Thursday, December 31, 2015

goodbye 2015

I really wasn't going to do one of these because yesterday was a disastrously bad day and I was feeling very sorry for myself. Then I read my 2014 wrap up and I felt a lot like I needed to do one this year.

I got a job that I thought was going to be a huge blessing, and it was in part I guess....but mostly it just led to the worst five months of 2015.

Mark's Cabin over Valentines day
Had a fun weekend in Logan to pretend we were college kids again

Said goodbye to my platinum blonde hair, never to return!
Moved apartments from our little white house to our current apartment


Bought a new car! Woo grownups!
Mark's birthday
Celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary
Got my job at my current school which I love to the moon and back, and back to the moon again. A whole series of laps.

Said goodbye to my school
Had the most relaxing day of the summer, maybe year, maybe life? At Snowbird.
If you didn't know, teachers get paid during the summer months and it is....incredible. 
Started going to the gym and realized I might like running? 
Got callings in Primary

4th of July at the REAL game
Did a lot of bloggy stuff (July was my most quality content month, I think)
Purity Ring concert

Threw a bridal shower for Karly
Had my birthday
Started my new school
Karly got married
Sarah (Mark's sister) got married
Went to the temple with Hilarie

Went to Mark's cabin and Yellowstone
Mark started school again!

Went to an Alpha Chi reunion
Shandy's bachelorette party
Shandy got married
Nate got married
Murder Mystery Party
Witches Night Out

Kelly Gallagher conference
Doing fun activities with my students (Continental Congress simulation might not sound fun but holy cow, I was doubled over laughing)

Well, obviously family pictures, Star Wars, Tren came to visit, friend Christmas party (no pictures of that....what the heck is that about?) eating delicious sushi at Tsunami, seeing Nutcracker,  shopping at the outlets in PC,  Christmas day, and just relaxing a boat load!
We were actually planning on moving apartments today, but at the literal last second we got a bad feeling and backed out, leaving those people and our current landlord really p/o'd. It kind of sucks because we spent most of Christmas break signing papers and getting ready. So i'm a little grumpy right now but I'm really hoping that I will look back on this in a year and be really grateful that we didn't move.

Alright, so last year I wrote that I was really curious about what would be going on in 2015 because I had no plans or ideas. This is a basic summary: Got a job, hated the job, survived the job, left the job. Ate a ton of good food, saw a lot of awesome movies, had some great moments with friends and family. Quit dr pepper for a month, became fit for three months. Mark started school again, I started school again at a job I love and am grateful for daily. Lots of friends got married or went through other big life changes, very humbled to be apart of all that.
2016 should be great! Mark will graduate, i'm in a job I truly love, maybe we will get a dog this year? That's actually my one goal. We hopefully will take a vacation in April, maybe go back to the East Coast in the summer as well? Definitely go to Lake Powell. Possibly move in May. Lot's of things to look forward to and honestly, I can't wait! 

Happy New Years!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

family pictures 2015

If you follow me on any type of social media you probably saw these family pictures taken by the wonderful Emily Cooper. It may not seem like a huge deal but my siblings, though all of us live within 30 minutes of each other, are rarely if ever together. So these pictures were a huge deal. In early November I was starting to mentally list who I would need to get Christmas presents for and when it came to my parents I was just exhausted by the thought. I pride myself on giving good presents to people but I don't know that I've ever gotten a gift for my parents that was quality. I just feel like if they want something, they will go get it! So as I was thinking a thought came to my mind that I could organize family pictures, set it all up, make my siblings split it between all of us, etc. 
We gave the gift to our parents on Thanksgiving since the pictures were before Christmas. I made up a little poem to make it less awkward siblings were LESS THAN IMPRESSED and I need validation, dangit!

Dear Mom and Dad, 
It’s Christmas time 
& we know it’s true
That it’s very hard to buy presents for you!

All day and all night were spent in thought
But all it did was leave us distraught

Until one little Elf came up with a clever scheme
And knew it was time to assemble the team

So On December 20th at 12:30 PM
Let’s hope this isn’t mayhem

A photographer will be there to snap away
Some new family pictures to display!

Here are my siblings! I guess I should say half-siblings, it got confusing when I was trying to explain to Emily why my sister and brother have a sister that is not my sister...haha

 So these pictures convinced me to stay blonde instead of going red...also we might look like a cute little emo couple but I really like these pictures!

 But this one is my fav, double chins and all. Also I swear i'm getting a haircut tomorrow.

 Do you guys see that six foot tall kid right there? That's my friggin nephew. I was in 4th grade when he was born and I was obsessed as obsessed can be. Now he is all grown up and has the funniest personality and it's just weird how time flies and how I can feel old as crap at 24 

Speaking of old, my sister was talking about how they are going to deal with the car situation once my niece starts driving soon. That was a mind blowing realization. Isn't she so pretty? 

 My favorite phase of all my nieces and nephews has been from age 2-5. They are just the cutest and they don't annoy me, haha. Josh is going to be the youngest grand baby for a long time and he knows how to ham it up. We were being best buds on Christmas and he makes my heart grow twenty times. Especially with how much he loves Mark.

Annnnnd here we are!
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Monday, December 14, 2015

#girlboss of the week///4

Another installment of #GirlBoss of the week! You might have seen this cool lady on Lauren Conrad's blog, or basically just anywhere because she is crazy talented and her designs are beautiful. Her posts always uplift and inspire me. Introducing Alexa Zurcher

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I'm Alexa Zurcher-  wife to B, mama to A & E, blogger and designer. I was raised in sunny Southern Utah, and now reside with my little tribe in Northern Utah. I love hand lettering, taking thousands of photos (seriously!) and I cannot resist a good chocolate chip cookie. Or anything chocolate really. :)

How did you start your design business and blog?
I started my blog in high school (way back when!) and really started blogging when I was in college. It was a good way to show my mom that I wasn't getting in too much trouble. ;) Ha! I started my design business shortly after getting married. I had a goal to make a little extra Christmas cash and really only planned on selling products for the season. I'm glad I decided to keep going with it!  

When did you realize, "Okay, i'm pretty good at this!" either with blogging or graphic design?
I still feel like I'm still finding my groove (in both blogging and design!) but I think I realized I could use my talents for a little side business after that first Christmas season. I loved designing and every order that came in I felt giddy (I still do to this day!) It's an awesome, humbling experience knowing that other people enjoy your work, especially after putting so much time and heart into it. 

Since i'm big on tips to be your happiest self, what is your happiness tip?
I've found I'm happiest when I'm serving others. Far too often, I get caught up in my own little problems, but focusing on others, serving others, and being genuinely happy for others makes me happy, too!

What makes you feel most confident?
A dash of lipstick, my favorite song on the radio, and knowing (and remembering!) that I am a daughter of God. 

What is one thing you know to be true?
Thomas S. Monson said it best "..You do not find the happy life, you MAKE it!" 

Check out Alexa's blog here, her instagram here and her etsy page here!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#howweworeit Holiday Plaid!

 Have you guys ever heard the quote, "you can do anything but you can't do everything?" Well I tend to actually think i'm superwomen (I think most teachers do and really are!), so that quote doesn't sit very well with me. However, laying in bed last night at 9pm because I had a fever and the body chills, realizing I hadn't taken these pictures yet made me realize that....maybe I can't do everything! I love my blog so much, it's my #1 hobby, however I feel like I need to shift my priorities around momentarily, at least until my Christmas break, so there will probably be radio silence for a while.

However, since I do think i'm super women, I got up at 5:30 to take these pictures in my house, terrible, horrific and grainy as can be, here they are!

If you aren't familiar with this series it's when me and several other bloggers are inspired by an image and then we all re-create it using stuff from our own closets. Here was the inspiration image:

Because Shanna Said So

 I was struck immediately by the cheetah print, my favorite! Then the buffalo plaid which I love so much. Here is my recreation:

I love these pants so much, they are quilted leather on the front and leggings in the back! They are my go-to "comfy but ready to party" pants. This buffalo plaid was purchased at Old Navy and these boots, impractical as they may be for winter, were purchased at Forever Young shoes.
Check out the other ladies participating:
Brooke at Silver Lining
Robin at Penn & Quill
Aubrey at Aubrey Zaruba
Maren at Maren and Co
Brielle at Breezy and Co
Tayler at The Morrell Tale
Sharlee at My New Lines
Berkley at Berkley Anne
Jennifer at The Pepper Express
Alexa at He and I
Hannah at Hannah Rae
Rachel at Rachel Sayumi
Amy at Harris Inc.
Brooklyn at Brooklyn Jolley
Jennifer at Jennifer Sikora
Bonnie at The Life of Bon
Sarah at My For Real Life
Kyla at FordOlogy
Riley at Riley Jo Blog
Shelbie at R+S Brereton
Sierra at Sierra's View
Emma at Ever Emma
Danica at Danikan Skywalker
Deidre at Deidre Emme

If you want to participate next time, check out Brooke at Silver Linings Blog (top of the list!)

Have a great holiday if I don't see you all back here before then. I have a meeting with a parent in half hour so I'm off!
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Monday, December 7, 2015

#girlboss of the week///3

When I started this series I had a few ladies that I was already friends with that were no brainers to be featured on this series. Then I had a few women who were on my "dream interview" list. Like, the ones I was almost certain I couldn't get to respond to my email, let alone take time out of their busy lives to answer my questions.
I have emailed three out of the seven of those kinds of women on my list, and all three have responded. I am on cloud nine.
The first one of these types of ladies I am featuring is one awesome person whose feed gives me instant happy feelings. SHE HAS PINK EVERYTHING in her house, yet wears all black. TALK ABOUT FREAKING AESTHETICS! I am not sure how I stumbled across her blog, but I have been a huge fan since doing so and have been inspired by her story and her strength, as well as her candor about her trials. I'm so happy to be featuring Diana from Our City Lights today!

Why did you start Our City Lights?
I started the blog as a photo diary on Live Journal years ago. I mostly blogged about music, books, and film. And I was very angsty and emotional. One of these days I’ll publish an old over-dramatic post for comedic purpose. It’s now turned into what some would call a “lifestyle” blog, a mix of everything. 
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What was the hardest change for you to make while starting your health journey?
The emotional part that comes with any lifestyle change is always the hardest for me, and the health change made me aware of the poor choices I’d put my body through for the sake of distraction from my real responsibilities. For example, I had no idea eating a box of donuts was not only dangerous to my health, but won't make the piles of laundry go away.  photo IMG_1810_zpsq1qpu9dk.jpg

What is your favorite item of clothing and why?

My black skinny jeans from Torrid. I’ve been through multiples pairs from a size 24 to a size 14 and they are flattering and comfortable at every size. If I find something that works, I stick with it. I can dress them up or down but most importantly they are my personal version of a bad ass leather jacket.
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In what way do you hold yourself back?
I’m afraid of my own strength. I have a strong personality and thankfully I can control and edit it online but I do hold myself back in real life situations. Everyone wants to be liked, of course, and sometimes I hold back my personality in fear someone won’t. Thankfully, over the years I’ve met and grown friendships with strong women who shine and learned to love that part of myself little by little through them.  photo 21672999293_394b3aebdc_o_zpsuvgfiwq3.jpg  

What is one beauty product you can’t live without?

Concealer. My glasses cast shadows on underneath my eyes, and even with a good night’s sleep and a great eye cream, my glasses say otherwise.

What makes you feel most confident?

I wish I had some inspirational answer but sadly it’s when I have my hair and makeup done. It sounds so vain, but to me it’s not just my hair and makeup I took the time to do, they’re steps in taking care of myself and a push to not stay in bed all day when I’m having down days. When those two things are done, I feel like I can do anything.  photo 13739954684_802256959a_o_zpsbndlb88b.jpg

What is one thing you know to be true? 
 Every once in awhile it’s okay to let yourself fall apart to realize how quickly you can get back up. 

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My strength. I look back at my life and I feel like a walking testimony to grace. I had a bad childhood, made poor choices in partners and past toxic friendships, my son died to name a couple things, and I still manage to be okay.

How do you show yourself that you love yourself?
Personal grooming. Something as simple as a shower and a long walk reminds me to live.

Since i’m big on tips to be your happiest self, do you have a tip on what keeps you happy?

Have something to look forward to, always. Sometimes it’s a roll of film, a coffee date with a friend, a photo journal project, a work out class, a date with yourself to the movies, a book, a trip to the library, honestly anything to write in your calendar to plan. It can be extravagant to free, but always have something to look forward to.
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What are your top three favorite albums and a short bit about why?

Jonsi’s Go is one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard. I listened to it through labor and I still play it for any occasion. I also love Sufjan Steven’s Come on Feel The Illnoise. I remember playing it when it first came out on repeat and it’s my most played album ever. Purity Ring’s Another Eternity is a new favorite always on repeat. It's so dreamy but still has a fun feel to it. I also have to throw in RAC's Strangers. If I ever feel down or need a quick pick me up, this album has never failed me. 

Diana was so kind to let me interview her! Now I have one awesome lady I can cross off my interview bucket list. If you are interested in making your life better, follow her blog Our City Lights and her Instagram

If you know anybody who would be a great fit for #GirlBoss of the week, email me at Have a great week! 

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