being frugal: shopping for clothes.

Like I stated in my last post, I think people who claim to have gotten a "good deal" on a shirt that's $30.00 are ridiculous. So today, I'm going to tell you how I shop for most of my clothes. I have a friend, Brynn, who has made a goal to only buy clothes that are on sale. Genius!

My strategies for shopping can be put into a few rules, and here they are:
  1. Before anything, check out the clearance rack. Yeah, it's messy and most of the clothes there are XXL, but more often than not, this is where I find some of my favorite clothes. It takes a little more time to skim through all the clothes to find your size and something you think is cute, but it's worth it. Target (my favorite store) usually has clearance racks on sale for 30%, 50% and 75% off the regular price. Holla!
  2. Shop at second-hand stores. My favorite is Deseret Industries. Although most of the clothes here are pretty ugly, smell funky, and have shoulder pads, if you look hard enough, you can really find some great stuff. Just make sure you wash them before you wear them.
  3. Really think about what you're buying. Ask yourself, "Will I like this in a year from now?" "Will this fit me in a year from now?" "Will I end up giving this away?" "Is this price worth the number of times I will wear this?" If you think you won't like it in a while, don't get it.
  4. Don't shop the latest trends. I hate trends for this reason: they go out of style SOOO quick. If you buy something because it's in style, chances are you'll hate it when the trend ends. Buy clothes that YOU like; shop for YOURSELF. I try to avoid asking my girl friends if they like the shirt I want to buy, simply because their taste is different than mine. If you're going to ask peoples' opinions, make sure you follow your own when all is said and done.
  5. If, while trying on clothes, you like parts of it, and dislike parts of it, it's probably not worth getting. To me, new clothes seem exciting, but when I've had them for a while, they become usual, and you notice the faults more. Don't buy something unless you love every bit of it.

Today, I went shopping at the DI (Deseret Industries). I was on a roll. Sometimes you can find a whole bunch of stuff there, and sometimes you can't find anything. Today was a good day at the DI. Here are all my finds:

I love the pattern on this shirt, and I love the fact that it's a button-up.
I was surprised to see that it fit well! $4.00

The color of this shirt is what first caught my attention. Then I saw
the stripes. I am really into stripes lately. I also love how far the sleeves come down.
I am not a fan of cap sleeves. $2.00

I loved the clasp on this belt. It reminds me of something someone would
wear in the 1940's for a day out on the town. $3.00

This belt was cool. That's really all there is to it. $3.00

And this belt reminded me of something someone would wear in the 1940's for
a day out on the sail boat! Ever since I got back from my honeymoon, I have been
longing for the ocean! I love it! Anything nautical that I can wear, I probably
will for the next little while. $3.00

And, because I'm married and like to make my apartment look nice, I got these little
yellow ceramic dishes, because they're cute. And yes, I do have a Buddah statue
displayed in my apartment. $1.00 for the pair

Since the DI doesn't charge you sales tax, my total for all of this was $16.00. See?! You CAN be frugal. $30.00 shirt my butt...


being frugal: cheap activities.

My friend, Emily, recently said to me, "I need some lessons from you on how to be cheap." Delighted, I quickly started brainstorming on advice I could give her on how to be "cheap."

You see, I hate spending money, but I love buying new things. This used to be a problem for me, until I realized, "Dude, I can still buy things, and not spend very much money!" It always bugs me when people claim they're frugal when they spend $30.00 on a shirt. For rizzle? I could buy, like, 6 pizzas with that! That could feed me for weeks!

If you're newly married, or if you're a poor college student, or both, or if you just don't want to spend $30.00 on a shirt, keep reading; this blog is for you. I've taught myself how to get the most of my money, how to get things for cheap, and how to save money I would've otherwise spent.

Today, I want to make a list of fun things to do--whether you're a college student, married, or whatever--that cost little to no money. AWESOME.

  1. See a movie at the dollar theater. Who wants to spend $8.00-$10.00 on a movie when you can just wait a few weeks and see it for $1.00? Sometimes they even have student discounts, and you can see the movie for less than a dollar!
  2. Go on a hike. What could be better than being in the great outdoors and exercising at the same time? Pack some snacks, take your camera, and you're set to have a good time.
  3. Get some friends together and do a service project. If you have a good attitude, they can be a lot of fun! Visit people in the hospital, rake someones leaves, tend a child.
  4. Tye dye! If you get enough people to do it and split the cost of the kit, it'll be super cheap, and you'll look like a hippie afterwards! Sweet!
  5. Play board games. They're fun with lots of people.
  6. Play night games! Buy a bunch of glow sticks (I just got a pack of 15 for $1.00 at Target last night!), cut them open and splatter them all over yourself, and play night games to your heart's content!
  7. Draw with sidewalk chalk. Outline peoples' bodies, draw pictures of flowers and happiness, even play hopscotch.
  8. Volunteer somewhere. A few years ago, I volunteered at the Humanitarian Center and put together survival kits for people in other countries. It was a blast!
  9. Go ice blocking. There's nothing like sliding down a big hill with a cold bum.
  10. Paint your nails. Eat snacks while you do it. Emily and I like to call this, "Nums and Nails."
  11. Go window shopping. Sometimes when I'm itching to buy something, this satisfies the need. Plus, it's fun.
  12. Wash your car. Best thing ever! Free car wash, and it usually turns into an awesome water fight.
  13. Make a music video with your friends. You'll probably laugh your head off at it a few years down the road, just like Emily and I did.
  14. Go on a picnic. This idea is just fantastic. That's that.
  15. Fly kites. Whenever I do this, I always end up laughing hysterically.
Those are just a few ideas I've got up my sleeves. When you don't have money to spend, you need to use your creativity. It makes it fun.


missing my mom.

I have never, ever, in my entire life been homesick. I just don't get homesick. Even when I went to week-long girls' camp and youth conference during my teenage years, and even after I moved out on my own twice for 8 months each.

But lately, I'm been incredibly homesick, mostly for my mom. I went to the hospital on Monday for some stomach pains I was having, and Zac had to call my parents and tell them I wanted them to be there with me, because throughout my whole life, when I was sick, my mom would sit by me and that would seem to make everything better. I think the worst part of being sick for me is being scared of being left alone. I don't know why, maybe I think something's going to happen to me and I'll have no one there to help me. I just know that when I'm sick, I need someone there just to be with my at least, and my mom would always do that.

A few days ago, I was having a really bad day, and all I could think about was how much I wanted my mom to just hug me. I was bawling because I wanted my mom so bad. A while later, she texted me and asked how I was doing. I told her I was doing bad, and that I needed her to come down. She drove the hour drive to come see me, and gave me a hug right away. We talked about things like going to the temple and the gospel. Then she took me out to dinner and helped me look for jobs.

Lately I've been feeling really distant to Heavenly Father. I hate that feeling. But while my mom and I were talking, she told me about how much Heavenly Father loves me. She said, "What was the first thing I did when I walked in?" and I said, "You hugged me." She said, "Yep, because I love you. And I'm imperfect. Just think of how much Heavenly Father loves you, and he is perfect." Right then I just started crying so hard, and I couldn't stop. And every time I think about it, I still cry. It was amazing. It was just what I needed.

Today I realized that I'm never going to live with my mom ever again. She won't be the one to sit with me when I'm sick, and she won't [always] be the one to hug me when I'm sad. I cried and cried thinking about that today. I'm going to miss my mom. She is my role model. She homeschooled me for nine years and put up with all my crap because she loves me. She's the most faithful lady I know, and she's not afraid of it. She's hilarious, and is always serving other people. My mom is just great, and I adore her.

Even though I'm going to miss my mom, I must admit I have a pretty good fiance. He's always (and I mean always) there for me. I don't feel stupid crying in front of him (like today), and when I do, he's always right there hugging me and wiping away my tears, and telling me that everything's going to be okay. He's easy to talk to, and is very good about listening to me. He's always doing nice things for me, like opening my doors, finishing making dinner when I have bad cramps (like tonight), writing me cute notes, encouraging me when I do hard things, telling me he loves me, telling me I'm beautiful. When I was in the hospital, I told him not to leave me no matter what (remember... I need someone by me at all times when I'm sick), and he stayed by my side the whole time (well, except for when they gave me a shot in my butt; he and my dad left then). Not only that, but he held my hand, gave me kisses, and told me I still looked beautiful, and meant it. He is amazing, and I can't believe I have someone like him in my life to be mine forever.

I have some pretty good people in my life. Like, really. Last night I was thinking about the people in my life, and it honestly blew my mind to think of how amazing the people I hold close to me are. I am truly blessed. It's incredible.

Me and my parents about a year ago at Brick Oven.

Me and Zac at the hospital a few days ago.


day three.

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

Best... show... EVAR!!!!


day two.

Day 2: A picture of you and a person you have been closest to the longest.

This is me and my best friend, Emily. This picture was taken last summer in a field near her parents' house. We've been friends since Kindergarten when I peed my pants. That's 16 years. Our friendship is now old enough to get its driver's license.

Anyway, we enjoy taking pictures together, going to concerts, talking on the phone, eating junk food, telling each other how much we hate our roommates, summer frolics, shopping, hanging out on bridges and skywalks while eating ice cream, and fruit pizza. Oh, and long walks on the beach.

If I had one wish, I would wish her to Orem.

P.S... My birthday is in 3 days. I be 21!


the most basic of news + question number one.

Yesterday, Zac and I went to Whitney's and JT's wedding in the Mt. Timpanogos temple. Whitney looked gorgeous as always, and JT was tall... as always. They couldn't stop smiling, and it got me excited about what's happening in my life in just 55 days! (Not counting or anything.) I forgot my camera, so I have absolutely no pictures of me, Zac, Whit, JT, the cake, the luncheon. Nothing. It made me sad. But just know that I went.
In other news, I got a Twitter account. Follow me here and say nice things to me.

Day 1: A picture of yourself with 15 facts

This is me, and Zac, too, but mostly me. The picture is not mine [yet] so it still has my photographer's name on it. Check him out, by the way. He's wonderful, and really knows what he's doing. Brody Dezember Photography. And now for the 15 facts:

  1. I have an abnormally large dent in my head.

  2. I love love love style. Clothes, homes, photography, you name it. I love aesthetics.

  3. I hate the cold. I never cared for it before, but this winter I realized that I hate it more than a lot of things.

  4. My favorite store is Target. Then the D.I.

  5. I have an outie.

  6. I almost have my Associates Degree.

  7. I don't like going to concerts with tons of people, unless OK Go is playing. They're worth it.

  8. I've had long hair most of my life (and kind of want to cut it all off).

  9. I've had braces twice.

  10. I met my fiance at a Rock Band party.

  11. I've been skydiving.

  12. I wash my hands constantly.

  13. If I could have more than one occupation, they would be these: Photographer, Chef, Interior Designer, Mother, Writer, World Traveller.

  14. I get tired easily.

  15. I have an obsession with reading peoples' blogs.

That took longer than expected. Goodnight. :)


thirty days.

The thirty day challenge. I am admitting right now that I won't post thirty days in a row. But hopefully I can get through these thirty things. I chose this one, because they all include pictures, and I adore pictures. Plus, I need to go out and shoot more, and this will be my reason for now.
Day 1: A picture of yourself with 15 facts
Day 2: A picture of you and the person you have been closest to the longest
Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 4: A picture of your day
Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory
Day 6: A picture of somewhere you've been
Day 7: A picture that shows your true self
Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh
Day 9: A picture of a person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10: A picture of someone you see yourself marrying in the future
Day 11: A picture of something you hate
Day 12: A picture of something you love
Day 13: A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14: A picture of your favorite past time
Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16: A picture of someone you've been friends with the longest and still feel connected to
Day 17: A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 18: A picture of your favorite place
Day 19: A picture of a habit you wish you didn't have
Day 20: A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21: A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23: A picture of your favorite book
Day 24: A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25: A picture of yourself a year ago and an explanation of how you've changed since then
Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27: A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28: A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29: A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30: A picture of someone you miss


bear lake trip with the swensons.

A few weekends ago, over the Presidents' Day holiday, I got to go up to Bear Lake with Zac and his family. It was freezing and snowy outside, and the pipes that brought drinking water and shower water in were completely frozen. But it was still fun hanging out in Zac's grandpa Max's huge lake house with the whole Swenson family: Lyle, Jill, Eli, JoJo, baby Kynlee, Sadee, Mike, Lincoln, Whitney, JT and Sophie.

On Friday right after school, Zac and I drove up with JT and Whitney. We stopped in Wyoming to get some "things" (fireworks that are illegal in Utah) and headed up to Bear Lake. When we got there, Jill showed me my room (with a creepy picture of an old lady in it--Sophie had to take it down for me so I wouldn't get scared at night). After everyone was settled in, we all just hung out for the night.

2/18/11 Me and Zac on our way up.

2/18/11 Me and Zac at the lake house.

On Saturday, half of the group went skiing and snow boarding. Zac and I decided to stay home because we were tired and didn't feel like being cold. Instead, we hung out on the couch all day, taking naps and watching movies. We did, however, go hot tubbing for a little while, and after hot tubbing, we made snow angels--in our swimming suits. It was freezing, but so much fun! Sadly, I didn't get a picture of our snow angels. That afternoon, we went to the chocolate fair, and then to a furniture store. That night, we got pizza that was pretty freaking delicious. I had chicken ranch pizza.

2/19/11 Us at the chocolate fair.

2/19/11 Us at the furniture store.

2/19/11 Zac doing his ugly moose pose.

2/19/11 This is why we're engaged.

On Sunday, we all went to church in the ward there. On our way home from church, Zac saw my neighbor. Weird. After church, we all went home and ate dinner and played Pictionary on the wii. Some time in between all of this, Zac and I rode the four wheeler down to the lake and took some pictures (none of them turned out). It was freezing, so we only stayed for five minutes before going back to the house. That night, we all splurged and ate all the leftovers.

2/20/11 Me and Zac freezing our butts off.

On Monday morning, we packed up and left. It was a pretty fun vacation, especially since I got to spend it with my future in-laws.


the engagement story.

Last night, I got proposed to. A week before, I got fake-proposed to.

A week ago to the day, Zac and I were sitting in the waiting room of the hospital with his family, waiting for his sister-in-law, JoJo, to have her baby. Earlier that day, Zac had bought my engagement band, and had it with him the whole day. While we were sitting in the waiting room, Zac went to go get a drink. I saw that his shoe laces were untied, so I leaned over to his little sister, Sophie, and told her to point and him and laugh with me. When he came back, we did just that. I said, "Your shoe laces are untied. Here, let me tie them for you."
Then Zac said, "No, I'll do it. Just hold this for me." He then put a little box on my hand that was wrapped with a bow. I looked down at it, and my heart stopped, then started racing faster than it's ever raced before! My mind was going a million miles an hour, and I got hot and sweaty.
I asked, "What is this?" and he said, "Open it and see." I froze. I couldn't say anything, and I didn't know what to do, so I put it down on the seat next to me, and just thought for a while, with a completely shocked look spread across my face. I thought, "This can't be happening! He hasn't even asked my dad, and he hasn't even bought the diamond! What the heck is going on?!"
After a while, I asked again, "What was that?!" Zac started laughing and said, "It was a fake proposal," then smiled. I was so confused, and so hot that I had to take my coat off. Zac's mom was in on it, and I looked over at her and saw her laughing. It took a while to gain my normal feelings and temperature back, but when I did, I had to laugh at the trick he played on me.
A while later, we went into JoJo's room and saw my new little future niece, Kynlee Mae. Adorable.

Throughout the week, I just KNEW that Zac was going to ask me on the first of February (which is today), because that was our four month anniversary. (It turns out that Zac was planning on asking me on the 8th.) He had texted my best friend, Emily, for some help, and she told him that it would be more of a surprise if he did it on January 31st (yesterday), because I wouldn't be expecting it. On Sunday, when we were planning out our week, he suggested that we go to the Tree Room in Sundance (a super nice and expensive restaurant) on Monday, because he "just got his paycheck, and wanted to take me out to eat, because we never go." I got suspicious, and texted Emily and told her that I thought he was going to propose on Monday at Sundance. She texted back and said, "I think your first guess was closer... He's trying to throw you off." Then I thought, "But we didn't plan anything special for Tuesday."
On Monday, Zac texted me and said that the ring was have "complications" and wouldn't be done until next week. I told Emily about it, and she said that he was telling the truth. Thinking Emily would be a good friend and not lie to me, I asked her, "Are you really telling the truth?" She said, "Yeah, dude.Your ring isn't done." I believed it, and got really bummed, because I didn't want to wait anymore. I fell asleep when I got home from school, partly because I was bummed about the ring, and partly because I wasn't feeling well. I was woken up by Zac calling me. He was standing in my doorway, but we have a rule of not going into each others' rooms together.
We left half an hour later (and I didn't even redo my hair, and I wish I had). We listened to The Beatles on the way up; it was nice. When we got to The Tree Room, I was blown away. It was beautiful! The lighting was dim, lit with candles, and through the tall windows on the side you could see trees and snow.
We ordered our food (he got steak, and I got chicken), and before they brought it out to us, they brought out some "Compliments from the Chef," which was some kind of tuna with a sauce. It looked gross, and I was nervous to eat it, but when I did, I wanted more. It was delicious!
When we got our food and started eating, we both looked at each other with wide eyes and ranted about how amazing the food was. His steak was incredibly tender, and my chicken was unlike any I've ever tasted. It was SO GOOD!
After dinner, Zac ordered dessert. While we were waiting for our dessert, Zac left to go to the bathroom. I later discovered that he really left to set up the place where he'd propose. When he came back, we shared a little chocolate cake with chocolate syrup in the middle (I know there's a name for them, but I can't remember it) served with raspberry syrup. When we were done, and all the brown and red dessert was spread across the plate, I made a comment about how the plate looked like the toilet after I go to the bathroom when I'm on my period. Zac laughed, and so did I, because I'm classy in posh settings.
After leaving the restaurant, Zac said that they had a little room with a fireplace that he wanted to check out. We went into the room, that was separated from the lobby by a thick curtain, and stood by the fire, and hugged for a long time. Zac showed me the roses he got me that were sitting on the table, along with the wine glasses of sparkling cider and truffles. Then he said, "I have one more thing for you." He pulled out the ring he had been hiding in his coat pocket, got down on one knee, and said, in a shaky voice, something like, "Megan Marie, I love you so much, and I want to spend my life with you. Will you marry me?" I smiled bigger than I knew I could, and said yes. He put the ring on my finger, got up and hugged me for a long time again. We kissed over and over, and kept saying, "I love you." Then we sat down and drank the sparkling cider and ate the truffles, and kept looking at my ring. It was perfect!
When we left, Zac asked if I wanted to go to his house and light off a Chinese Wish Lantern (because I LOVE those!). I said, "YES!" When we got out of the canyon, I called his mom and told him we were coming. She knew we were engaged, and was so excited for us! After we hung up, I called my dad and told him the news. My mom was with him, and she heard every word, because my dad had put me on speakerphone. They were conveniently in Orem when I called, and so we met up with them in the parking lot of the Provo mall, and I showed them my ring. When we got to Zac's house, we were greeted with hugs from his parents, and I showed them the ring. When Zac's sister, Whitney, (who just got proposed to a few weeks ago) got home, we tried to light off a Chinese Lantern, but it was too windy, and didn't work, haha.
We left after a while, and told all of Zac's roommates, including Wes and Erica (who is actually my roommate) who were hanging out there.

It was such an amazing night! I had no idea it was coming, and everything went perfectly. I'm excited to be engaged to my best friend and lover, Zachary Max. :)
Our amazing food.
Me and Zac at The Tree Room.
Moments after he proposed.
My ring and my excited face!

My gorgeous ring.


yesterday's happenings.

Last night, Zac and I were planning on going to my friend, Valeri's wedding reception. I woke up that morning feeling kinda sick, but I toughed it out. I decided that a wedding reception was a really good reason to get dressed up, so I did my hair like I've never done it before, and did ALL of my make up and went to work.
During work, I didn't even feel like talking, which is probably a bad thing where I work. I had a headache, a sore throat, a cough, and my legs ached like crazy.
Zac and I were planning on going to the reception right after I got home from work, but on my way home, I was feeling terrible, so I called him and told him that I didn't want to go.
Shortly after arriving to my apartment, Zac came over, and we made dinner. After cleaning up, I was exhausted and cuddled with him on the couch until I fell asleep. While I was half asleep, Zac got up, went into my bedroom and got my pillow and my blanket. He came out and put the pillow under my head, and the blanket over my shivering body, tucking me in, and took off my shoes. It was cute. I fell back asleep while he did homework.
When I woke up two hours later, Erica and Wes had already gotten there, and were talking to Zac. Then we helped Erica hang up her posters in the living room with the new push pins she bought. (Merry Christmas push pins!)
After that, Zac said, "Let's make orange rolls!" We've been planning on making orange rolls for a long time, but never got around to it, so I started. It was about 11:00 pm by this time.
Three hours later, at 2:00 am, after Wes and Zac left, I finished the orange rolls. I had no idea they were going to take that long, but they were delicious! Erica and I each ate one, and went to bed.

Tonight I'm going ice skating with Zac, Erica, Wes, Sarah, Luke and maybe Rachel. And I'm bringing my camera! Maybe we'll make a stop to our special spot. I can't tell you where it is, though. It's a secret.


cooking with zac.

Lately (for the past few months or so), Zac and I have been cooking together. It usually consists of (and I'm not trying to sound like I'm complaining) me cooking the meal while Zac plays with his phone or something. Occasionally he'll help me cook the chicken or grate the cheese.

On New Years day, we made Spinach Tortellini for dinner. It was to die for! Seriously. The best meal we've ever made. For dessert that night, I made my own version of peach cobbler, complete with homemade whipped cream with cinnamon in it. Also, very delicious.

Me and Zac on New Years day
Our peach cobbler

Last night, Zac blew me away. Instead of cooking for him, he cooked for me. It was his very first time cooking by himself. Other than asking me a few questions, and grating the cheese (I did that part), he did it alone. He made this delightful chicken salsa casserole. It was so good, I was licking the spatula when I cleaned up. It was fun to watch him cook, and cute to see how proud of himself he was.

Zac with his casserole

Me and Zac while eating dinner last night


new years resolutions.

Here I am, sitting at my uncomfortably small desk in my student housing apartment, eating my second bowl of leftover homemade chili that my boyfriend, Zac, and I made together a few nights ago (I ate a bowl of it for breakfast this morning). Hey, at least it's not Ramen, right? I'm thinking that I should post some of my New Years' Resolutions. Just so they're written down, ya know? I know it's probably a little bit late, and that's because I've been thinking about them for the past couple of weeks, even after New Years Day came and went.

Last night, Zac and I were thinking of things we both (together and individually) want to learn how to do. Then I got thinking, my my mind started to race, and I started making a list of fun things for us to do when we're bored, or when we're planning out our week. We got a pretty good list together, so I'll share some of it with you.

First off, here is the list of my New Years Resolutions. I thought about things I wanted to learn, things I wanted to do, and things I wanted to become.

Things I want to learn:
  1. How to cook foreign foods (Asian, Thai, etc.). I think I'm a pretty decent cook, but I tend to only stay in my comfort zone, which is pasta, chicken, hamburger, you know, the easy stuff. I want to learn how to cook meals that you wouldn't normally make everyday.
  2. How to do my hair. I almost always have my hair just down. I want to learn how to do cool things with it, and add some variety to my life! ...or my head.
  3. How to work my light meter. I got a sweet light meter for Christmas, and I know the gist of how it works, but I want to get really familiar with it so I can improve my photography.
  4. How to write better. I always read articles, blogs and books that are very nice and very captivating. I want to learn how to write like that.
  5. How to sew--at least the basics of sewing. When I was little, I hated this idea. Now I'm warming up to it, and I think it would be cool to whip up a little shirt or curtains or something.

Things I want to do:

  1. Travel out of state. The ideal would be to go on a road trip to Washington state, but really, I just want to get out of Utah for a while with a few friends, or even my boyfriend. Even more than that, I want to get out of the country, but I'm afraid I'm probably pushing my luck with that one.
  2. Grow in my education, and get my Associates degree. I'm seriously just one semester away... if I don't screw it up.
  3. Read lots and lots of books. Maybe near the start of summer I'll come up with a book list and see if I can finish it by the end of summer, but I just want to read!
  4. Take more pictures. You'd think that, since I love photography so much, this wouldn't be an issue. But lately I've neglected to take my camera to many places where I should've. I regret not having so many pictures.
  5. Broaden my appreciation and education of the arts: films, photos, music, plays, even people. Specifically, from the early 1900's. I love that era.
  6. Buy a ton of Chinese Wish Lanterns and set them off every now and then. Ever since I saw Tangled, I've wanted to have a surplus of those Chinese Wish Lanterns on-hand for special occasions. :)
  7. Blog more. It helps me think, and it will help me learn to write better.

Things I want to become:

  1. A better singer. I don't want to be amazing, I just want to be better. I'll have to try and do this without a voice teacher, because "I am running low on cash flow." (Zac will appreciate that one) Really though, I just need to save my money.
  2. More creative. I think that sometimes I'm afraid to do things outside of my own little bubble. But this year I want to take risks and try new things, and expand who I am.
  3. More outgoing. I've come a long way from what I used to be, which was painfully shy. I'm more outgoing, less awkward. But I want to be even more outgoing, because I've always watched those people who weren't afraid to be themselves, and I've always admired that.
  4. A better photographer. I want to learn new tricks, and go out and shoot more, so I can learn things I never would've about photography. I want to excel in my knowledge and my quality of photos. I also want to start doing photography projects.
  5. A service-oriented person. I want to serve! It makes me so happy, and I've slacked off big time lately. My mom taught me the joys of serving, and I want to start it back up again.

So that's that. Every time I complete each of these, I will blog about, and you, my friends, will get to see how I am doing on each of them. So stay tuned throughout the year!

In other news, for those of you who are wondering how I'm doing and what I've been up to, here's the scoop. I've been doing good. School started up, and, like I said, I will have my Associates degree by the end of this semester (April) if I pass all my classes, which I'm sure I can do. I've got all the fun ones: Biology, Oceanography, Humanities and Philosophy. Sweet. I've been spending all my free time with my dear boyfriend. We like to cook together, hang out with friends and family, talk and read scriptures (I know, cute, huh?). Last night, Zac and I went to his parents' house. We had an early dinner, and then Zac's parents left soon after for Park City, where they are staying in a $1500-a-night hotel for free. After they left, Whitney (Zac's sister), JT (Whitney's boyfriend), Sophie (Zac's other, younger sister), Zac and I all hung out and talked, ate leftover ice cream cake from Cold Stone (oh my gosh), and did homework (well, I did, anyway). Later, Whitney made German pancakes, which turned out super delicious. After we finished up our yummy treats, the five of us went outside and lit off a Chinese Wish Lantern (as seen on Tangled) in the cold night air, and watched it float above the pond by their house. It was magical. Later, I told Zac that I was going to buy a surplus of those things, and I plan to soon. It was a pretty fantastic night, but I have no pictures. I am sorry. Remember my goal of being better of that? I will be.

Tonight Zac and I have plans of going to the mall, reading scriptures and coloring in my coloring book I got for Christmas. Lately, Zac and I have been planning out our whole week of fun things to do that keep us busy and let us get to know each other better. This week's schedule includes: figuring out my light meter, teaching Zac everything I know about photography, Zac teaching me about something called "virtual machine," going to Valeri's wedding reception, and ice skating. I highly recommend the idea of planning out your week to anyone, especially those of you who are dating someone. It makes life more fun, and you have more to look forward to when you're bored in class.

I've gotta go pick up my boyfriend from work, because he likes to miss the shuttle. :) Bye, friends!


a few of my favorite things.

I like a lot of things, but my favorites are these...

  • Old houses. I love Utah Valley, because there are a lot of old houses almost everywhere you drive (especially Lehi, American Fork and Provo). I like the little, old ones that were built in the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. I love the detail and the designs. I think they are GORGEOUS, and I think they have so much more class that the newer houses are lacking badly.
  • Antiques. Whether it be furniture, jewelery, or clothing, I love it all. Like houses, I just think older things (1920's to 1950's) have much more style and class. It's aesthetically pleasing to me.
  • Skirts. I love wearing skirts, but I haven't had the chance to wear them much lately because of the cold weather. I also love tights.
  • Flowers. I LOVE flowers. Any kind, any color. I just love them. I love receiving them, I love looking at them. They're pretty, and they smell fantastic.
  • Old movies. Ya know, the black and white ones with no scandalous scenes or crude language. Especially Audrey Hepburn films. She's wonderful, and I love her acting. She's classy, too, and I like that.
  • Good music. Not the stuff they play on the radios, but the good stuff that not a lot of people know about. For example: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Broken Social Scene, M83 and OK Go. I also love oldies, like The Turtles (I've been on a Turtles rush lately. I can't get enough of them!), The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Carly Simon, and The Carpenters. I love classic music that doesn't go out of style.
  • Colors. I love bright and vibrant colors. When I was in high school, I liked neon colors. I've settled down a bit since then, but I still love colors.
  • Clothes. If someone gave me a million dollars, I'd probably buy clothes (and probably some camera equipment, too). I just love them. I LOVE dressing up.
  • Photography. What can I say? It's my major. I adore it. I love everything about photography. Cameras (especially vintage cameras!), being in the darkroom (for fun, not necessarily when it's for a class), editing. I just love it. I hope to get better.
  • Kids. Aww, I love them. Especially my niece and nephew who are about a year and a half old. They're adorable, and it makes me excited to have my own.
  • Food and cooking. It's a wonder why I'm decently skinny. I eat so much. I get excited about food. Like a school girl gets excited about her secret crush. And cooking! Ah, I love it. I can't explain it, I just love it.
  • Big cities. I like walking around in them. In August my family went to San Francisco, and we walked around downtown all day, and I LOVED it! I was snapping pictures every 5 seconds, and enjoying life. I also really like downtown Salt Lake City, and even downtown Provo.
  • Thunder storms. I love watching the rain fall as the lightning strikes and the thunder booms while cuddled up in a blanket on the porch. I also love the smell of rain.
  • Reading. I didn't start liking it until a few years ago, when I decided to read for fun. Now, when I have spare time, it's all I ever do.
  • Writing. I'm not good by any means, but I love to write. It helps me think and get things out of my head.
  • Chartreuse. The most beautiful color, I think. Well, by itself, anyway.
  • Long, serious talks. I'm not too close with a lot of people. Maybe only 2 or 3. But I love talking to the people I am close with. A lot. It's like a drug to me. I can never get enough of it.
  • The Beach. This sounds weird coming from a girl who grew up and still lives in Utah, but I love the beach. Not the typical surfing beach where tons of people lie out and tan or play in the water, but empty beaches, where the weather is a little colder (but not too cold), and it's cloudy and there are lots of logs, rocks and plants scattered everywhere.
  • The DI. I love what you can find there. I love searching for cool things, and seeing what you find. I also love Target. That's probably my all-time favorite store.
  • Temple Square. Ah, what's not to love about it? This is one of the only places I actually like in the winter. It's also gorgeous in the summer. It's probably my favorite place to be.
  • Surprises. Even though I'll ask you a million questions about them, I LOVE surprises. Probably more than a lot of things on this list. Whether they be big or small, I love being surprised any day.


songs + memories.

I stole this idea from my best friend, Emily. It's a list of all the songs that remind me of certain things that I love and miss.

"Mandy" by Barry Manilow
This past semester, my roommate, Erica, and I have cooked together a few times, and whenever we do, I always bring out my laptop, pull up iTunes and play songs to cook to. I always seemed to play this one everytime, and sing my heart out to it. It reminds me of cooking, vegetarian style, with Erica.

"Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys
Summer! This song reminds me only of summer. The warm weather and the sun shining down on me all day. Driving in my car with my window rolled down while this song was playing on my radio. It makes me happy, because I miss the summer, especially in this 20 degree weather.

"Hey Jude" by The Beatles
Last summer, while I was working with Nate, he was in a bad mood for some reason. This song came on, and I sung obnoxiously loud and out of tune to it, while looking at him the whole time. Eventually, he started to laugh, and wasn't in a bad mood anymore. This song reminds me of all the fun times I had with Nate-dawg.

"Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver
This is one of Zac's favorite songs, and we always listen to it when we're driving in the car. It reminds me of the serious side of Zac, when he has a straight (but not grumpy) face, and you can tell that his mind is racing a million miles an hour. It's the cutest thing ever.

"Merry Christmas Baby" by Brighten
Christmas, duh! This song is probably my favorite Christmas song out there. I listen to it a lot during the Holidays, and even in the summer, just because I love Christmas so much.

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon & "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters
These songs remind me of my dad, just because he's almost always listening to them, whether we be driving somewhere in the car, or if it's playing through the speakers in our house. These oldies just remind me of my dad.

"Believe" by Cher
One day this past semester, Erica, Rachel, Zac and I were driving in my car around campus, and this song came on. We all started to do background voices for it, and Erica's was the funniest: "Do you believe? 'Cause I believe! Tell me if you believe, 'cause I don't know if you believe or not!"

"Counting Your Worries" by The Continentals
When I was 17, I dated Erik. He was a drummer, just like me. He went through a lot of bands, and ended up staying in this one (before going on his mission, where he is currently serving). This band is amazing; I cannot even begin to describe how happy they make me feel when I listen to their music. This song reminds me of going to their shows, and other shows of our band friends, like Dream Balloons with Bradley, Peter, Trevor, Adam, Josh, Emily, Erica and the rest of the gang. Shows at Kilby Court, Open Mic Nights in Trevor's garage and basement shows in many houses. Afterwards, we'd always go to Denny's (which was often past midnight) and order good food and talk. These times were the highlight of my three years in High School. I miss them.

"Let's Make Out" by Does It Offend You, Yeah?
This song reminds me of all the weird things I do. One time, when Emily, Erica and I were all still 20 years old, we went to a Stake Dance. When we left, we blasted this music and drove around the parking lot. Then we saw 3 little teenaged boys, and I stopped the car right by them and gave them my creeper smile while this music played through my radio. It got them excited, and I drove off.

"The Final Countdown" by Europe
Being heroic and saving the day while driving in Emily's car.

"Where Were You" by Every Avenue
One time, Emily and I dressed up in Emily's clothes she wore in High School (I'm not sure why she still has them), and made a music video to this song. It was hilarious.

"All Around Me" by Flyleaf
When I was taking drum lessons, my teacher, Sneez, let me be in a band with other students. The only song I really knew how to play on the drums was this one, and so we played it. Three weeks later, I quit the band and drum lessons.

"What She Came For" by Franz Ferdinand
During Spring Break of 2009, I drove down to St. George and spent a few days with my friend, Celeste. We rode the tram, went to the DI, hiked the Red Rocks and made rainbow cake. It was a blast! On the last day, right before I left for home, we made an awesome music video to this song that consisted of us dressed up really pretty being really stupid and riduculous. It was awesome.

"Sort Of" by Ingrid Michaelson
My sister, Sara, is a very talented pianist and singer. In the summer, she got the sheet music for this song, and would always play it on the piano and sing it. I loved it, and had it stuck in my head all the time. It was the best.

"Can't Help Falling in Love" by Ingrid Michaelson
Don't laugh, but this song reminds me of what my first dance with my husband will be like. I am a daydreamer, mostly of my future wedding, and ever since I've heard this song, I've wanted it to be the song that my husband and I share our first dance to.

"So Close/So Alive" by Just Surrender
One of my foster kids, Levi, LOVED this song, and would listen to it on my iPod nonstop when I had him. It reminds me of him, and how funny he is.

"Numb" by Linkin Park
Even though I hate this band, this song, and a few others remind me of when Emily, Erica and I were driving home from an Open Mic Night one night, and this song was plaiying, and we rolled down the windows, blasted the music and sung crazy backup words to it (like we did when we sang to Cher). I remember laughing so hard I could barely sing.

"Steps in My Fade" by Love You Long Time
In the summer of 2009, Emily and I were EFY counselors together. We'd carpool there and back everyday, and everyday we'd listen to this song and sing to it. We had a goal that, by the end of the week, we'd have the whole thing memorized. We accomplished our goal much sooner. That song made us so crazy, which is good, because EFY counelors are supposed to be crazy.

"The Sun and The Moon" by Mae
On our first date, Zac and I went to Sundance and rode the ski lifts. On our way home down the canyon, we listened to this song. A month after we had been officially dating, we went up to Squaw Peak and talked. On the way up, we also listened to this song. Zac calls it "our song," and I'd have to agree with him.

"Black Holes and Revelation" by Muse
Last summer, my foster kid, Dakota, and I were talking about music we both liked. We couldn't agree on any songs until this song came on my iPod. He said, "I love this song!" I was like, "No way! So do I!" Now everytime I work with him, we listen to this song.

"White Knuckles" by OK Go
A few weeks ago, I went to the OK Go concert with Kim and Zac. Kim and I got to meet the band, which was awesome. When they finally came out to play, I was blown away with how spectacular they are! This song reminds me of being happy in the presense of good music, and taking tons and tons of pictures.

"Unconditional Love" by Plain White T's
When I was in High School, I was homeschooled, and in a homeschool choir. After our two classes at the public High School, Daniel and I would drive up to Salt Lake City and attend choir there. On the way home, Sara and Rachel would ride with us. In the car, Daniel had a set list of songs he would always listen to. This is the song I remember him listening to most. It reminds me of homeschool, namely choir and LFG, with my siblings.

"Buddy Holly" by Weezer
Back in October, Zac, Erica, Wes, Rachel and I were driving to Thanksgiving Point to go to a corn maze. On the way there, all we listened to was Weezer. We all decided that, if we could only listen to one band for the rest of our lives, Weezer would be it. Then we all sung along with every Weezer song that played.