Sunday, November 4, 2012

the perks of being a domestic wallflower

You know those days when you find a recipe you're super excited about, make it, and then throw it in the trash immediately after because it didn't turn out? 
Then you remedy the situation by making banana pancakes [mix out of a box] but the pancakes burn? 

That was my Sunday; those are often the types of days I have when I cook.

But you know what I realized? Us wallflowers are never alone.
If you're a lonely teen, maybe you find a quirky Emma Watson to love.
If you're a domestic wallflower, you find comfort in Domino's, frozen waffles, cereal, Del Taco, or like tonight - peanut butter toast and animal crackers.

So thank you fast and/or ready made food, I appreciate the friendship. So does my growling stomach.

RNC 2012

One of the coolest things about Mike's job was that he was able to work the Republican National Convention, and I was able to go!

We headed down to Tampa, Florida for a fun week. I had never been to Florida, so I was excited to cross another state off the list. Since Mike works in the finance department, he worked the donors suite so I got to hang out in there. There was a buffet and an open bar (i.e. all the diet coke I could want!) stocked all night.


This was the view from the donor suite. If you watched any of the Convention on TV, we were in between the two large debt clocks.

For conservative, political junkies this was their ideal "celeb spotting" trip. We saw Wolf Blitzer, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Marco Rubio and others. You always knew someone important was coming by the size of their entourage, only problem was that I didn't know who they were without help from Mike... whoops. 
The ongoing joke was that I wished I was at the Democratic Convention so I could at least get a Jessica Alba sighting or better musical acts or something. I guess that's why I was so pumped when Clint Eastwood came out! 



During the day there were smaller events with speakers and at night everyone gathered into the center for speeches. The last night Mike got special credentials and took me onto the floor for Marco Rubio, Clint Eastwood, and Mitt Romney's speeches. It was incredible! We were about as close as you could get without a press badge. 



The Convention was so inspiring. Mitt did such a good job. He is such a good man and is so qualified. I am so anxious for Tuesday, I hope he wins!!

After the main event for the night was over, there were tons of after parties. The first night we went to a party Mike's department threw for the donors. The second night we went to a party where the Zac Brown Band performed and then headed over to another party to hear Journey play. It was such a blast!



After the Convention was over, we headed over to Clearwater, Florida for a weekend at the beach. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures but it was definitely fun to be back at the beach. The best part of the weekend was that they had a BJ's restaurant. Hello Pazookies!

Getting to go to the Republican National Convention, living in Boston, getting to hear about and experience the campaign from Mike has been such an incredible experience. I am grateful for it everyday. Hopefully Tuesday goes our way!


Don't forget to vote!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stereotypes

Before moving to Boston, I didn't know much about the city and it's people... but I can confirm that Boston definitely lives up to it's stereotypes.

1. Crazy Sports fans.

Growing up with an Angels-obsessed brother, I was forced to hate the Red Sox if I wanted his love and respect. Too far? maybe, but just barely. He hates them - deeply. I had encountered Red Sox fans when the Angels played them and they were always the most obnoxious.

Did the stereotype live up? Yep.
I went to a game at Fenway Park; the fans were loud, the fans were drunk, and the fans cheered obnoxiously even when their team lost. And you know what? I kind of loved it
             Boston fans are crazy, but it's a craziness that is kind of fun to be a part of. Don't tell Brad. 
We want to go to a Bruins game (hockey), hopefully we have time to catch one.

please disregard the fact that I am tone-deaf. 

2. Extremely intelligent.

Harvard? MIT? yep. enough said. But, there's more. Everywhere you turn in this city there is another College. Emerson, Suffolk, Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, UMass Boston, Leslie, Tufts.... the list goes on. It is insane.

3. Funny accents.

Being from California, I obbbbbvviouuslly don't have an accent. I speak how everyone should. Ok, I'm being facetious. My cousins from other states say Californians do have an accent. So I'll concede [even though I still think we speak the best :)]. Not everyone here has that true Boston accent, but when you hear it there is no mistaking it!

A Boston accent takes out the "r" in the middle of the word. "park the car" turns into "pAk the cAr."
But, I heard it said that Bostonians say "you need to die with the same amount of r's."
So when you take the "r" out of the middle of the word, you have to add an "r" to a word that ends in a vowel so "idea" turns into "idear" and "area" turns into "arear."

Given that I studied communication disorders in college, this has been an especially fun one.


4. Hyper-liberal

Although a few people in my office are fellow Romney supporters, they definitely drink the Blue kool-aid out here. The other day I passed a candle light vigil in government center for energy silence.

Despite the fact that I still have a thing for the Red kool-aid, I try not to stick out like an elephant either. Since moving here, I gave up on plastic grocery bags,

         - sidenote: you all should use reusable grocery bags, I've always kind of hated the plastic ones because they're such a waste. And I was the kid that fished them out of the water at the beach. You can hold about 3x more in the reusable kind, and they don't break, and you can carry them over your shoulder. It will change your life. Promise. 

I recycle more (something I've always done but hated that I would have actually had to pay money to get a recycling bin in my Utah apt, how lame is that?!), and I've even been spotted at a Farmer's market.

Don't worry I still shave my legs. Even though I've seen a few girls here who don't.


Although I've found these funny stereotypes to often be true, I had an experience today while sitting at the Prudential Center, eating Pinkberry, and people watching, that made me remember we shouldn't be so quick to judge negatively but should always try to give people a positive benefit of the doubt.

Happy weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Home

I am currently laying in bed in my one room apartment in Boston - yes, one room, we're talking a cozy few hundred square feet that makes for our bedroom, kitchen, dining room, family room all in one - while Mike is off at a rally in Ohio and is about to ride in a private jet all weekend with some famous politicians (not Mitt, but some very cool people). 

I figured with the election happening on Tuesday (what???) I should write about what I've been up to when the outcome of this little adventure is still unknown.

Living in Boston has been incredible, for so many reasons. New England's charm has wriggled itself into a very big portion of my heart and I love calling this city home.

For instance, Mike and I were walking around Faneuil Hall last night and I looked down to find this.

Boston is full of hidden gems like this.


Living in a city has definitely called for some adjustments, but adjusting has been fun.

We decided not to have a car while living in Boston so we've been in 2-heel drive (catch that dad joke? sorry, I had to) and relying on the T for the past few months.
It's funny to think that when I was at home, walking to the end of my street seemed like punishment yet now I'll walk 2 and a half miles just for Pinkberry.

We've rented a lot of cars since we've been here. This one is my favorite. Mike hardly fit inside.



The closest full size grocery store is 2 1/2 miles away, 7 T (subway) stops. There are small, overpriced markets around, so I usually just end up doing my grocery shopping at CVS  - they have one on every corner.

Speaking of chain stores on every corner -- DUNKIN DONUTS. You would not believe the amount of Dunkin Donuts in this city. It's amazing how skinny this city stays despite all the donuts. I'm not the biggest fan of their donuts, but their Pumpkin Hot Chocolate is out of this world.

Boston's biggest charm is it's history. Amidst sky scrapers you can find the Old Statehouse where the Declaration of Independence was originally read or the oldest U.S. publishing house where The Scarlet Letter was published (now turned into a Chipotle). Although, this history means old brick and cobble stone roads, which means I trip. all. the. time. I've split 3 pairs of shoes since being here.

The fall here is so beautiful but when Boston is 40 degrees it's the coldest I've ever been in my life. The humidity just bites you. Missing the winter is the only bright spot about leaving Boston.

Here are just a few aspects of our life in the city. We've loved every minute.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Vacation Envy

So I got married! ....I guess I'll post about the wedding and all of that a little later.

The past month has been crazy. I got married, went to Hawaii, moved out to Boston, and have a job like a grown up. (Seriously, I go to bed at 11 and wake up at 7 - its crazy).

Hawaii in the summertime is magical. I had forgotten how great it was til I got to go this summer. Ever since I got back, I have been checking expedia on a tri-weekly basis dreaming some super cheap, super rad vacation package to Maui would appear. It hasn't. But in case I forgot just how great Hawaii is, all of my instagram friends have been reminding me all August long. It has seriously been torturous how many people have been there in the past 2 weeks.

Needless to say, I have been having a little vacation envy. But then, I got to thinking... I just moved to a city that millions of people vacation to every year, so it's kind of like every day is a vacation. I mean, really, how often do you get to go here:


to one of the oldest and most historic baseball fields in the country?


or how about this view:

the water is what I see when I walk out my front door and the city view is from my roof top. Pinch me!


or you know, we (Mike) could just travel up the coast to get fresh lobster for lunch:



sidenote: I've been watching a ridiculous amount of Dawson's Creek to pass the time while Mike is working and had many a freak outs on this trip imagining Dawson and Joey hitting this watertown. Embarrassing? yeah.

Or we could satisfy our Mexican food cravings at a place around the corner from this place:


I guess what I am trying to say is, I'm loving it out here. Every day is a little adventure with a new place to explore.

And, just in case I still have a little vacation envy, I am leaving for Florida tomorrow :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Patience is my least favorite virtue

I've been a very patient girl these past three and a half months. On Easter (april 7th), my fiancé moved to Boston while I stayed out west. While I shed my fair share of tears in the beginning, I stayed positive and grateful for this awesome opportunity. I only got to see him 3 times since he moved and the amount of time I spent with him could easily be counted in just hours - but it was ok because he was going to arrive at Long Beach on July 18th at 8:18 to marry me and all would be PERFECT. Well, when it's less than 48hrs until your wedding and your fiancé is stuck in an airport across the country where it's hailing golf balls and lightning is striking and his plane is indefinitely delayed because the plane he was supposed to take was rerouted to Maine and youve been counting down the days to this very day for months, you start to bawl your eyes out in Target. And you know that looking like a fool is completely justified. Well ladies and gents, after a few hours of delays, Mike is on a plane thanks to a Jet Blue miracle, and I will be at Long Beach airport at 10:56 pm. You know, the possibility of not having a groom at your wedding (ok, I'm being dramatic, but just let this one slide) really puts this whole wedding business into perspective. I'm not having a wedding, I am marrying Mike -forever. At the end of the day, that is all I want. I just want Mike. I just want to be with him forever. Lucky for me, I get to see him in 5 hrs 37 mins and I get to marry him in 43 hrs 38 mins. Then he's never leaving my side again, except after our honeymoon when he goes back Boston 4 days before me and his business trip 3 weeks later, but that's just child's play after our long distance engagement!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Catch up [not ketchup - that stuff is gross]

So I have to admit, when I got on my computer to blog, I kind of forgot how to do it. Given that this is such an exciting time, I really want to document it - hence, my recurrence back on the blog - so I have a little catching up to do.

I guess it's just a little noteworthy to mention that both me and my fiance are college grads!


Mike couldn't make it back from Boston for my graduation but I stayed up in Utah for his. So for posterity's sake, I put my robe back on and we pranced about (that may be a generous verb choice - we were both super embarrassed to be standing on the corner of Bulldog Ave. so we smiled as pretty as we could for 15 seconds and were out of there) our college campuses and took some pictures together.








On about just as exciting of a note, I got an iPad for graduation. I thought that I would have no use for that thing since I already have a computer, but I am obsessed. My poor little computer has gotten the complete shaft, which is probably why I haven't blogged.









I moved away from Utah for good. Let's be honest, Utah is so easy (and fun) to poke fun of, it just gives us a lot of good material, but I will be the first to admit that I absolutely love that state. I loved my time there and am so sad it has ended. You'd better believe I will be brainwashing my children into going to BYU. It was the best time of my life.

Although, this new view I have is pretty awesome. So is unemployment.


My life currently consists of wedding planning, lunch dates with the mama, the gym, TV shows, skype dates.. and that's pretty much it. Life is awesome.

I've also had lots more fun things on the schedule this summer like bridal showers and a trip to New York and Boston, I'll catch up on those soon.

For now, I am going to soak in my last hour as a 21 year old. Night, friends!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paper chains.

Mike moved to Boston on Easter so we will be living on different coasts until we get married. With all of my new found spare time that was previously taken up by a fiance, I made a paper chain to countdown the days until we get married.


This countdown helps me play a trick on myself: we only have 9 more full days together before we get married! In all reality, we really don't get married for another 84 days but it's a sneaky little way to make me feel like we will be getting married soon even though we'll be apart basically our entire engagement. 

Another thing that makes being apart easier is that Mike is doing awesome things. Example A:


That's Mike right under Mitt's arm (where my bobby pin is pointing) at Mitt's speech in New Hampshire on Wednesday. This picture was on the front page of Politico Wednesday morning. 
You can watch the speech here:

Although I miss him terribly, I don't want to be unhappy for the next three months so I've just been keeping busy and staying positive. But, friends, Mike is at the Boston Logan Airport about to board a plane headed straight for Utah-- all smiles around these parts! 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I know I will :) 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cost-Benefit Analysis.

I am hesitant to write this blog post because I don't want to reveal my tricks. However, since I have already graduated (wait. what?), I figure I should do the noble thing and share my secrets to BYU parking.

Disclaimer: These tips have been tested through trial and error. Strategies were eliminated when a Parking Ticket was received.

I am not sure how many parking tickets I have received over the past 4 years but it is probably in the ball park of 18. If you receive 6 tickets in one year, you get a letter telling you that you are a ticket away from being banned for parking or driving on BYU's campus FOR LIFE. A little dramatic? I'd say so. You think they'd enjoy the extra money we give them. I've never received one of these letters but I've made it pretty close.

Each day, before I go to class, I run through a cost-benefit analysis: weighing the possibility of a parking ticket v. the perks of not having to walk up the awful hills our school sits on. Driving to school wins every time.
          *If you know that I live a 5 minute walk away from campus, don't judge.

Unless you start classes at 7 am, stalk students on the way back to their cars, or Gemini is in your house that  day, you probably aren't going to get a spot in a Y lot. So here are some tips to still park on campus while avoiding a ticket:
  • The Taylor Building (Across 9th East from the Law School, kitty-corner from the Creamery) is full of A(faculty) and G(graduate students) spots with some Y(student) spots. The Y spots are usually taken but there are always A or G spots. This is my major's building and I have "illegally" parked here for 2 years and NEVER (really, never. not once!) received a ticket. 
    • Beware: it is far from the main campus. So far that not even the parking police bother to patrol it.
  • If you are looking to chance a closer A lot, try the lower parking lot across the street from J-dawgs. I have received a ticket here a few times but it is much more rare than other lots.
  • One of my favorite tricks is milking the 30 minute spots. They check them regularly so try not to spend more than 30 minutes on campus but if you're just running in to drop something off, use them!
    • The Wilk parking lot, Visitor lot/Law School lot, Widstoe lot, my favorite: the Crabtree Lot
    • I have also heard stories of people parking at the RB 15 minute stalls for hours without receiving a ticket. I never tested this one.
  • Another favorite trick: If you have a class that starts at 3:30, park in a Widstoe or Visitor/Law School 30 minute spot because they become free game at 4:00.
  • Learn when each lot opens up for free parking. This way, you can always safely drive to campus.
  • Most of you should know this, but just in case you don't, I will tell you: during Spring and Summer, undergraduate students can park in G lots as well. 
  • As a rule of thumb, stay away from the JKB. The parking police office is in the JKB so they patrol it quite often. Sometimes you can get away with this for an hour, but, more often than not, you will receive a parking ticket for parking there. 
  • If you see the Parking Police patrolling the parking lot, run to your car - as fast as you can. Trust me, out running them has been done. And there is no sweeter victory.
Last but not least, if you do get a parking ticket, pay it online within the first 7 days and the price drops from $20 to $10. 
Don't sweat it, practically every other college campus has parking fees. Just look at your parking tickets as your parking fee and enjoy that thrill that comes from out-smarting the Parking Police. 


Man, I'll miss this place.

Monday, April 16, 2012

the final finals.

Seeing as these are my final finals (at least at BYU.. grad school could definitely be in the cards fall 2013) I had to go about business as usual-- i.e. procrastination. Examples of this procrastination are as follows:


I bought these pretty little flowers to keep things happy around these parts despite the mass amounts of studying.


I made this cake because sugar consumption must triple during finals week. 
Side note: this sugar consumption also includes fake sugar because we all know my diet coke consumption quadruples during finals. 
I recently came up with the genius idea of filling a camel back full of diet coke to take with me on campus. Haven't tried it out yet.


My roommates and I built a sweet fort that we've been hanging out in all day everyday. We have three mattresses in this baby and tonight is night 4 of girl-party-sleepover under the fort. 


Also, during finals I try to think about anything I possibly can that doesn't have to do with school, like this penny. When I first saw it I thought it was some weird Utah/Mormon penny trying to sneak a little CTR reminder into our mint. Then I realized it's a national penny. Why? I like all things Abe Lincoln so much better. 

Although finals aren't the best time of the semester, they do mean summer is near! For me, that means graduation and a kind of really big event later in the season. 

And, hey, even if my finals don't go as well as I'd hope. The lady I bought my diet coke from today told me I was so smart because I paid for my 99 cent drink with $1.04 to get rid of some pennies and get a nickel back. She told me she'd never seen anyone do that before. 
If nothing else, my college education has given me the math skills to get rid of pennies. 
(that was probably 3rd grade but shhh.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Emotional.

I have been an emotional mess lately. For good reason, but still, it is getting a little ridiculous; I'm most always on the verge of tears.
       1. My fiance moved to Boston Easter Sunday-night.
       2. My sister left Provo the next morning.
       3. I am graduating from BYU in a week.
        Even this made me cry:


Yes, using the second to last trash bag of this roll made me cry. In my defense, this roll of trash bags has some sentiment, but still, its significance is only minor at best. Go ahead: laugh. I'll be laughing with you. 

As I've been reflecting on what seems to be a horrible week, I realized that although these things are hard (finishing off a trash bag roll -- where's a girl to go from there?!), they are each wrought with hidden blessings.

        1. I have a fiance.
      2. This fiance, Mike, will actually have me
              **If you know anything about our relationship, you know that this is somewhat of a 
                  miracle itself. 
      3. Mike has a really great opportunity that has taken him to Boston.
      4. I get to go out to Boston in May! (second time in 3 months - party!)
      5. I was able to hang out with my baby-girl, my little sister Carly, for a week.
      6. We got to gross her out at my Bridal shower.
      7. I was able to get a college education.
      8. I had so many great experiences and made such incredible friends at BYU that it's hard to 
           leave.

So amidst the tears, I am still feeling quite blessed. Thanks to you all who have helped make Provo my home the past four years. Love to you all!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Noting the post before (I have awesome friends), I knew I wanted to ask my friends to be my Bridesmaids in a special way.

Since getting flowers is quite possibly my favorite thing in the world, and the quickest way to my heart, I decided to give them flowers and came up with this little saying to go along with it. 

**P.S. We're getting married on July 20th, 2012 


























The wedding planning has begun!
I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a good portion of it done already. Nothing wrong with being excited, right?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I have awesome friends.

I have such great friends. They sure know how to make a girl feel special.

Like throwing a quint-engagement celebration (5 girls from London got engaged within 3 weeks!).

some of the London girls. 

Four of us that got engaged, Devri couldn't make it. 
photos via: Grace

And like giving you the following presents as a congratulations on your engagement. 


An engagement party with french toast, diet coke, and cracker barrel? My friends know me too well. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Finally!

Last Thursday, March 15th, Mike and I got engaged!! 

Since the weather was perfect, I ditched my last two classes and we headed up to Rock Canyon Park. We hiked through the canyon until we "found" (Mike had been there the day before and made a trail to climb up) a beautiful spot off the trail on the side of the mountain.

It happened to be 2 years and 8 months from the day we went on our first date, which also happened to be hiking. Mike laid down a tarp and a blanket so we could sit on the snow, and we ate lunch: Subway and Teddy grahams, the lunch we had on our first date. 

When I stood up to take a couple pictures, Mike started telling me all those pretty little things every girl hopes to hear when she's about to get engaged. 

After telling me how he felt about me on our first date to now he said, "There's actually a reason I brought you up here today." "There is??" I said and then came the waterworks.
They started as tears in my eyes but by the time he finished saying more pretty little things and was down on his knee, I was in all out sobs.
I never thought I would be a crier, but there I was sobbing on his chest.. so much so that I forgot to say yes! He had to ask, "Does this mean a yes?" 



The rest of the day was spent calling family and friends and experiencing moments of complete bliss and extreme hyper-ness and then moments of exhaustion from an overload of emotion. It was perfect.

Since we spent the afternoon hiking, which is Mike's thing, Mike made dinner reservations at The Roof, so we dressed up all fancy, which is my thing. 

I may or may not have stumbled about 15 times on our hike down the canyon because that shiny thing was distracting me! I love it :) 

As I mentioned above, Mike and I got engaged 2 years and 8 months after our first date. Although it was a long process with lots of bumps along the way, it couldn't have been more perfect for us.
Mike let me grow up.
Mike grew up.
We learned invaluable lessons about each other. 
And now we couldn't be happier. 
As cliche as this may be, I can truly say I am marrying my best friend. Through all of the fun times, the loving times, my many, many freak outs, and the "experiences" I have wanted to have, he has been there for me, even when he probably shouldn't have been. 

We are so excited to finally announce that we are engaged and couldn't be more thrilled to start our lives together. 
The Date: Friday, July 20th in the Newport Beach Temple 
I'm a pretty lucky girl marrying this guy. I am so so so so so happy :) 

Here's a little video we took just after we got engaged. It's stupid and cheesy, but I kind of love it. Mike's not too sure, but he was a gem and let me put it up.

video

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Commas.

DISCLAIMER: I have a horrible comma problem. I almost always put them in the wrong spot.
                         Semicolons? forget about them. I don't even try.
My English teacher recently cleared up a comma rule that I had always been confused about so I thought I'd share.
             
When making a list, it is always debated if you put a comma before that last and. Is it:
    1. Today I need to go to class, watch the Bachelor, grade some papers, and teach my lab OR
    2. Today I need to go to class, watch the Bachelor, grade some papers and teach my lab?

According to the new APA style guide #1 is correct! At least I will now have one comma rule down. If you want to know the reasoning I can tell you, but I didn't want to bore you. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Quarter of a Century

In case you aren't aware, I have one of the best brothers around. Seriously, he is awesome.
Not only is Brad one of the most insanely accomplished people you'll ever meet:

Won BYU's Model UN competition 2 years in a row,
Was selectively invited and participated in a global Model UN competition in Switzerland,
Was asked to work with every professor he took classes from in his undergrad department, 
Hasn't had to pay a dime of college tuition and he is in Law School (holy scholarships!), 
Just took first place in a Mock-Litigation competition against 2nd and 3rd year law students - he's a 1st year, 
And just picked up a rad clerkship for the summer...

He is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and insightful,
is insanely brilliant and driven,
has a hilarious sense of humor,
has an uncanny ability to make friends,
has an amazing testimony with great depth,
makes every situation more fun,
cares deeply about the people he loves,
is an incredible and loyal friend - he will be there fighting for you til the end,
makes every person he meets and interacts with feel better about themselves....

and on top of ALL that, even thought he has every reason not to be, he is incredibly humble.
     *he is probably going to die after he reads this post... and after I post it on his facebook wall for       all of his friends to see ;)

He is just one of those people we all try so badly to hate because they are so amazing that they suck.
But no matter how hard we try to hate them, we can't because they are just so awesome and nice and kind.
but then that sort of makes us sick... so the cycle starts all over again.

I am so beyond blessed to have him as a brother. Although his example is something I can never live up to (I gave up trying years ago, friends!), I am so grateful I get to watch his life. He is a man of such strong character; he is going places. He inspires me more than anyone else has. I feel so lucky to have him as my brother and just love him so much.

Happy 25th Birthday, Brad!
Love, your little sister.

Texas Roadhouse birthday dinner before his surprise party.
(I have a green, glow in the dark case on my phone so it sometimes gives pictures this hue - don't worry, green haze isn't the look I'm going for)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An iPhone Update.

I got an iPhone in November, the battery is great but Siri hates me. She refuses to respond to my requests half of the time, I guess I got a sassy one.
The best part about having an iPhone is having a decent camera with me at all times. We all know that we can't go anywhere without our phones so an 8 megapixel camera is always at my side. 

Here are some pictures from my life as of late.

*My brother is becoming a Diet Coke addict lover and I couldn't be more happy about it.
*Mike and I found this dessert at Chilis. It is half vanilla, half chocolate cake with ice cream on top. Couldn't be more perfect for us!
*What our Oscar Sunday looked like. As my roommate Nicole wisely noted, "The Oscars is our Superbowl."
*I've been having a grapefruit every morning at breakfast and they have been divine.


*This was my alarm schedule the day I left for the East Coast. just plain gross.
*Diet Coke has been Boyfriend #2 lately. It picks me up, makes me smile and is always there for me. Pathetic, I know, but so, so true.


*Due to my dad's work travels, we buy our airplane tickets with airline miles. 
Unfortunately, when we bought my ticket the only seats left were in first class ;) 
It was my first time flying in first class and I didn't know how to act. They kept re-filling my drink, bringing me warm towels, asking if they could hang up my coat, it was great. I could definitely get used to that. However, I don't think I'll be seeing that first class cabin for another 40 years.
*If the Masters' have to have a layover we plan it at the Chicago O'Haire airport so we can get Garrett's popcorn. It is incredible. Get the cheese flavor, your mind will be blown.
*Pictures from Newport, Rhode Island. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

My New England Vacation.

Last weekend I was able to visit my best friend from high school, Sammy, in Providence, Rhode Island. She goes to school at Providence College and I've been dying to see where she's been the past 4 years.
Thanks to Papa Masters' airline miles and George Washington's birthday, I was able to take a trip out there for the long weekend.

Friday we went out to Newport, Rhode Island.
Newport is the quintessential New England summer town on the water - think polo matches and summer dresses. Newport is equipped with some of the most absurd mansions I have ever seen. Oh the life.

On the backside of the mansions there is a Cliff walk that is 3 1/2 miles long that takes you past the mansions and gives you their sea view. Newport is unbelievable. If you get the chance, you must go. 

Random fact: The Vanderbilt's had a home in Newport and the 1st Great Gatsby movie was filmed there.
We were blessed with perfect weather. We didn't even need to wear our coats for most of the walk!

Friday night I went out to dinner with Sammy's roommates and we went to her "Senior Night" at their on campus pub.


 The theme was Red, White and Blue so we went country style. 


We were supposed to go into Boston on Sunday, but as fate would have it, I came down with the stomach flu for the first time in a decade (literally 10 years, people, we're talking since 6th grade). We stayed home and took it easy Sunday and headed into Boston early Monday morning before my flight. 

This is Quincy Market, a food court type place with tons of cool shops and stores around it. It is right next to Faneuil Hall which is a meeting house from the 1700s.

After exploring Faneuil Hall Marketplace, we started on the Freedom Trail. The Freedom trail is a walk that goes all throughout the city marked by a red or brick line that takes you past all of the major Revolutionary war sites.

Above is a memorial to John Hancock in the cemetery he was buried in. 

My favorite thing about Boston is that it is a city that mixes the old and the new. You will be walking around a bunch of high rises and come upon an old church from the Revolutionary Era. It is an incredible city. I could just walk around for days.

Ever since I was little, my Grandma has told me the story about my great-great-great(etc.) Grandma, Mary Dyer. She was part of the Antinomian movement in Boston in the 1600s, meaning she preached that God did not just speak to man through the Clergy, but that we could receive personal revelation from God.

This is her monument outside the Massachusetts State House in front of Boston Commons

Because of this she was banished from Boston and sent to Rhode Island. She came back to Boston 3 times to preach what she believed and was sentenced to death. She got out of her death sentence because she was well connected but on her 5th time coming back to Boston, she was hanged in Boston Commons in 1660. How rad is my too-many-greats-to-count grandma? 

Of course we had to stop by Cheers to get some food and a Diet Coke!

This was such an incredible trip. Sammy is one of those friends who you can not see for over a year and as soon as you get back together it feels like you haven't missed a beat. I am so lucky to have her in my life, she's been an amazing friend to me through the years.

I absolutely loved New England, I am dying to go back and spend more time. Next up: Foliage season, lighthouses in Maine, a few more days in Boston... a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A 90th Birthday.

My family has been lucky enough to have one of the cutest fathers/grandpas/great-grandpas around for so many years. This past weekend my grandpa turned 90 so my family threw him a huge party.

My grandpa is the funniest, happiest man you will ever met and he had more people at his 90th birthday party than I could ever dream of having at my next birthday. The man is a legend. He had well over 100 people in attendance, all paying tribute to his incredible life. 

I had to post a few pictures we had around the party.
My grandpa was born in Long Beach, CA in 1922. After his mission to Canada, he joined the World War 2 Navy. What a babe!

My Grandpa and Grandma got married just 3 weeks before he left for World War 2. Although they were apart for over two years, they wrote the entire time and had a secret system so she always knew where he was. When the war ended and his shipped sailed into the U.S., she was was waiting for him at the end of the Long Beach Harbor. All the men saw her and started hollering, he jumped off the boat, picked her up and kissed her as all the men cheered! True story. How sweet is that?



They went on to have a perfect marriage. Not a mean word was ever spoken. They are the greatest examples of true love and I hope to have a life just like theirs! I also hope to have a life filled with beautiful things like my grandmother's fabulous clothes. 










My grandpa is the most positive man you will ever meet. He makes everyone feel better about themselves than when he found them. Even though he has 31 grandchildren and well over 80 great-grandchildren, he has an incredible ability to make you feel like you are  the most special person in the world. I love him with all my heart and am so grateful to have had him as an example for all these years!

Cheers to many more years to come!