Category Archives: Let’s Get Real

let freedom ring!

is anyone else obsessed with facebook memories or google photos rediscover?
both of these features help me remember what has happened on this day last year, two years ago, five years ago, etc. it has made me even more nostalgic than i already am. i am a sucker for reminiscing.

google photos reminded me that three years ago we spent fourth of july in tahoe, two years ago we spent it in pismo beach glamping and last year we celebrated in mexico. where were we this year you ask?


we spent this fourth of july weekend in the great state of montana.
the weekend was filled with family (all of b’s extended family came), guns, bbq, boats, atvs, kick ball, fireworks and mosquito bites.
so american of us, right?

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it was the greatest escape. we flew into idaho falls and then drove two hours to b’s uncle’s ranch which is close to jackson, montana. ever been to jackson? it is a town consisting of one street and a couple businesses. doesn’t get more small town than this!

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the sky feels a little closer and life is a little simpler. those clouds reminded me of wyoming.

oh and we may have gotten lost on a hike. let’s just say we were off the beaten path and my shoes may or may not have been covered in mud and i may or may not had bug bites all over my legs by the end of the hike. but, it was a memory i will always remember. it was a day with my people.


i am blessed to live in this beautiful country. happy birthday, america!


hello there 2016

i know we are three months into 2016 but i think i am just now catching my breath and
welcoming the new year with open arms.

in january, i was able to travel down to southern california and visit my best friend in the hospital after she gave birth to her second daughter. i still can’t believe it — her second daughter. she is such a wonderful mother and i felt so lucky to be able to sit by her on her hospital bed and cuddle her newborn, lucy. it was the sweetest moment to be with someone i love so much on one of the biggest milestones of her life. i get chills thinking about it. i really hope she can sit by me when my day comes.


that same day, i was able to visit my two nephews while they were in town from colorado. i treasure every moment i have with these sweet boys because they are rare and they grow up so fast! i wish i could be there in their every day life but i will take what i can get. it was also amazing to be with my sister. my bond with my sisters is something i could never explain but will try. it is loyal, forgiving, encouraging, empathetic. it is constant and unwavering. it is passionate and intense.

getting too heavy for you? i think i may be getting too heavy for myself haha.

january ended by me giving my two weeks at my job to pursue a career at facebook. i am now a month into it and am still giddy when i think about it. what an incredible company!

in february, i learned to ski, took a calligraphy class, enjoyed a couple weekends with b’s family and hosted a galentine’s day brunch (thank you leslie knope).


last weekend, i traveled to phoenix to see my newest nephew, caleb, be blessed. it was great to have the family all together.

so many things happened the past 2+ months. when will time slow down?


a year in review : 2015

i was sad to see 2015 go.
i called 2015 the year of travel.
it was the year i promised myself to work out consistently and see more of the world. i am happy to say that i did both!

january :

date nights at the stanford theatre, oakland temple and go karting.
assisted in hosting a baby shower for a new friend.
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february :

said good bye to my little sister for 18 months as she went to serve the lord in houston, texas.
spent valentine’s day with my whole family eating chinese food and donuts.
my city hating husband surprised me with a staycation to san francisco. 
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march :

crafted my way through st. patrick’s day.
my second nephew was born.
got glasses – wait what? yah, i finally accepted that my vision was fading and i needed glasses (all in time for thailand).
traveled to the wonderful country of thailand where a piece of my heart will forever be!
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april :

said good bye to my sweet best friend. that little pup’s spirit will always be felt in my family’s home.
celebrated easter with my family and darling niece.
threw a french garden baby shower for my dear friend.
celebrated b’s birthday with donuts in bed, hikes, salmon and cuddle sessions. simple pleasures.
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may :

croquet dates in the garden
visits from b’s sister, brother-in-law & niece
visits from my sister and niece
celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary.
filled the house with fresh peonies

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june :

traveled to cody, wyoming to spend a week with my family
met my newest nephew, james
saw bryan regan live!

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july :

traveled to mazatlan to spend a week with b’s family
ate at gary danko’s with my parents (yes, it was a highlight)

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august :

celebrated my birthday with airline tickets, french gardens & bundt cake.
said good-bye to b’s brother for two years while he serves the lord in slovakia
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september :

spent labor day weekend in the city and ate my way through the city.
my niece was born.
traveled to miami to continue the birthday celebrations – lots of sun, trapezing & snacking.
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october :

camped in big sur
traveled home to attend the wedding of one of my oldest friends
dressed as queen mahal and taj mahal
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november :

s’mores and sunsets in half moon bay.
hosted my first thanksgiving.
my third nephew was born.
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december :

celebrated the life of donald kirk.
spent christmas in colombia & new years in panama.
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i got big plans for you, 2016.

All Dogs Go To Heaven

this weekend was one of the hardest weekends i have ever been through.
i did not plan for it to be this way. i actually was looking forward to this weekend for months.
it was the weekend my parents were planning on coming to visit. it was the weekend that they would stay with me and we would celebrate easter and my mom’s upcoming birthday. but it wasn’t that weekend at all.

let’s start at the beginning – thursday evening.
thursday evening, i received a call from my dad. naturally, i thought it would be about weekend plans, requests and flight information. but when i picked up the phone, i already knew something was not right. my dad was crying (sobbing really). he had just received a call from our dog’s (kelsey is her name) veterinarian. the vet had taken some tests earlier in the week to see why kelsey was having coughing fits. turns out she had lymphoma and it had spread all over her body. my dad was informed that kelsey had days (maybe weeks) to live.
when my dad told me this news i immediately told him that he and my mom could not leave our dear kelsey this weekend. that i would travel down south to them.
i needed to be with my dog during this time. my bones ached to be by her side.
i love my kelsey with every fiber of my being. she is/was the perfect companion.

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flights were booked for the following morning (thank goodness i already had work off). as soon as i went through the logistics of getting down there, all that was left was to cry. i prayed and i cried. i didn’t want my precious kelsey to suffer but i also didn’t want her to leave me. she was the spirit of my childhood home. she was in my wedding pictures. she comforted me through breakups. she loved me like no other could. i know it may sound silly to talk about a dog like this but this little dog of mine was more like a sister to me than anything else.


when i arrived at my childhood home on friday, kelsey immediately greeted me. she walked over to me, wagged her tail and i stroked her flowing golden locks. it was a comfort to see her doing okay despite the diagnosis. i mean yes she had trouble getting up but she is a 15 year old golden and so that happens. i took her on a walk with my parents and still everything felt the same. she was so happy to be with everyone.

saturday morning came around and my dad had made an appointment for her to see another vet to help with the pain. she walked around the vet office and traveled in the car just fine. when we got home, she was exhausted and went to her usual place by the piano to sleep. she slept for hours. later in the afternoon, she tried to get up and she couldn’t. her body wouldn’t let her. my dad lifted her up to see if that would help and it looked like she just couldn’t control her joints / bones because she almost immediately collapsed. she was hard of breathing and didn’t want any water or food. all of our hearts were breaking. we all raced to be by her side so she knew she was loved and to not worry about us. this went on for a couple hours. late into the evening when we realized she didn’t want dinner, we knew something was wrong. she was gasping for air and was no longer wagging her tail. she was deteriorating before our eyes and it was one of the hardest  things to watch. we decided as a family that there could be no more suffering. that this would be her last night. she was put to sleep in our home with her family completely surrounding her.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset my heart is still constantly aching. i woke up and couldn’t believe she was not there. was not there to greet me. was not there to bark at my dad to give her more food. was not there to slobber all over the kitchen floor. was not there to steal my socks. was not there to smile at me.

i am so grateful for the 15 years she was in my life. she was the biggest blessing. i am holding on tightly to the idea that all dogs go to heaven because she deserves it and more.


as of late

i feel like i blink for one second and it is already mid march.
how is 2015 going by so quickly?
it is true when they say “the days are long but the weeks are short”.
here is what i have been up to as of late…

three weekends in a row we have been up in the city & i am loving it.
sure it is a trek in and parking can be a nightmare but once you are there, i soak it all in and relish every moment, every view, every bite and every turn. san francisco is a beautiful city.

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^^^ that stunning building is a high school by dolores park. can you believe it? wish my high school looked like that…

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^ oh and those churches make me swoon every single time.

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new bonus to going to trader joe’s (as if i need another bonus but i will take it) is a nektar juice bar just opened up right next door. i love nektar juice from the moment i tried it years ago in southern california. the acai bowls, juices and shakes are all amazing. lately i have been hooked on the chocolate dream smoothie with carob chips and dates. you feel like you are treating yourself when in reality it is healthy. my kind of treat…

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my office has fresh flowers delivered every week & last week the office was filled with pink and purple tulips. nothing says spring more than a beautiful tulip!



and i had to save the best memory for last. my little sister (the redhead) decided to serve a mission for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints in houston, texas. i am so proud of her and her decision because it is a big one. she will be serving for 18 months and during that time we will only be able to email her and talk on the phone twice a year. i would be dishonest if i said i wasn’t terribly sad to see her go but she is where she is supposed to be. i am so grateful for my 3 sisters. they each inspire me in different ways. my love for them runs deep.


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what have you been up to lately?

Valentine’s Day Inspired Bar Cart

remember when i bought a bar cart?

well it was a couple weeks ago and i have been searching ever since for some good accessories to style it up with. i have not found my dream accessories for a steal of a deal but i decided to heck with it. i need to work with what i got and style my bar cart to the nines for valentine’s day.
i literally just put the finishing touches on it last weekend (and valentine’s day is this weekend so i may have procrastinated a little) and  i really do love the look.

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i don’t drink alcohol so it may seem a little odd to have a bar cart without the bar but i think it is a fun little corner in our living room where we can host as we see fit, which includes lemonade, chocolates and cookies.

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last week was a hard week. it felt like there was a death in the family. you know why?
parenthood aired its’ final episode.
please insert sobbing emoji here.
parenthood is one of my favorite series of all time. yes, all time.
the series revolves around a tight knit family– the bravermans.


the bravermans are a large family with every day problems, mishaps and special events. they are a family that doesn’t always see eye to eye but there is love in everything they do. there is every different personality imaginable within the family which means you can connect with at least one character on a deeper level. i can say i connected with every single character.

parenthood is very real and does not sugar coat or make light of every day problems. it shows the struggles of these characters as if they were your own. b always said he didn’t like the show because it was “too real” and he uses tv to escape reality but, i loved it. i connected to the cast. i learned that life is not perfect and there will be many challenges. there will be many moments of heartache but also many many moments of glee. it felt as if i was with my own family every thursday night for one hour. and it may seem silly but i cherished every episode of parenthood. i never was half watching while looking at my phone. my attention was with the braverman family. i cried and laughed almost every single episode.

another reason why i love this series so much is the emphasis they put on the family. no matter what happened in the braverman’s lives, they always were there for each other. they respected each other, they cried with each other and they danced with each other. they had their money challenges but money never seemed to be a big factor in their every day life. all they cared about was family .

i am completely inspired by the mothers on this show. all for different reasons. they each showed that motherhood is no walk in the park but it is the greatest gift of all.
thank you christina for inspiring me to always do what i am passionate about and to one day be my child’s #1 advocate.
thank you julia for showing it is okay to be a working mom– it doesn’t mean you love your kids any less. it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t fight for them any less. (julia was always so honest with her kids and i respected her a lot.)
thank you jasmine for showing how important it is to play with your kids.
thank you sarah for showing the importance of being a friend to your kids.
and thank you camille for showing that you must have your own hobbies as a mother. you must have time to yourself.
you five women have inspired me beyond belief.  parenthood is the only show on earth that makes me want to be mother and have a large family. it is the only show that completely stole my heart.



parenthood, i promise to stay forever young.


linked to: Treat Yo Self


reading: i am malala. i actually just finished this book over the weekend and it was a great read. especially considering all that is going on with the taliban these days. i enjoyed learning pakistani customs / daily life, basic islam principals and how the taliban has affected pakistani citizens. malala is a fighter and a leader. she has inspired me.
now on to many more inspiring books. do you ever use good reads? it is like yelp but for books. you can see what your friends are reading and their ratings on books. good reads will recommend books based on what you have already read as well. i recently started using the app and love it. i especially love that my book list is all in one place and i can track my progress.

have my eye on: the perfect bar cart accessories. i recently purchased this bar cart from target (great price if you are looking) and am now on the hunt for accessories to jazz it up and make it more of a statement piece in our living room. any suggestions? i just found these drink stirrers and think they may be my first purchase.

bar cart accessories

watching: bbc’s broadchurch. have you heard of it? i hadn’t until our friend suggested it. it is a murder mystery set in a small coastal town in the uk. it is gripping and the character development is fantastic. another plus? the first season is on netflix and it is only 8 episodes long so you don’t feel like the story has too many outrageous turns. i highly recommend it if you like that kind of genre and are looking for something new.

craving: bountiful kitchen’s coconut cookies. truth be told i actually have never had a swig cookie. i know crazy. they really became popular after i left utah and i haven’t had a chance to try one on my many trips back to utah. so really i have no excuse but, i have made the copy cat recipe and loved it. they are simply delicious. a bountiful kitchen has many variations on the original swig cookie (including chocolate and lemon) but this coconut variation is pulling me in. who else is a lover of all things coconut? i know there are few of us.

coconut swig

 coveting: beautiful art. i am trying to figure out where to put a gallery in our new home and how many more pictures i need to make it cohesive. stay tuned for the final result! as of now, galmeetsglam‘s home is really inspiring me.

wall art

Happy New Year!


b and i celebrated new years day with a new tradition we hope to continue for many years to come. besides writing down our new year’s resolutions, we decided to write down our wishes for 2015 and attach them to a floating lantern, which we lit and sent off in our backyard. it was magical to see our hopes and dreams for 2015 fly to the top of the sky.
& now it is up to us to make those wishes happen.

how did you celebrate the new year?


Year in Review

2014 was a big year for us with a new car, new house, new job.
i feel like living with b things are constantly changing but i really like the feeling and it is making me embrace change more easily. here is a look at what happened in 2014.

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january – became proud owners / parents of our first plant. his name is steven and he is a dwarf citrus.
february – headed to salt lake city to tube, explore ice castles and most importantly be a part of my littlest niece’s baby blessing. she was the first grandchild on b’s side and we can’t get enough of her.
march –  we toured the 49ers stadium as it was still being constructed & went on many weekend adventures to the redwoods & santa cruz.
april – traveled up to sonoma for a weekend getaway at a darling four sisters’ bed and breakfast. it was delightful and it was there that we realized our obsession with cheese. we also flew to gilbert, az to celebrate easter and my mom’s birthday. not to mention we celebrated b’s birthday with a croquet party. oh & b and i got new jobs. wow april was busy.
may – celebrated 3 years of marriage in sin city with b spears. also traveled south for a disneyland weekend with b’s family.
june - summer officially began and we celebrated by going on a different summer inspired date every week (including strawberry picking in davenport). i also traveled solo to my hometown to celebrate my best friend and her new baby girl.
july – celebrated 4th of july by glamping in pismo beach & b’s brothers + cousin came to visit us at the end of the month.
august – started off my birthday month with a visit from my sister in law and her cute  family. then headed south east to celebrate my day of birth in the desert.
september – every weekend was spent at a park taking in the beautiful weather. & we also day tripped to watsonville to go apple picking.
october –  got lost in my first cornmaze, experienced nashville and dressed up as a bunny and a magician.
november – moved into a home & leased a new electric car! we also traveled to colorado springs to be with my family for thanksgiving.
december – traveled to park city to spend the holidays with b’s family.

wow i can’t even believe all that happened this year because frankly, this is not even the half of it. i really condensed everything as best as i could and that list still may be too long to keep your attention.
2014 was an amazing year full of ups and downs. i am so glad i was able to experience it all with my b.
& i can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!

happy new year!