Christmas knitting

This morning I went to a knitting class with my friend Samantha at Blazing Needles.  The little Sugarhouse shop was so cute and had a fireplace in the room in back where everyone knits.  When I walked in, everyone was sitting around drinking coffee and knitting.
 The knitting class is free and you can go every Saturday morning, like Sam does (and I'm going to be joining her from now on!).  I bought a new circular knitting needle set while I was there and three skeins of yarn to make the start of a blanket.
 Also, it was snowing all morning.  Salt Lake City has been a snowy wonderland for the past week.
Sam's second little baby is almost here- I can't wait! 

 Here's one of my favorite ornaments on our tree this year.  This little shell turtle is from Saipan and used to be hanging in our cute little island house that was hot and humid all year round.  It honestly seems a little out of place on our Christmas tree in snowy Salt Lake, but it brings back wonderful memories.
And my other favorite ornament was a pre-Chrismas gift for Brian this year.  I found this in Park City with my parents this fall and had to add a few of my own little messages in permanent marker :)


Etsy Favorites

Etsy favorites
Wall art / Purple home decor / Lip treatment / Beauty product / Organic Bare Linen XL Diaper Bags / Pillow Pendleton Wool Fabric Orange, Native Geometric Tribal

I love Etsy prints.  When Brian and I first moved to Utah, we bought a really cool Taipei skyline print in bright orange.  Since then I've been saving up ideas of more prints we like, and we just recently got the two pictured above.  The tribal print pillow above is so gorgeous and she also has lots of other cool ones in her shop.

My favorite Etsy store for simple gold stud earrings is here.  And these mason jar wall planters are so pretty and unique too.  They would be perfect for hanging in the kitchen and growing herbs.  


Less than two weeks till Christmas!

 Last night we had our friends Amanda and Martin over for dinner and a scary movie (in honor of Friday the 13th).  We made up a big pot of taco soup and some corn bread and had hot chocolate that they had brought us for dessert.  
 Sam could not believe her luck that her friends were here to play with her and was pretty much glued to Amanda and Martin the whole night.  She loves them.  She would come and give me and Brian just one lick, then go give Amanda like 20 haha!
 They brought us the cutest Christmas gift basket ever with hot chocolate, mugs, fuzzy socks, cookie mix, and the coolest plate on the bottom.  Thank so much, guys- come back over again soon!!
 On Tuesday afternoons, I usually work only a half day, so I went over to JL's for a Christmas baking day.  I had been basically begging Jennilyn to have a baking day with me since about Halloween and we wanted to invite all of the girls in the family to make it even better.  I bought a bunch of baking supplies and ribbon on the way over, and JL already had a couple of recipes ready to make too.  We ended up making chocolate dipped pretzels, oreo truffles, cinnamon crockpot almonds, and a curry nut mix.  
 Heather brought over a ton of mason jars that she didn't need anymore.  We cleaned them up and made little gift jars of our treats with ribbon wrapped around the top.
 Ann made the first jar and it turned out so cute.
Gemma with one of the finished products.  We decided that Christmas baking day has to be a tradition for us each holiday season.


Christmas Wish List

Christmas Wish ListH&M beatle boots, $41 / Zara handbag / Gap Plaid Combo Scarf - red / Body cleanser / Home decor / Red currant candle
I've been going a little bit wish list crazy lately.  My mom always asks for a bunch of internet links for Christmas presents for Brian and I, and it's just so fun to pick stuff out.  Here are some things I've either asked for or am planning to buy right after Christmas.... because next up after the holidays are sales!



 It's cold in Salt Lake City right now (well, it's cold pretty much everywhere right now).  I adore the snow, but I have to admit that Brian and I have been dreaming lately of moving to warm and sunny Hawaii after I finish nursing school.  Last night, however, reminded me of my love of winter weather.  Salt Lake City is so beautiful when covered with a blanket of clean, white snow.
The sun setting on the west side of the valley over the Oquirrh mountains

Pink sunset touching the tops of the Wasatch mountains
 State Street is lit up by traffic going through the middle of the valley.  From up on a hill, Salt Lake City feels like you are in a gigantic bowl, surrounded by mountains on all sides.  Love.


Salt Lake Thanksgiving Round 2

Brian and I are pretty used to spending Thanksgiving away from home.  While we miss our families and wish we could be with them, we always make the best of wherever we are and really enjoy the holiday.  We've been so blessed to spend all of our last five Thanksgivings with wonderful friends:
2009: Taipei.  We went to our friend Jenny's house and had a mismatched, delicious sort of Thanksgiving dinner.
2010: Our first year in Saipan.  We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Laura and Josiah's parents' house and sang the doxology (which made my friend Amy cry :)
2011: Our second year in Saipan.  We ate at Laura and Joe's parents' new house on their enormous front porch, then played Boche Ball on the front lawn with coconuts.
2012: First year in Salt Lake.  We spent the afternoon at the Kozminski's house, ate a huge Thanksgiving feast, then took a walk around the block.  Afterwards, we went over the the Fuller's for round two of Thanksgiving dinner.  We are so lucky- thank you to our wonderful friends for making our Thanksgivings away from home so special!
 This year for Thanksgiving, we went over the Jamie and Taylor's apartment for lunch, after the guys spent the morning skiing.  It was Brian's first time to ski and he loved it.  My friend Jamie is super creative, and made the cutest little place settings at the table.  Their house smelled delicious when we got there, and Jamie was in the process of making her first turkey.  It turned out great!
me, Ashley, and Jamie
 We took about 10 pictures before we got one that wasn't blurry or weird, but this one is my very favorite.  
 My man.  He loved skiing on Thanksgiving and wants to go again soon- me too!
The best food and the best company!  It was also so fun having Ashley and Kyle there and talking around the table.  We love holidays with friends.  Afterwards, Brian and I decided on a whim to go to Walmart to get into the Black Friday shopping spirit.  We didn't even have anything we wanted to buy- just wanted to see the craziness.  Honestly, it was kind of boring.  We walked through the crazy crowds for a few minutes, then went home and watched a movie together. 


Snow!!!! And Lights!!!!

The holiday season is officially here!!  I couldn't be happier.  They have finally lit the Christmas lights downtown and I love to drive slowly on my way home so I can take in the lights and wreaths and city decorations.  Brian and I will be spend Christmas together in Salt Lake City again this year and I can't wait to start some holiday traditions.
Things I'm looking forward to the most this holiday season:
- Going to see the Nutcracker with a big group of friends this mid- December.  We are going out to eat before and I really can't wait.
-Thanksgiving over at the Kricks.  We just finalized our menu last night.
- My friend Jennilyn and I are going to have a Christmas baking day soon.  I want to get some mason jars and decorate them with the Christmas treats inside.  They will make great gifts!
- Seeing the lights at Temple Square.  Brian and I had planned on doing this last year, but never made it out, so we will do it this year.  
- Putting up our Christmas tree in our house and watching Love Actually together.
- Going ice skating! (Sarah are we going!?)
- Going home to Kansas City the day after Christmas and spending time with friends and family there.
- Making a Christmas wreath... I need to do this soon.
- Going the the Christmas Service at our church and singing carols.  

a lately post

At Amanda's house watching a movie with her adorable puppies.
 Hello blog, I missed you!  I was talking to a friend over coffee last night about blogs and my blog, and I realized I haven't been posting very much lately and need to start again!  I don't want to forget the fun things that are happening, and really love this little journal of our lives.  
 I love going over to my friend Amanda and her husband Martin's house.  They have two great big Dobermans and one of them, Tara, loves to cuddle.  She always waits until you tell her too, then she will leap up onto the couch and lay across your lap.  If I'm not scratching Tara's tummy enough, she either licks me in the face or bumps me with her nose.  I love that dog.  Also, Martin and Amanda's house is a lot like ours.  They live in the Avenues, and our houses are both really old with wood floors and a lot of charm.
We also went over to their house for dinner a few weeks ago.  We brought salad and Amanda made the best vegetarian enchiladas and homemade guacamole.
 Beautiful birthday flowers that Brian brought home for my birthday :)
 When Brian and I were living in Saipan, a few of my friend and I would have a girls night every single Friday night. We always ordered pizza (and had the same delivery guy) and we always watched Pretty Little Liars. (Some of my favorite memories from Saipan!) My friend Anna still sends me letters signed by "A" and the week before my birthday I got a mysterious birthday card with lots of little A's in it!  Hmm... wonder who it could have been from? :)
 Here's another girls night at Jamie's from about a month ago.  Our husbands went camping this night in the mountains and there was already snow on the ground.  They asked us to go to, but already knew the answer would be no.  I adore camping, but not when it's freezing cold temperatures.  I've only done that once, in Palo Dura Canyon, and was so miserable and freezing all night long, I went and got in the car and turned on the heat just to get some sleep!  I'm really glad Jamie and I stayed home and got to spend lots of time catching up and eating Starbucks pumpkin bread.
 Seriously, have you guys ever tried cheese and crackers and cucumber slices?  It's surprisingly the best food in the world and I ate like this whole plate.


Mom and Dad Visit!

My parents came to visit Salt Lake City for six days!  They stayed with us, and after they left our house felt a little empty for a while.  Samantha really loves my parents- she would not leave them alone while they were here and was always walking around, resting her head on their laps and wagging her tail.  After we took them to the airport to go home, she stood at the front door for 30 minutes, whining and pacing.

One of the best parts of their stay with us is that they were able to be here for my 28th birthday.  My mom and I went shopping together that morning and bought my new Lululemon yoga mat that I've been eyeing for almost a year now.  When Brian got home on the night of my birthday, we all went out to eat at my favorite restaurant and then headed over to the Cheesecake Factory for bday cheesecake.
My fave picture of me and my dad hiking, even though my mom's finger made it into a few of our pics!
The weather was gorgeous for the first three days they were here, so we made sure to get a lot of hiking trips in before it got colder.  I'm so glad we did.  They loved hiking in Utah and we got to take them on several beautiful hikes in Millcreek Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon (our hike near Alta was so pretty but so cold).

My parents also loved our little historic neighborhood in the Marmalade area.  A couple of mornings while they were here, I got up and went to yoga class while they took a walk around our neighborhood.   We love living right near downtown, so we can just take a quick drive and be right in the city. I also took my dad to my favorite used bookstore downtown, which is two stories and filled from floor to ceiling with books.
My family knew our family friends here in Utah even before we met them, so on Sunday we all went over to my our friend Jennilyn's house for a huge dinner. It was so fun to have everyone together and my parents really enjoyed getting together with old friends.  My dad and I really like cooking together, and we made this awesome Thai salad to bring- it was a little spicy and so good.  Thank so much for hosting, JL, it was such a great time!
Me and my mom over at JL's house! 
Here's proof of how much my dog adores my parents.

I took my parents to Cafe Rio on our way to Park City one afternoon, and they loved it as much as we do.  Brian also really wanted to take them to the Red Iguana (which we had never been to, but is a Salt Lake City fave), so we did on their last night here.  It was just as good as everyone says it is, and we will definitely be back for more amarillo mole!  
More hiking during their visit.  They missed the fall colors in the mountains by a couple of weeks, but were able to see the last of the beautiful colors down in the valley.  This was a hike at the base of Little Cottonwood, and you can still see some colors here.

Thanks for visiting us, mom and dad- we had such a great time!  Please come back soon!!!!


All the leaves are brown

This past Saturday, we went over to see some friends and roast some marshmallows.  Our friends bought a super cool new fire pit and we gave it it's first test drive that night.  Brian and I brought all the ingredients for s'mores (complete with dark chocolate Hershey's bars yum) and I succeeded in convincing one person that toasting your marshmallow until it's completely black and crispy is the best way to go. 
This was such a fun night.  To me, bonfires signify fall, and it was so much fun sitting around the fire and hanging out.  Then we went inside to watch Thursday the 12th, a gem of a homemade horror movie that Dave and his brothers made in the 90's.  Tessa and I were begging to watch it again because it is now our very favorite movie and we just about die laughing while watching it. Ha! Love them!
Me and Tess were so excited to be wearing our favorite fall boots again.  Also, I want her leggings.
 Uh oh, I spy short mailman shorts!  Samantha loves to sit right by you in the morning and stare you down until you give her some food.  She knows that I'm the one who usually gives it to her, so she will follow me around like a little shadow during my morning routine.  I think it's cute and like to drag it our as long as possible.
 I finally got my Utah driver's license and spent a considerable amount of time at the DMV doing so, so I rewarded myself with two Banbury Cross donuts.  They are so much better if you heat them up in the microwave for 5 seconds each, and then drink them with super cold milk.  Melt in your mouth good.
I cropped this picture because for some reason I chose to pose with my legs really wide apart and it looked super weird.
 My friend Sarah planned a really fun night at Wheeler Farm the other week.  We went on a wagon ride, did a corn maze, and did some pumpkin picking!  Fall activities are the best.  We also had two adorable babies in the group who thought that the wagon ride was the coolest thing ever, and it was really cute to watch their excited expressions.  
Right now I'm:
Reading:  Such a good book, "Life After Life," by Kate Atkinson.  It's a novel that is set during WWII and it involves the idea of deja vu and what it would be like to live your life over and over again; would you eventually get it just right? I got so attached to the characters and was really sad to finish it a few days ago.
Anticipating: My parents coming to visit next week!  Starting school in January.  Having a girls night with my friend Jamie while our husbands camp up in the mountains this weekend.  Possibly joining a women's Bible study at my church.  Getting better at the forearm stand that I discovered I can finally do.
Memorizing: "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken." -Psalm 55:22  I've had a couple of days this week and last when I've felt really down, and I have this verse on my phone and look at it several times daily.
Listening to: To Build a Home by The Cinema Orchestra