lots of things

 You know what makes my whole week?  When my friend Anna sends me cards, because on top of the awesome card,  she always puts in magazine pages with little notes all over them of our fave celebs.  The very best.
 Our next door neighbor Sarah is Brian's new official hairdresser!  We have the best next door neighbors, Amber and Sarah.  Our dogs play together (when they're not fighting) and Amber watched Samantha when we went to Zion, so now every time Sam sees Amber she freaks out with love.  They are both hairdressers, so Brian asked Sarah to start cutting his hair.  Want to see the finished product?
 It looks great!
 Here's our church small group at Brian and Sarah's cute new house.  We accidentally forgot to document our first time we had small group there, so this the second night.  We love our new spot, thanks for offering to host, guys! 
  On Saturday, my friend Liz and I were supposed to go to the Farmer's market but decided to go get coffee, breakfast burritos, and scones instead at Red Moose Coffee.
 Liz had some free time afterwards so I begged her to teach me how to knit and she agreed.  We ended up running to Michaels and getting me my first pair of knitting needles (actually, they are the circle kind) and some yarn.
 Making a potholder yyeeeah!
 Liz's husband Dan definitely thought it was a headband.  I ended up making half of a potholder and it looked awful so I just unraveled the whole thing and started over.
 serious knitting pro Liz


Cooking night with the ladiezz

Last weekend, some friends and I had our second themed cooking night.  We made Asian food for our first cooking night and Indian food this time.  We went over to our friend Amy's condo and got to work!  Actually, some of us had made our dishes before (like my slow-cooker lentils that I had made the day before), but there were still lots of yummy things being whipped up that night.  My very favorite dish was the homemade falafel and yogurt sauce that Amy made- see the picture above.
 Just crushing some coriander cause ya know that's how we cook.
 The only problem was that there was sooo much food!  We accidentally made too much and hardly even put a dent in all of it.  But that just meant leftovers!
Good food and awesome girls.
Last night, Brian and I went to an event at our friends' chiropractic office.  Our friends Jamie and Taylor moved to Salt Lake around the same time that we did and we met them through our church. They opened their Maximized Living chiropractic office, Align Utah, last fall and have steadily been building an amazing practice.  We're so proud of them- they are fantastic at what they do and have worked so hard.
They also put on these fantastic events, like the Eat Real Food event that we went to last night. It had some great information on how a lot of the packaged and fast food we eat is not really food, but chemicals and things that look like food and that are not good for us.  It also had great, practical info on how to include better food into your diet, and planning throughout the week to ensure that you eat healthy meals, even in a rush.
My favorite tips:
-It takes about 17 times for your palate to change and to begin craving or even liking a new food. I'm going to start eating some more vegetables that I don't really like, in hopes that I will develop a taste for them.
-Add one to two more healthy smoothies into my week, and to do the same for salads.
-After I grocery shop, immediately cut up the fruits and veggies so that they will be ready to easily grab and make a stir fry, smoothie, etc.  I really like convenience, and this will help me to not just say, "oh, whatever, I'll just go grab something from the drive-thru because it's quick."
- Read labels!  If it has a ton of stuff that you can't pronounce, it's probably not good for you.
Awesome, these are all so easy to do- thanks for the tips, guys!


Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market-ing on Saturday.  It was hottt.  We're going to go again next week a little bit earlier to try to beat the heat.  My favorite things I've bought at the Farmer's Market this summer:
-my little succulent plant
-Thai iced tea every week
-the fresh berries I bought last week- we had them on homemade ice cream
Baby snuggles!!!  I babysat my friend Heather's baby boy last week and it was the best.

I bought an old cruiser bike from Craigslist last night and Brian and I took our bikes for a spin around our neighborhood.  We also decided to take Samantha on her leash and have her walk along with us while we rode... it was an absolute mess.  I was literally dying laughing watching Sam try to run in front of the bike when she saw a cat, or when she repeatedly got freaked out by the bike and tried to just sit down on the ground.  Brian finally dropped her off at home and came back to ride with me... we are going by ourselves from now on ha!!  


Walking the Narrows at Zion

My favorite part of our Zion trip was hiking Angels Landing, but Brian's was hiking the Narrows.  It wasn't a difficult hike because it was flat the whole time, but we went a few miles along the river and then came back the same way.  We spent about four hours doing the hike and stopped to have lunch (we had packed it) along the way.
 For most of the Narrows hike, you are wading through water or walking right along the river.  Some places are pretty deep, and we saw some people wading up to their shoulders through the river.  We didn't really want to get that wet, so we tried to find shallow places to get through the river.  We also rented a waterproof bag for our camera but ended up not even needing it.
 This walking stick was the best thing ever.  A random lady gave it to me as she and her son were leaving the Narrows hike and we were just starting.  At first I didn't really want it, but she said it was really helpful, and it was!  Sometimes the water was rushing fast and it was difficult to see how deep it was.  You could use the stick to test out the depth first and then take your next step.
 When we were finished, we passed my little walking stick onto the next person- I wonder how many people have used it!
Such an amazing and beautiful view.
I bought some water shoes at Walmart the day before and had never worn them before, so I got a few blisters.  They were really useful though, because your tennis shoes would get soaked right at the beginning.  Brian wore his chaco sandals and had no problems.

We could have gone much farther (the whole hike is 16 miles), but you get tired after a few hours of wading through the water.  Some people who had gone ahead of us said that it gets much more narrow as you go, so next time we go to Zion we want to do it again and see more of it.  



At the canyon overlook- just a short little hike with a gorgeous view.
Brian and I took a 5 hour road trip to Zion National Park last weekend and did tons of hiking- that is our kind of trip!  I used to love vacations with lots of shopping and still do, but I think my favorite kinds of vacations now have opportunities to do active things... hikes, kayaking, anything like that.  I think I might have absorbed that habit from Brian, but really like it.

I thought Zion was going to be super rugged or something, but it kind of reminded me of a nature-y Disneyworld.  The whole park was really clean and these convenient shuttles that ran about every 5-10 minutes (you can't drive your car into most areas of the park).  There were also a bunch of great little restaurants, and stores where you could rent gear. We used one to rent our waterproof bag for our camera when we hiked the narrows.  Also, there were a lot of employees and rangers walking around who would answer any of your questions about the hikes- so helpful!  We really loved our trip and want to go back to do more of the hikes.

Driving into Zion on Friday morning. We spent Thursday night in Hurricane, about 30 minutes outside Zion.
Night drives with our favorite music.  Love road trips.  
Hanging out at the hotel pool

Our hotel was awesome- I would totally recommend the Hampton Inn in Springdale.  It took about 5 minutes to drive into Zion National Park from our hotel.  Also, they had the best breakfast at the hotel which was really nice when you are planning a big hike for the day.
I want to put more pictures of Zion up later- there are so many to go through!
 A couple of weeks ago we went to Oh Mai with our friends on a Monday night.  This is one of my favorite restaurants in Salt Lake and I really like their Thai iced tea.
 My iced tea yummm, and our friends got a red bean drink which was really good too, even though I usually don't like the read bean flavor.
 Then we all got a little loud at the restaurant and I was cracking up and it was such a fun night.  Love these guys!
I love this.  And I'm realizing that I might have a habit of slightly overusing the word "love," but oh well.  But anyway, I like those moments when you are worrying about something or letting your mind circle around and around something, and then you stop and think how short life is and just let it go. 
2 Corinthians 4:18 The Message  "The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.  But the things we can't see now will last forever." 


Oh Snap Linden

Last night was the season finale of The Killing on AMC and I was just a liiiittle bit excited.  Like counting down the hours excited (and you better bet that my brother, aunt Carolyn, and I had a group text happening that day about the season finale!).  I love this show.  AMC, pleeeease make a season 4!

I signed up for a 1-month unlimited pass at my yoga studio and it hurts so bad.  I've never gone to yoga so frequently, but an unlimited pass is a huge motivator because the more you go, the less you pay per class.  
On Saturday, I went to an early morning class, then got coffee at The Coffee Garden on 9th and 9th for my friend Liz and I before we went to the Farmers Market.  I don't know why but I always forget to take pictures of the SLC Farmer's Market.  It's impressive, and my favorite is the long line of food stands.  This Saturday, the thai iced tea was gone by the time we got there :(  But we are already planning on going back two Saturdays from now.

Brian and I are leaving for Zion National Park this Thursday night after I get off work.  Can't. Wait.