Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bicycle, Bicycle (I want to ride my Bicycle...)

I am really excited that for my upcoming birthday, Michael wants to purchase a bike for me! I have been kinda obsessed with bicycles for the past few months and I've been looking around at a few options. I love, love, love the beach cruiser type bikes like these from velorbis.com.
Aren't they awesome! Unfortunately, these versions cost much more than Michael or I are willing to spend on a bike so I believe we may be searching for a great Schwinn version on Craigslist for the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck that I can find a great bicycle to ride around West LA.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Inspiration

Michael and I are very excited about our upcoming move in a couple of weeks into the UCLA Grad Student Housing, otherwise known as "the village." After living in a studio for the past year with IKEA furniture, I am beyond thrilled to upgrade to a 2 bedroom - 1 bathroom! I have so many plans for all the extra space we are going to have!
I absolutely LOVE design shows and design blogs and I'm glad I'll get to decorate a bit again (because, c'mon, there is no way to decorate a studio without it looking too cluttered.) With the help of some great blogs such as designspongeonline.com, I now have some great inspiration for a very relaxing apartment decorated with cool and bright colors. The following are some of my favorite looks.


I just love the "organized clutter of the next picture! I looks like the perfect place to sit and read a book, and if my studio had this much charm I wouldn't want a 2 bedroom, but alas, it does not.

I love the "beachside meets urban-oasis" look with dark woods, bright colors and metals mixed in, and I'm even contemplating painting a few walls in the apartment a cool gray color such as this... What do you think? Yea, or nay? By the way, did I mention how excited I am to add some color to bare white walls, again! I've been living in a white box for far too long. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yosemite National Park


Wherever Michael and I have lived, we've tried to take road trips to nearby destinations so that not only can we take vacations but also experience what each part of the country has to offer. Living in LA has been great. We've been to Big Sur for our anniversary this past year, which was amazing, and now we can check Yosemite off of our list.

We had the opportunity to go with some friends from our ward, Rachel and Austin Robinson and we had such a great time!!! We left Wednesday after Michael finished work and after taking the past two days to plan and buy supplies, we headed north for our 5.5 hour car trip up to Yosemite. We arrived at our first campground stop just south of the park entrance at midnight where we set up our tent in close to 20 minutes, changed, brushed our teeth and slept for 5 hours before packing up our belongings to head into the park and hopefully snag a spot in one of the few and always full campgrounds. After getting to Bridalveil campground we were able to get an awesome campsite from some people who were leaving, which was very lucky on our part!

After setting up camp we took a nap for a couple of hours and then headed out for our hike to Vernal and Nevada waterfalls.

It was such a spectacular hike! I was dead tired almost the entire way up (at one point we had to climb some 1,500+ stairs to reach the first waterfall, as well as another 1,500+ to reach the second, and if you look closely in the next pic, you can see the stairs at the bottom) but the scenery was to die for and the waterfalls were so majestic that the hike was beyond worth it.
At one point at the top we decided to go swimming in the FREEZING cold water. It was so refreshing after the difficult hike up, but I was only able to stand it for about 10 minutes before I had to get out. What was so cool about it was that it was at the very top of the waterfall! This next picture is of where we went swimming in the the calm area at the top. So, fun!

This was the edge of the waterfall. Such a gorgeous view!
The hike down was tolerable and we really enjoyed the day.
We all ended it with getting back to camp and cooking in the campfire the hobo dinners that Rachel, Austin and I prepared the day before. Michael did a great job cooking them and they ended up being so yummy, especially since we were so hungry. We really had a great time relaxing around the campfire eating s'mores and drinking hot chocolate, even though Rachel and I were kinda freaked out about the possibility of a bear walking into our camp!! That night we were all so exhausted that we actually slept pretty well, even though it was beyond FREEZING cold outside!

The next morning we decided to take a drive to Glacier point to see Half-dome from a distance as well as the waterfalls that we had hiked the day before.
Afterward we took a leisurely hike to Taft Point and the Fissures which was absolutely beautiful! We were in awe at the sheer cliffs that the trail ended at and we had a great lunch near the edge of one of the cliffs.
Afterward we decided to make a stop to see the Sequoia grove before leaving the park. The trees were amazing and absolutely gigantic!
All in all we had a really amazing trip, even though we got a flat tire about 200 miles from LA and had to drive the rest of the way home on a spare at 55 miles per hour because all of the tire stores were closed. We arrived home Friday night close to midnight, but we really had such a great road trip with the Robinson's and Michael and I can't wait to go back to Yosemite.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beach, Bonfires and S'mores!


Yeah for the beach! I have really had a great summer and now that it is winding down I am trying to fill it with as many activities as possible before I have to start teaching in about 3 weeks. One great summer activity Michael and I were recently able to attend was a bonfire headed up by our good friends the Robinson's.

Thanks so much, Austin for snagging the fire-pit at 11:30 on a Saturday so that we could all show up at 6pm to roast hotdogs and s'mores!
Everyone standing around waiting to roast some hotdogs!
Michael showing off some mad skills for the Kimballs
What an awesome group of people! I really love our LA friends!

It was really a fun time and there were lots of friends in attendance. I can't wait to enjoy another bonfire, and hopefully we can squeeze one in again soon! Next up, Yosemite this coming weekend!

For me?!


Even though my birthday is about 6 weeks away, I still have to drop hints to my husband wherever I can...
"Don't forget honey, I wear an 8 1/2."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Last night Michael and I, plus a few couples from our ward were able to take advantage of Mormon night at the Dodgers Stadium. Yes, they really had this... unfortunately the Dodger's lost 0-5 to the Padres but we still had fun, nonetheless. Here are a few great shots at Dodger Stadium.
Michael and me, enjoying the game! Thanks Cassie, for the great Dodger's T-Shirt!
Just a few of us girls! Kylie, Keylee, Rachel, me, Cheryl and Hope.

I just had to add this video too, as you can see, Michael was REALLY enjoying the game.
video

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PIONEER DAY!

Our Church Stake throws a really great Pioneer Day Picnic each year and thanks to the Johnsons from our ward who were in charge of it this year, it turned out to be a lot of fun! Other than the fact that I thought someone stole my camera,* Michael and I really enjoyed hanging out with some friends, eating lots of desserts, playing a nice game of tug-o-war, and bingo. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day in LA and we are so happy to be living here with such great people and amazing weather.

*My camera went missing halfway through the night but after many announcements and lots of searching someone told me I should check the trash. Hmmm... well, there it was! In the dumpster of the church.

Yea! For Pioneer Day! I made the banner for the event. Isn't it cute?! And Yes, that is the LA temple in the background. Our Church building is on the same block as the temple with some church owned ball fields in between.
Hope and I waiting to get some yummy grub
Playing some Pioneer Day Bingo!
Can you believe this near blackout win!! I was so bummed that I didn't get Blackout Bingo first!
After the picnic we stayed for a couple of hours to help clean up the field and dismantle the various booths for the event. It was worth the extra work because with the help of one of the grounds keepers we managed to climb all the way up to the top of the church steeple to see this amazing view. It was pretty cool.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Faded Paper Figures

There are a lot of fun and exciting things to do in LA and one of the most recent exciting events was being able to go see our friends Heather and Kale perform with their band, FADED PAPER FIGURES, live at Spaceland this past Thursday night. We had so much fun and got to meet up with some of our other friends there to see the show. I really love their albums and they've actually had 3 or 4 or their songs play on some previous episodes of Grey's Anatomy. Heather does an amazing job singing and Kael rocks out on the Guitar.
If anyone is interested they are touring right now and are going to be playing in Logan, Utah and Provo as well, in the next couple of weeks. Check them out! They are really great!

Kimber, me and Brit in front of the marquis

Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Club


So, a few girls that I am friends with in my ward were talking about how fun it would be to start up a book club. I love to read and think it would be a great chance to get together with some of the girls in the ward and talk about some really great novels and/or memoirs, etc. I'm wondering if anyone has some great suggestions for books to read that are "church" appropriate and also interesting and entertaining to read. If you have any suggestions, let me know please! We're hoping to get something started in September. :) Thanks for your help!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Blankets

As promised, I am sharing with you a couple of the baby blankets I have made for some of my friends here in LA. Like I said, we have about 1 to 2 babies born into our ward each month so I have been very busy making blankets and unfortunately have not been able to take pictures of each and every one that I make, but at least I got some pictures of my favorites so far.

This one was for little baby Beck and I absolutely love the way it came out!
I think this one that I made for little baby Blackburn has probably been my favorite so far and I think it turned out great! I was afraid that the polka dot theme was going to be a little much (the light pink fabric is even polka dot!) but I love the finished product. :)

In all the blankets only take me about 6-7 hours to make a piece with the cutting taking the most time! Oh, how I love my rotary cutter and self-healing mat. My squares are measured at 5.5 inches and the rows are 7x7 to make the full quilt.

Well, I have my fabric picked out for the next few blankets that I'm going to make, here's hoping that I get to actually make one for me in the future!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sewing Sensation

For my birthday last year Michael went with me to pick out my present from Target, a brand new Brother Sewing Machine. I had never really sewed in the past other than in 7th grade Home Ec when I made a pillow, or the very few times my mother tried to teach me, but I have recently developed a lot of interest in learning how to sew.

I have to say that now that I have the hang of it, I absolutely love it! I really enjoy making baby blankets, and since there are about 1-2 babies born in my ward each month (yes, each MONTH) I've kept myself pretty busy, and I hope to get pictures on here of some of the blankets I have made in the past.

I was inspired by my friend Tiffani, and ideally what I wanted to do was work on a project each week, not only sewing but all sorts of projects, and post about them on my blog. Unfortunately my computer is not happy with my crafty ambitions and no longer lets me upload pictures unless I copy from a CD. This means that I have to take a trip to CVS, but I am able to make it there only every so often. I wish I didn't have close to 800 pictures waiting to be put on CD!

Anyway, here is one of my first attempts using a pattern and it was very frustrated but I love making purses now. If anyone is interested this is Simplicity Pattern #2685.

Work in Progress
Finished Project
In all the purse took me about 5-6 hours and only cost me $8.00 thanks to some really great coupons from Joann Fabrics. I have to say that my first attempt at sewing was a success even though it had it's many frustrating moments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who Says You Can't Teach Creativity?


If one of my students was this funny and creative I just might have to give them an A! Just another reason why I love failblog.org and teaching. You never know that those kids are going to come up with.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow...

So, I chopped off about 8" of hair a couple of months ago and I am just now getting around to blogging about it. After 4 years of growing my hair out non-stop, ever since I had a horror story involving a stylist who thought a bob would be more suiting on me than the picture of the adorable shoulder-length do I gave them, I finally pulled myself together and cut some serious inches of my hair and dyed it a rich chocolate brown to boot. I love the new style. It makes me feel like one less blonde in California and I love being able to use a lot less shampoo and conditioner than I did before now. I'm so glad I have a great hair-stylist friend in my church ward here in LA. Thanks Kelli!

The before, this picture was taken when I went to Burbank to visit with an old friend Rachelle from Cincinnati and was taken around May.
The after, just a few weeks ago at my 'lil brother's wedding. Pardon the cookie, but this was the only picture could get to load. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ode to a Novel...



I absolutely LOVE to read and I am so thankful that I met and married someone who also has a love for books, as I do. Not only do I love to read, but I often read a couple of books at a time as well as listen to a book on CD in my car to make my 30 minute commute to and from work much more enjoyable.

Because it is officially summer and recommendations abound, I thought I would throw my two cents into the ring and offer up some of my favorite books for the reading pleasure of others. These are the top TEN books I have read this past year, but by no means are these my favorite books of all time, because that would be a whole different post. Let me know if any of you have read these titles and also what you thought of them. Thanks!

#10 Atonement - I especially recommend this novel if you have NEVER seen the movie.

#9 Year of Wonders

#8 Catching Fire - 2nd novel in the Hunger Games trilogy

#7 Life of Pi
#6 The Time-Traveler's Wife

#5 Hunger Games - such a page-turner, I think I read this book and it's second in the series in 3 days

# 4 Charlie and The Chocolate Factory - Oh, how I love Roald Dahl!

#3 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

#2 The Road - another page-turner! So incredibly well-written and I can't wait to read other books by Cormac McCarthy

#1 To Kill a Mockingbird*

By the way, I highly recommend the website Shelfari.com. I love keeping up with all the books that I read on it as well as keeping track of those that I want to read in the future. It has great features and allows you to add your virtual bookshelf to your blog as well as "friend" others on the site to keep up with great book recommendations. If you join, you will have to "friend" me on it. Happy Reading!

*Definitely now one of my favorite books of all-time


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Little Brother's Gotten Hitched!

This post is to congratulate my little brother Stephen and his new bride Stacie on their wedding. I was able to make the trip to Provo, Utah the weekend of the 12th and I had such a wonderful time with my family! Michael's niece was married in SLC the same day so he was able to make the trip as well but DROVE to Utah last minute!

We had almost everyone there, which consisted of me and Michael, my parents, 6 of my siblings, 4 of their spouses and 10 of their children, all in one house for the weekend. Due to the fact that my computer still will not allow me to upload pictures, (hence the few and far between posts I've added to my blog) I've borrowed a few from family! Thanks Kristi and Christine.

Stephen and Stacie - Manti Temple
Michael and me at the Temple waiting for the newly married couple!
All but one the sisters with Dad
Stephen and Stacie's departure after the reception!
Congratulations Stephen and Stacie! We are so excited for you and wish you many wonderful years of happiness!

I also have to congratulate Michael's niece and her husband on their marriage as well. Becky and Jarom were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on the same day and will be moving to Pensacola, Florida soon. We are so happy for you two! YAY for weddings!