Friday, November 30, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 30: Self Portrait

This photo is not just of me but I took it and I'm in it!! So it totally counts. : ) Time with my sisters is rare and priceless so I treasure it!! A trip to the temple, Cafe Rio, and a movie made for a brilliant closing for November. It was a great challenge and I'm SO glad I did it!! But I'm ready for a break. Challenge became a chore somewhere along the way. But I'll be around. : ) So much to be grateful for! And I'm thankful for the reminder.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 29: Light

This quote was the first thing I thought of when I saw that the subject for today was light. I think it is always worth remembering and applies to so many situations. It's a little obscure, but this is MY project. : ) And Dumbledore is awesome!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 28: Night

Nighttime is the BEST time. : ) I've always been a night-owl. I get the tendency from both sides of my family, it seems. Even if it's against my better judgement or common sense, I still seem to stay up way too late! Right now, I'm up late watching a movie. "I.Q." To be exact. Have you seen it? SO GREAT. :D

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 27: Daily Routine

I am a big BIG fan of routines. It's hard to truly represent my routine through a few photos, but it'll do. Alarm. Running late (of course). Drive up the canyon. Make yummy and pretty things. It's not a bad life. ; )

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 26: Transportation

This is my beloved Chevy Blazer. I've had Belinda (yes, she has a name) for almost 4 years. She has her quirks and is currently attempting to make me broke. But I'm fighting back by letting it go until it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to fix it. ; ) I kid. Sorta. But really, she's been good to me. She also functions as my storage facility for snowboarding crap. She does really well at that!! Haha. I'm grateful to have it in whatever capacity right now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 25: Artwork

I never have been good at anything traditionally artistic: drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. But I have found a creative outlet in food. I do enjoy the presentation and precision it takes to make things look good along with tasting good. Here's a small representation of what I've done in the past.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 24: Gratitude

Seems like a vague subject for today, but whatever. I found this quote and felt like it fit the bill. I'm all about the quotes. : )

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 23: Closet

Here it is! In all its cramped and tiny glory. : ) No cleaning took place before photographing. Keepin' it real! Baha. Mostly consists of graphic tees, which remains my preferred item of clothing. Grateful for a full closet and a place to put it all! : )

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 22: Clothing

I focused on my favorite item of clothing: t-shirts! I have more than my fair share of graphic tees but I just can't get enough! I love how as you go about your day, one person can recognize the reference and just for that second, you're connected. Puts a smile in my face. : )

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 21: Where You Sleep

My bed. I love it!! Queen-sized and glorious. Even more fantastic after sleeping on a futon all Summer. ; ) So grateful for a roof over my head and a comfortable bed! : )

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 20: Seasonal

Tis the season to be thankful. Obviously, considering the holiday and I've been doing this challenge the WHOLE MONTH. 2/3 way through! Woot. : ) It is also the season of PIE!!! No doubt, the most exciting part of the meal. These picture are from last Thanksgiving. I actually had the day off and spent it with some great friends whom I miss. (This means you, Kim!! : ) ) Tomorrow is pie-making day. No work. But I do in fact work on Thursday this year. : / Sigh. I am thankful for my job, though!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 18: Something New

Hmmm. Something new. I just went literal and posted some of my newest purchases and interests. My newest TARDIS t-shirt from Doctor Who. I think I'm up to 5! My new boots that I absolutely LOVE, even though I'm not shoe person. And my most recent obsession, Mr. Marcus Mumford, lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons. THEY. ARE. SO. GREAT. And he is rather attractive. ; ) So, yeah!

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 17: Memories

Ah, memories. Top left is my friend Kim and I at the Birds of Prey skiing competition in Beaver Creek, Colorado, last year. It was really fun! Top right is a trip to IKEA with my youngest sister, Alex, that was bizarre and awesome that resulted in her in a box. And the bottom is with my youngest sisters and our dad at my cousin's wedding last year. Really good times. : )

p.s. I did in fact do the challenge yesterday (Saturday) and posted it everywhere but didn't get it on blogger. So. Whoops! ; ) Catching up.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 16: Animals

Clockwise from top left: my old roommate's sweet dog, Matty; a tiny gerbil eating a potato chip from the palm of someone's hand; the "cannot be unseen" cat; and Josh Groban with a cheetah. These were all random pictures from my phone that I thought fit the category. Sadly, I have no pets right now but hopefully soon! I do love animals. : )

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 15: Technology

Today I was on Pinterest while watching tv and took a picture with my iPhone and posted it. Amazing. I am also posting on this blog from said phone. Technology and how quickly it advances continues to blow my mind. It's fantastic and I am so grateful to be a part of it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 14: Movement

I thought a lot about what to post for this subject. Snow falling was high on the list. Almost posted it but then had to go back to my roots. : ) This is my wonderful KitchenAid Professional standing mixer in motion. It was my college graduation gift from the entire family. I love it SO much and am truly grateful to have it. It's whirring sound is one of my favorite things. Ever!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 12: Hands

Clockwise from top left: my dad's craftsman hands building a guitar, chubby baby hands of my niece Nora, my slightly damaged but still usable hand, and my nephew Dallin's cilantro-eating hands. He ate it, stem and all! So funny. : ) And despite its difficulties, I am very grateful my right hand works and now with little to no pain! The things I do for my craft... ; )

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 11: Something Old

My old, threadbare, well-loved and well-worn baby blanket. Made by some ladies in my parents' ward. I used to sleep with it every night. A warm, loving constant comfort to have. Wonderful memories. : )

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 10: Nature

I love the snow. And cold weather. I recall opening a window wide during college and wrapping myself in a blanket to watch the snow fall at 1am. It does make driving to work....interesting, however. But it is beautiful. So clean and white...yes. I still love it. : ) I'm so grateful for the beauty of nature!!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 9: Inspiration.

Joy the Baker helped me bake for fun again with her spunk and wit. Libba Bray and others I've met let me know they are awesome and personable. Christina Hendricks reminds me to embrace my curves and encourages me to love them. (And I totally want her 60s wardrobe.) And music. Mumford & Sons and SO MANY others who lift me, carry me, console me, and sometimes just allow me my sorrow. I feel truly inspired.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 8: Favorite Color

For the longest time, I have claimed my favorite color as some shade of green. "Bright" or "sage", mostly. Which I still love! But most recently, I just can't get enough of the color blue. But not just any shade of blue.... TARDIS blue!! Now, this is a reference to the British tv show "Doctor Who", with which I have a borderline unhealthy obsession. It's okay I'm aware of it. If it's not your cup of tea, so to speak, that's fine. You can just appreciate what a lovely shade of blue these item below are. : )

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 7: Something Funny

I don't know why, but this photo makes me laugh REALLY HARD. It's ridiculous. And awesome. :D

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 6: BOOKS!!

I could totally write a humongous giant post about my love of books and how much they have influenced my life. My favorite things, my closest friends, my constant companions. I am rarely out of arms' reach of a book. Seriously. Hug a Book Day!! *hugs* : )

Monday, November 05, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 5: Morning Sky

A magical, misty morning up the canyon in Fall. Not today, but a few weeks ago. I do prefer the rainy days. : )

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 4: Leaves

My parents, sister, and I drove up the canyon during the Sunday Afternoon General Conference session a few weeks ago. And by sheer happenstance, youngest sister and her husband showed up too! Fall is my absolute favorite time. The leaves, hoodie wearing, the smell...I love it all!

Here are my parents standing in the leaves holding hands. So cute!! I'm so grateful for them. : )

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 3: Happiness

I thought a lot about this category. A lot of things make me happy: family, friends, books, tv shows, etc. But I was at work all day and of course what I was focusing on was food. Baking, decorating, creating new makes me happy. It is not at all easy and sometimes stressful, but I'm so grateful I found a career that I truly enjoy! To me, happiness is doing what you love. : )

Friday, November 02, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 2: SMILE!!

Some of my favorite smiles on some of my favorite people in some of my happiest moment in the past few months. : )

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Gratitude Photo Challenge Day 1: Favorite Food

SCONES!! I have a ridiculous number of favorite foods but scones definitely have my heart. Once I discovered a recipe for JalapeƱo Pepper Jack Scones on, I was never the same. I *crave* them on a regular basis. I made those and since my sister Alex had the day off too, she came over and made Orange Dark Chocolate Scones at the same time. Both turned out awesome!! Most enjoyable day. : )

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Gratitude

I saw this on Pinterest. Which is basically where I get all my brilliant ideas these days.

So it starts tomorrow. Wish me luck!! Join me, if you'd like to. I'd love to see your pictures! And I hope mine will be slightly entertaining.

Here goes! : )

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here's to Awesome Authors

I read like a maniac. This is common knowledge. I have favorite books and I have favorite authors. Through the invention of social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.), I am able to hear about the daily happenings of the people who write such awesome books. And I love it. They're just people like us, you guys!! And you know what's REALLY awesome? Being able to meet some of your idols in person. YES!!

About 2 months ago, I went to my first book signing. I was SO BUMMED I missed out on so many while I was in Colorado because either a) it was in Utah and I was not or b) it was in Denver and it REALLY sucks to drive there. Really. So once I got back to Utah, I promised myself I would make it to at least one signing if possible!! The first I went to was for Kiersten White who wrote the Paranormalcy series.

Kiersten White. Isn't she the cutest?!? And so TINY.
(did not take this pic, sadly)

I really enjoy her books. The Paranormalcy series is funny and sarcastic and witty and VERY entertaining. I recommend them if you're into the paranormal and kick-A girls who carry pink tasers. : )

I heard about her signing through either her blog or twitter and decided THIS IS THE TIME. I'M TOTALLY GOING. And my sister, Alex said she'd go, too, although she hadn't read the books. It. Was. AWESOME. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Alex even did! Kiersten talked about her writing process, future projects, read an excerpt from the last book in the trilogy, "Endlessly", and told hilarious stories. She is seriously adorable and talks incredibly fast. I love her. : ) It was held at the King's English, an Indie bookstore in Salt Lake. Hadn't been there before, but now that I make it a point to go whenever I can! Recommend it. 

My second book signing was in the beginning of October. Robison Wells, local author of "Variant" and the newly released 2nd book "Feedback". Also held by the King's English, but the lecture portion was in the art gallery a few doors down for more room. Variant is about a boy who shows up at a new boarding school in New Mexico run solely by the students and soon discovered he's not allowed to leave. Ever. It's intense and worth a read. So, I decided to go to the signing. Robison Wells is a great guy.

The man himself. And I *did* take this picture. : )

He spoke a lot about his personal struggles and his father, both of which highly influenced his writing. It was really great to meet him in person. So glad I went and look forward to reading "Feedback". I purchased it that day for him to sign, but my to-be-read pile is RIDICULOUS. And having a deadline from the library stresses me out. 3 weeks MAY seem like enough, but with 3 out at a time, I cut it close sometimes. Oy. 

My most recent signing was for the brilliant and incredibly talented Libba Bray! That's me with her in that first picture. :D I definitely got nervous meeting her. I've been a big fan of her for YEARS. First books I read was the "A Great and Terrible Beauty", first in a trilogy. Brilliant. So well written. Girl goes to a boarding school outside London in the late 1800s with a hint of magic. She also has some stand-alones, Going Bovine and Beauty Queens, and now a new series beginning with The Diviners. 1920s New York meets ghosts, murder, and mayhem. I'm pretty excited about it. :D 

Libba was presenting along with Shannon Hale, who is a local author. She's written quite a few books but the only one I own and have read is Austenland, which was really good and soon will be a movie! A girl obssessed with the A&E Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, and gets to experience life in Jane Austen's time for 2 weeks. SO COOL. Totally wish I could do that. She also had a sequel entitled Midnight  in Austenland, which I picked up there for her to sign. 

Shannon Hale and Libba Bray. Yeah, blurry. Sorry. They're cuter in person. 
And clearer. : )

This one was held at the West Jordan Library, but still presented by the King's English. (Are you sensing a patter here? Support your local bookstores, guys!!!) It was such a great time. They told the most hilarious stories about the last time they toured together. SO. FUNNY. And apparently, Libba's new book about scared the pants off of Shannon. haha! Can't wait to read it! Had to wait quite a while to get my books signed. I brought ALL the books I owned of Libba's except one (5+the new one I bought there) and Austenland + sequel for Shannon to sign. My back pack was HEAVY, you guys. Totally worth it, though. I might have to make a post just of the awesome things they wrote when they signed my books. : )

When I met Libba, she noticed my Doctor Who shirt and said she like it! We talked about the show for about 5 minutes. It was so great. Geeking out about meeting a favorite author WHILE geeking out about Doctor Who. It was a truly perfect moment!! I even got a picture and a hug. AAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Sorry. Had to freak out about it again. :D 

Also, I posted that picture on twitter and she saw it!! She wrote back saying "Aaah! I didn't know you were THAT Anika from twitter. Great to meet you!". And then she followed me on twitter. Um.......about died. That may not mean a lot to most of you but believe me, IT IS A BIG DEAL. I had a slight freak-out during church when I glanced at my phone and saw that. My sister, Ashleigh, can corroborate my story. 


Siiiiigh. Sorry. Well, I'm gonna go now. They say you shouldn't meet your idols for you will likely be disappointed, but I haven't found it to be so. GO FOR IT, I SAY!! 

Oh, and p.s. Thank you all for welcoming me back to blogging! You guys are awesome. Thanks Jenny, Holly, and my good friend Kim who I didn't even know had a blog! But now I do. And I'm totally gonna follow you now. : ) You guys rock!!!

Good night!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

To Begin Again

Hello. My last post was about a dream I had involving marrying an NFL football player, so I'm fairly certain I have no credibility to lose by taking such a long and unintentional hiatus. But I feel lame about it anyway.

The past few months have been....something. I don't know what. Odd? Frustrating. Lovely. Long. Anticipatory. Just....weird.

I "lost" my job in Vail at the beginning of June. It was a surprise, but I wasn't sad to leave. That job and that restaurant were not at all what I wanted. And it seems the feeling was mutual in some ways. The job was really all that was keeping me there, so I was done. I didn't even look at jobs in Colorado. Whatever happened, I knew I wasn't staying there. On the whole, it was a good experience and I learned so so much. I'm also sad to leave some people and places behind, but I was ready to move on. A possible job ( that eventually fell through) brought me back to Utah and I'm glad it did.

What followed was months and months of job applications and interviews that led nowhere and frustration and waiting, but there was good, too. I was able to spend time with my sisters and theirs kids while they were out of school. I baked a lot. Just for fun. I also catered and made the wedding cake for my youngest sister, Alex. Good to know I still have what it takes! : )

The week before the wedding, I decided to visit my old boss up at Snowbird. I worked there for 2 1/2 years before moving to Colorado. Anna and I got to know each other pretty well and even kept in touch through email after I moved. I heard whispers that they were looking for a Pastry Sous Chef and, although my pride made me resist, I knew I had to look into it. Anna and I chatted for about an hour and she mentioned the position after I casually shared that I was out of work. I still had to go through all the corporate channels: applied, 1st interview, 2nd interview, paperwork, background check, but an eventual offer!!

I accepted. Of course. I was in no position to turn down a job. The past 2 months I had been receiving unemployment checks through Colorado. It was hard to do, though. Again, with my pride. But I was eligible and grateful for something to keep me going. I started work again on September 22. Quite a shock to my lazy-bones body. You forget how much endurance you have being on your feet all day until you've lost it. I was a sore, tired mess after that first week. I think I'm about there by now, though. We're a bit slow as well after Oktoberfest ended last weekend. Gearing up for the season!! Pray for snow!! : )

Anyway, I'm back at Snowbird. I never thought it would happen and I still can't believe that's where I was led, but it does feel like the right place for me right now. It's a much better situation than the one I left and having a title and better pay definitely doesn't hurt! The view ain't bad either, see evidence below! I love the cool, misty mornings in the mountains.

I always say this, but I will seriously try to update here more often. I'm actually writing this on my iPhone cause that seems easier to do and "less official" than sitting down with my computer. Cause I'm weird like that.

Shoot me a comment! I'm always around. And just know, if I follow your blog, I read every, single post even if I don't comment. I appreciate ALL you write. So, uh...yeah. See ya soon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Subconscious Likes Football Players

Hey! Look! Another blog post! Don't die of shock, okay?

I had a dream last night. Well...more like this morning in a post-alarm, pre-actually-getting-up haze, I had a dream. My dreams rarely RARELY make any sense. Cause my brain is bizarre. But this one was pretty clear. Ish.

I had a dream about the one, the only....

...Tim Tebow.

Now, I am not a football person. At all. AT ALL. It's not that I don't like it, I just don't watch it or follow any teams or players or know anything about it really. I just...don't. But, apparently SOME information has seeped in. Like this guy. He's basically everywhere. His name. His face. He's super religious. Crying. "Tebowing". Yeah...that's about all I know about him. But that's enough for my subconscious, apparently.

Cause according to it, we're totally getting married. 

This dream. Kinda bizarre, like the others I've had. Looking at it in context, it really makes no sense. Why would I be at a football game? Who would I go with? Why is this game being played at BYU (my default football location, apparently)? My subconscious knows he's in the NFL and plays for the Broncos. Right? I think? 

Yeah. I'm pretty sure. After all, I do live in Broncos Country. Which I have largely ignored. Yup. 

But, anyway. This dream occurred in Provo, Utah, for nonsensical reasons. Just go with it. 

So I went to the game. We met somehow. End up walking through a deserted BYU campus with snow lightly falling. It was romantic and crap. He toooootally liked me. Said he wanted to take me somewhere, but I didn't have my own car to drive home in. I drove parents? Yeah! THAT'S who went with. Okay. Whatever. So he said, "Next time?" And I totally said yes. We were supposed to meet by a bridge and so on and so forth and then married. 

So, there you go. Who knew? I certainly didn't. But somewhere in my weirdo brain, I like football players. 

Strange, right? 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Finding the Fundamentals

I've never been one for resolutions. It's...too much pressure. They're usually too big and scary to keep up on and are mostly forgotten by March. I have tried, though. Made a list to change about myself. I have no idea what they were, so there ya go.

I've been rolling around an idea in my head for the last couple weeks. It was sparked by a friend of mine, I suppose. She's also my visiting teacher. We met for a visit at a nearby bakery for a bagel. This was during the craziness of the Holidays that nearly killed me, so half an hour in the morning before a 16-hour work day was barely what I could spare. We sat and talked. She brought up the subject of resolutions. She, too, doesn't believe in New Year's Resolutions. Instead, every year on her birthday, so decides to make the coming 12 months the "Year of ____" (fill in the blank). This latest birthday brought the Year of Letting Go. Just...letting go of the things that you've held on to, grudges you've held on to, things you can't change.... Excellent idea.

So, I decided to do something a little similar. Sorta. I've been thinking a lot about the simple things I miss these days. And why i was missing them. I would say I don't have the time (which is pretty true, actually), but it's not just that. What am I doing with what little time I DO have away from work? Not much. Nothing of consequence, anyway. Silly tv shows and nonsense online, which I do enjoy, but it's really not that important in the long run. So, here's my "resolution": go back to the fundamentals. Back to basics. There's WAY too much nonsense going on in my life. Time to keep it simple. Go back to what was good and sincere.

And here's what I mean:

I've always been a HUGE bookworm. I absolutely love books. Seriously. Even though I haven't had (or found) the time to read much, I still have bought at least 4 books in the last month or so. I can't stop myself! Bookstores have always been my solace. I see the books on the shelf and I just want to give them a good home! So, I resolve to read at least half an hour a day, probably before bed. Not much by my usual reading standards, but it's a start.

I have no problem sleeping. Really. Probably cause I'm tired all the time, but alas. What I mean is that I need to aim for 8 hour of sleep. No more stay-up-til-2am-and-wake-at-10am silliness. Even when I get home from work at 11:30pm or so, I need to be in bed by midnight (and read for a bit) and then wake at 8am. Simple, I know, but that's the whole point! Remember back when you had a bedtime and you grumbled and groaned that it was too early? Well, too early is not an issue now, but I do need to get on a better schedule. I try to set an alarm, but I tend to shut it off and go back to sleep. And then I wonder why I'm rushing to work at noon....  *sarcasm*

Now, I've never been super diligent in working out. But when I do, I prefer to do yoga. It's too cold to do anything strenuous (for me anyway) outside and I don't snowboard often enough (or at all) to call it a workout, so yeah. Yoga. 3 times a week. Usually at home, but I did find a beginner's class at a local yoga studio that just might work with my schedule! Yay. : )

I eat better than some already, what with my higher in-take of vegetables and stuff, but I still do enjoy the junk food. Less is the goal. And to eat more regularly. Work kinda kills that idea most days, but I'm gonna work on it.

Once again, back to the basics. I just need to get back into the habit of scripture reading and scriptures and everything. Apart from preparing my Sunday School lesson, I've slacked off a bit. Improvement is necessary.

Now, I love my gadgets. A. Lot. My iPhone is my life and connection to the outside world. I rely on it. But I do need some time away from my phone and computer at times. An hour or so a day is the plan. Unplugged.

So, that's how I plan to simplify my life and bring back the things that make me happy. Wish me luck!!

Any resolutions for you?