealing. Kev is such a dear friend to both of us and we were so happy to be included in his special day. I haven't had the privilege of hanging out with Rachel much but I know she's a gem and super a great chick if she's married to Kev.
Here's the pretty wedding party on Temple Square. Don't they make a great pair? And isn't Rachel's dress gorgeous?
I got to see Alyanna too which was fun. We danced the night away at Kev's reception and squealed about her upcoming nuptials in August.

One wedding down, one to go this summer! Big congratulations, hugs and kisses to the new Mr. and Mrs. Nemelka. We are so happy for you!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

monthly playlist: june

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

Monday, May 25, 2015

memorial day weekend 2015

Started off Memorial Day weekend with a dance party aka Purity Ring show in Deep Ellum. It was at a new venue called The Bomb Factory which was very spacious, dark and smelled new. I liked it. Purity Ring was great and sounded just like the babies of their recordings.
Saturday afternoon we left for Jefferson, Texas which is a small town 3 hours east of Dallas. The main attraction of Jefferson was this swamp-y wonderland called Caddo Lake. We rented a canoe and paddled around ooh-ing and aah-ing at the cypress trees and Spanish moss billowing in the wind.

Swamp Boy!
Eerily pretty amirite?
 Here's where we had dinner on Saturday night.
Jefferson is super charming and historical and any small country town that is both charming and historical I equate to Stars Hollow, Connecticut. Jefferson was definitely another Stars Hollow of the south. Here is my enjoying an old fashioned ice cream soda at the general store.
Here's the general store where in addition to my ice cream soda we purchased raspberry licorice, blueberry soda and minty soap.

Here's a pink wall I insisted taking a picture with while we were waiting for Riverport BBQ to open at 11 am Sunday morning. The BBQ was delicious and I was reminded of my favorite aspect of Southern living/culture- Southern cooking/BBQ/french fries as the only vegetable.

Jefferson was fun and Caddo Lake was unlike anywhere I've ever been. I was reminded of my fourth year Girls' Camp canoe trip in which I earned the Pocahontas award. The Spanish moss of the cyprus trees were very Grandmother Willow-y.
Today we slept in and I ran some errands. This afternoon we saw Mad Max which was pretty gnarly but very good. I recommend it if you like action movies. When we got home I made a Memorial Day dinner. It rained all day and we weren't invited to any BBQs or pool parties anyway, but I still wanted to eat Memorial Day picnic food. Above is my homemade barbecue sriracha cheeseburgers with sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg to make it fancy + sweet potato fries and my blueberry soda from Jefferson :)

Cheers to my first three day weekend not confined to the mall!! Hope everyone had a happy and safe Memorial Day.

Monday, May 11, 2015

monthly playlist: may

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

met gala 2015

Last night was probably my favorite night in fashion. The Metropolitan Museum of Art debuted their newest exhibit, "China: Through the Looking Glass," which explored the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion. I love the Met Ball/Gala (what do I call it?) because celebs and designers alike wear the most outrageous, beautiful couture, designers go as dates and it's an all-around feast for the eyes. These were my favorite looks from last night.

I am impressed when a guest is able to capture the theme of the evening and also be a showstopper and Rihanna did that for me in her Guo Pei masterpiece. She was definitely the most regal. Ok haters, I thought Kim and dat @$$ looked great in Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli. I think it was the feathers that did it for me. Kendall Jenner looks ravishing in her Calvin Klein Collection jeweled sheath. Honestly I crush so hard on Kendall. Homegirl is stunning and has my favorite body type in the industry.
Amanda Seyfriend played it safe in Givenchy Haute Couture but I thought she looked lovely. I didn't hate Miley in Alexander Wang. I think it was the jutting hipbones for me. Amal Amal Amal. Like seriously George who?? She blew my mind in that John Galliano for Maison Margiela.
Brie Larson, Courtney Eaton and Annabelle Wallis killed it in Dolce & Gabbana but my favorite look of the night goes to Courtney Eaton in the gold, headpiece and all. There's something about the cut of that dress, the gold disc pattern and her angelic headband that made me want it all. For me, when Anna Wintour entered the scene was when "the queen" entered. This is the Met Gala people, and she's the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Come on. I thought she slayed in Chanel. And then Lily was too pretty for words. Another one of my favorite faces in the industry, she looked ethereal in this simple Carolina Herrera. You know I'm a sucker for ruffles and the ruffled bottom with the pale icy blue/grey and keyhole neckline was too much. Also it's Lily Aldridge.
And because I worship her and Prabal, I had to include my girl Kristen Wiig. Another really safe, borderline boring choice, I still thought she looked radiant and lovely in this pale yellow Prabal Gurung gown. 
Honorable mentions go to: Beyonce's ponytail, Alexa Chung in Erdem, Poppy Delevingne in Marchesa and Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen.