Monday, December 12, 2016

only me when i'm with you: rach.

i think we have all heard the age old adage,
money doesn't buy happiness.
and sure that person probably never had sprinkles cupcakes,
but i am going to throw them a bone here & confirm they were on to something.
yes, i'm a gal who likes pretty things,
but that's not happiness.

as i've gotten older i've realized that happiness is who you experience the details of life with.
the good, the bad, the perfectly messy, the everything in between with.
i have never wanted for good friends.
i consider them some of my greatest blessings in this life.
which is why i am starting a new weekly bb piece!
instead of me saying how great my people are all the time,
they can tell you all about their fabulosity themselves!

each week i will showcase a different friend(s) through a blanket questionnaire
i've emailed out to them.
the answers are not edited nor suggested,
meaning this could get really scary, really fast!
but just true to the people my world is fortunate enough to spin around.

first up? RACH!
tiny bit of background:
rach and i have known each other for 18 years now.
she is thee absolute most loyal, non judgement best friend you could ever ask for.
she's the kind of girl you ask to help you bury a body.
but you get the point i am trying to make.
she would do anything for those she loves.
she is funny, smart, sweet, and gives you nothing other than the 100% truth.
she's getting married next year {yay!},
and i can't wait to see all the good things that unfold her way through the years to come.
i would not be me without every bit i have learned from her.

so here we go...

what do you do for work?
investigative assistant at the public defender's office.

how did we meet?
we met in 7th grade, but things really took off when you stole the last white paper in one of our classes. i don't remember which class, but i remember we needed it for some artsy project we had to work on. i'm thinking it was english.

favorite movie/book?
movie: a walk to remember
book: i'd still probably have to say the twilight series (don't judge, i know how it looks lol)!

one word your fiancé would use to describe you?

what are the 3 things you would bring with you on a desert island?
cellphone, chapstick, my dog.

what are 3 things i would bring with me on a desert island?
diet coke, your fav pair of shoes, and a tv so you could watch your cubs and blackhawks!

something you say a lot?

how did you meet your fiancé?
he was my TA in college...whoops! i did also happen to get the best grade in the class. (but that was all me!) we actually met because we were both TA's and had to take a specific "TA" class so we could receive credit. he just happened to be the assigned TA in one of my classes. we connected and bonded.

something embarrassing that has happened to you?
OMG i feel like there are so many and i don't even know where to start! most recently, i was trying to be sneaky and drop something off in my co-worker's office, but as i turned to leave i bumped into one of her shelves and broke part of it, making all kinds of commotion. needless to say, i got spotted and my effort to be sneaky failed! i was red as a tomato! now my theme song at work is "wrecking ball"...great! channeling my inner miley as we speak!

if you had to pick a tv or movie character for you, and one for me, who would they be?
well, i'm samantha and you are carrie! done and done (and karla's charlotte, obvy!)

what is something about me most readers probably don't know?
you have a strong, outgoing, tough demeanor. but the reality is, you hurt just as easily as the rest of us, you just don't let others see you when you're vulnerable.

what is your favorite memory of our friendship?
going to vegas to celebrate your "divorce" party! that was such an awesome girls trip and one i constantly think about! it was the last time we went to vegas just the 3 of us, too! we splurged on serendipity frozen hot chocolate, shopped, danced, gambled, and you even scored a bottle of champagne by a random girl in the casino! highlight of that night was us trying to figure out how to pop the cork!
(**editor's note - no, i've never been married. i had just gone through thee most gut wrenching heartache of my life and the girls picked me up off my floor and took me to vegas for the weekend to help me find my smile again. the first night we were there a group of guys came up to our table at dinner and asked us what we were celebrating. without thinking one of us said "she got divorced from this really awful guy we all tried to warn her against marrying" - and the theme just stuck.)

one thing you want for christmas?
cards against humanity

we are going shopping, where is the first place on your list?

do you view the diet coke glass half full or half empty?
half full, always.

aside from necessities, what is the one thing you can't go a day without?
chapstick! or does that count as a necessity? if so, then probably my cellphone!

what is the last thing you watched on tv?
the great christmas light fight! (i think that's the name of the show!)

what is your biggest pet peeve?
when people lie and think they're being sneaky, but it's obvious they're lying.

what is your favorite thing about yourself?
i am very passionate when it comes to people and things i care about and love. don't mess with me when you mess with someone i love!

why do you think our friendship works?
our friendship works because despite any issues we have had or will have (because let's face it, nobody is perfect and there will always be issues, that's how a healthy relationship works) eventually things always go back to where they left off. it's like nothing ever happened or separated us. we pick up and can continue laughing and having a good time with one another. despite anything we are all alike, yet we bring a little extra something to the table. you have the ability to be strong and outspoken. i think that is something i have learned over the years of being friends with you. there is always something to learn from one another. we accept each other for the good, the bad and the ugly. we revel in each other's flaws and know that that is what adds character and spunkiness to our relationship. if things were always perfect, then life would just be boring. we fight, we laugh, we cry together. we've been through major life changes together. you moved to utah (more than once!!) and yet here we still are. like the saying goes "we may be far in distance, but never in heart". your family is my family and vice versa. it works because WE make it work. because it's something WE want. it's something WE can't find anywhere else.

if you could tell bergdorf brunette readers anything, what would it be?
that they should feel honored that you share so much of your life with them! it's not easy to put yourself out there, and the fact that you do that and actually pay attention to the requests, wants, needs of your readers speaks volumes about the person you are. you are a private person, but you give the people what they want! ;)

but really though loves,
isn't she perfection?
now you have a tiny peak of why i am so incredibly lucky to call this one mine.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

keep that tinsel out of a tangle, y'all.

 i feel it's finally time to explain the license plate.
when i was relief society president,
yes, RELIEF SOCIETY president,
my sweet & fabulously brazilian 1st counselor
{we call her gisele, for short}
visited NYC.
now, we had probably only known each other for about 2 months, at the time,
but she came back with this gift for me.
i was a bit taken aback at first and she simply said,
in her perfect no excuses accent,
"you know, because you're a new york b****h."
i laughed so hard i couldn't not make it a permanent place in my home.
and she made for herself a permanent place to stay in my life.

 their names are sid, geno, chris and kris.

 the statement shoe shelf of the house got a little christmas cheer makeover for the season.

 when i was a little girl,
i used to beg my mom to let me sleep with this velveteen rabbit every christmas eve.

the nice thing about having such an extensive shoe collection,
is you can improvise when you realize you're not enough of an adult
to have a tree topper.

i got these adorable hawaiian holiday hula girls when
we were in hawaii this past march.
i'm slightly obsessed,
but they also remind me of the epic, i need a dole whip NOW,
mini-meltdown i had that afternoon.
and i can't help but laugh at who i turn into when i'm hangry.

 she's a bit dated, but still my favorite.
i bought this becky thatcher ornament in hannibal, missouri,
with my allowance money,
during once of our many family cross country summer road trips when i was younger.

 because who said louboutins only go on your feet?

 my happy places.

 over the past two years,
my little apartment in thee city has come to know 2 nicknames.
in the summer it's the barbie dream house.
embarrassingly appropriate.
the day glitter isn't a basic human right is the day i give up on this world!
during the fall & winter it's the hallmark house.
my gal pals have compared my life over this past season to one that would fit 
into no other world than a hallmark world.
if i wasn't so insanely private about certain parts of my life,
i would go into thee details.
maybe one day i will.
but until then,
you get a peak into my "hallmark movie girl" home decor.
because as you can tell,
i don't like christmas at all. ;)


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

may we never forget.

i've had the incredible opportunity to travel the country
and visit many of our American memorials.
each carry with them a different memory.
each commemorate different lives that were forever changed 
from the course of their events,
and each are all equally important to appreciating & understanding 
the great blessing of our freedom.
for those reasons alone,
i love them all.
but one in particular has always stood at the top of my list.

when i was 13 years old i visited pearl harbor for the first time.
i was young & naive to so many things,
but could feel the difference this one had over the others i had seen.
{if you've never been, i highly recommend the trip.}
there is an unspoken reverence that surrounds it.
perhaps because most of the other memorials i've visited are something you walk up to.
not emotionally, of course, but physically.
you drive up and get out of the car and go up to it and read a plaque and reflect.
if you're in dc, you walk from place to place.
but in order to get to the uss arizonia memorial,
visitors first must watch a film about the events of december 7, 1941,
and then are ushered to a boat that will take them out to where it sits.
respect and reflection aren't merely suggested at pearl harbor,
they are demanded.

once your boat arrives at the memorial,
you don't hear the normal chatter and bustle that surrounds a "tourist" zone.
kids don't run around unattended,
people aren't laughing to shoot the breeze,
comments to those around you are almost always made in a hushed whisper 
worthy of a church chapel,
as ships are ushered in and out of the harbor,
all those aboard come up to the deck and salute as they sail by...
it's as if everyone, even the smallest of us all, 
understand where they stand and what that means.

earlier this year i was able to take my 3rd visit to pearl harbor 
since that original day as a 13 year old girl,
and this was the one that hit me the most.
i remember when i was younger interviewing a couple dear to my family's love 
who was in honolulu that day,
and hearing their recollection and how their lives changed forever.
i think often times we are thankful for the sacrifices of those who serve,
but we cannot truly comprehend what it means.
and when we begin to try,
it seems like there isn't enough gratitude in the world to give.

may we never forget the events of 75 years ago today,
and the lives affected.
and may we build a future that forever honors them.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

easy bake gal's book review: first comes love.

one tiny little world, with a helluva big meaning.
i've had it, i've lost it, i've felt it, i've missed it...
i've gone around every adjective in the dictionary about it seemingly 7x over.
but then again, who hasn't?

i finished our easy bake book club selection of the month, first comes love, last night 
and my gut reaction was: ugly tears.
i mean, that. last. page. though...
i wish i could quote it here because everything giffin expresses in 
those last few lines is, for me, as complete a synopsis of love as you can get.
a very difficult task, considering it's a feeling that can never truly be put into words.
but she get's pretty darn close.

so, now for a few thoughts on what i liked about the book 
and what i felt a little meh about, 
without giving too much away:

love: the supporting cast - plus 9 points.
if you haven't read any of giffin's previous novels,
her true power as an author comes from her incomparable ability to 
create character depth.
however, in this book she gives so much dynamic to her supporting characters.
enough to where, at times, i felt myself caring more about them than our two main gals.
from gabe to pete to nolan to will to, even, little harper,
she made people that are normally somewhat disposable in a novel absolutely necessary.

love: ellen & andy - plus 7 points.
as i mentioned in my original post,
with the exception of something borrowed and something blue,
none of giffin's books are sequels of one another, but she always manages 
to bring back former characters.
andy and ellen {friends of meredith and nolan} are the main couple in love the one you're with.
the bad news? 
if you haven't read the book it totally gives away the suspense of 
will she stay or will she go throughout.
the good news?
 if you have read the other book, it adds a nice little update on two of my FAVORITE 
giffin characters without needing an entirely new book.

meh: meredith - minus 4 points.
another one of giffin's talents is taking very flawed characters and endearing them to the reader.
but for some reason this time around,
meredith was so. freakin. hard. for. me. to. love.
maybe this had to do with how well i felt giffin developed nolan's character,
that i ended up being more on his side than meredith's,
or maybe she really was that unforgiving of a person,
i don't really know.
but i do know i didn't care about her personal happiness until about chapter 35.
and considering we only have 35 chapters in the book,
it was tough to push through her part of the story, at times.

love: josie is an online dater - plus 3 points.
because let's get real,
this is how people meet these days.

meh: lack of pete - minus 2 points.
i wanted more pete.
also, could we have given him a different name?
pete always reminds me of aiden's dog in sex and the city.

love: what is love? - plus 10 points.
majority of giffin's novels revolve around romantic love,
and while there was plenty of that in this book,
i loved that the main relationship in question was that of 2 sisters.
love isn't just romance,
you're not solely lovable if you have a plus one to the dinner party.
love, in all its forms, is for everyone.
and i think especially this time of year,
we sometimes need that reminder.

final verdict? plus 23 points.
i won't say this is my favorite of her novels,
{something borrowed & love the one you're with still can't be beat}
but i really enjoyed the idea of it all,
and, nevertheless, couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
i found it, if anything, her most relatable novel.
i mean, how many of us go out and actually have affairs with our best friend's
fiancé before their wedding?
or fall in love with our best friend's father?
many of giffin's other stories are very dramatic forms of reality,
but this, for me at least, was so close to a lot of the emotions humans deal with on a daily basis.
it was an incredibly messy story,
but then again, isn't real life a fabulous, but incredibly messy story?
we all try to grasp the meanings of forgiveness, loss, letting go, moving on, 
the various facets of love...
and then figure out somehow to apply everything we learn to the path we choose in life.

okay now,
what about you, love-doves?
did you finish yet?
what did you think?
where is your love/meh index scale at?
i can't wait to hear your thoughts!

happy continued reading, loves.

ps - i've already picked our next book!
but i want to wait another week or so to announce it 
so no one is feeling like they can't keep up in the easy bake world.
we won't start reading it though until the new year.
it's BIG. and little.
all at the same time.
and that's your only hint ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

start a love train.

not sure about you,
but i woke up this morning sorta feelin' 22,
or like it was christmas,
or somewhere in between.
because guess what?
thee official kick-off to the #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign 
the lds church launched last week!

now, i know what you might be thinking,
or maybe even a few things...

first, you might be thinking,
she has to say she's excited about things like this so people think she's a good person.
actually, false.
i closed the chapter on november feeling truly overwhelmed by all the birthday love 
i received from all of you.
i can't even really put into words how special it was,
and that's saying something for a gal who seems to always know the right thing to say.
it was the kind of month that left me wanting to do everything i could to take all the love and joy 
that was thrown at me,
and turn around and throw in right back out into the world.
as a way of saying thank you,
from the bottom of my, truly humbled, heart.

and if that wasn't what you were thinking,
perhaps, maybe, you're worried about the "religious" aspect to this campaign.
but, you see, that's the best part about it!
this is something for EVERYONE,
regardless of political party, background, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
it doesn't matter how much money you make at your job,
or how big your house may or may not be,
or what kind of car you drive,
or where you spend your sundays.
imagine what could begin to happen in our communities if we spend the next 25 days
spreading joy and happiness like confetti,
rather than sitting around and spewing hate and negativity?
it seems to me a lot of recent the pessimism is about people's various opinions on change,
and what the right way to go about it is.
while i may not know everything,
i do know change starts with action.
it's a verb.
so rather than talking about everything people should do differently.
let's get out and show it.

and okay, maybe the last thing you're thinking is
why in the world is she so excited about a striped scarf.
well, you see, back in 2002 GAP launched their christmas campaign
with a striped scarf and a love train.
after seeing the above commercial,
{which is still tied with the britney through the ages pepsi comm. for my all time fav}
i just had to have one of those scarves.
i mean, this was my MUST item that year for christmas.
i begged and pleaded and hinted at it for all the days leading up.
and then almost cried tears of joy when i opened the gift from my aunty angela & uncle chris to find that beautiful purple and grey stripped scarf folded up inside.
still to this day,
every time i put the scarf on i'm reminded of the commercial, 
and the message of love {without judgement} it promotes.

so, people all over the world,
let's join hands,
hop on over to,
print out your calendar with a new service theme for each of the next 25 days,
and start that love train, y'all!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"...i could've been a great many things."

most often when we fall in love we can look back and recount the exact moment,
when lightning struck and everything else was history from there.
except, i can't ever really recall the exact moment i fell in love with literature.
was it my constant readings of babysitter's club novels in grade school,
or the first time i cried in the end of to kill a mockingbird?
was it when i used to make my mom take me to the library 
to check out the book my 4th grade teacher was reading to the class that week 
just so i could look ahead,
or when i found my literary soulmate in carrie bradshaw?
i don't think i will ever really know the moment it happened,
but i do know it is a love so strong i made a college degree of it,
without ever an ounce of regret.

i remember in 3rd grade my mother took me to see the movie little women.
i also distinctly remember pushing up the theatre chair arm rest and 
grabbing her hand, while resting my head 
{teased bangs and all...i was 7 going on 17, obviously}
on her shoulder and sobbing during the scene where beth & jo talk for the last time.
i also have never, to this day, forgiven josephine for not choosing laurie.
and the cat's not even outta the bag on that spoiler alert, y'all,
because i'm pretty sure that discussion is one of the greatest literary mysteries of all time.

ironically enough,
the story of all sisters has spent a lifetime resonating with the girl who has only brothers.
little women is and always will be one of my favorite novels,
and josephine march is and always will be my favorite literary character ever written.
others can have their elizabeth bennets and natasha rostovas and hermione grangers,
but mine was always this fiesty, but kind hearted, woman before her time.
and apparently, 
the apple doesn't fall far from the bradley tree.
a couple of years ago, my grandmother gifted me the above set of 
FIRST EDITION louisa may alcott novels,
 which quickly became one of my absolute most prized possessions.
in digging through them,
i even found the original owner from my family tree, minnie lewis, 
cut out a review of the first little women film published by the chicago tribune in 1919,
and one of the black grosgrain ribbons she used as a bookmark.
so perhaps my literary love wasn't a moment of falling, but rather destiny,
from minnie to me.

and imagine my excitement when i logged into google this morning,
and discovered that on this day, 183 years ago,
louisa may alcott was born.
which means tonight i'll be curling up with some chicken noodles
to get myself over this rudely aggressive cold,
and my little women dvd.
wishing my sweet kiki-belle {mom} was here to watch it with me,
but grateful she has taught me a love of such things.

"now and then, in this workday world, 
things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion,
and what a comfort that is."
--little women--

happy tuesday, cupcakes!

{ps - if you are a fan of great music, the soundtrack to little women is, without argument, one of the most beautifully composed films of forever & ever.}
{you're welcome.}

Monday, November 21, 2016

with love, moi.

{this song came on my playlist as i was writing this post.
could it be more perfect?
so press play & humor me on being cheesy. 
did you press it? 
okay, now you may proceed with reading}


okay loves, i get it,
y'all feel like we've been celebrating my birthday for about a year now,
but i'm all about the celebrations in life,
so just let a princess be.
the actual day is wednesday,
and then i promise we are done.
well, until next year...of course.

the truth is,
i have this post set to a scheduled release, so once it is published,
i'll be far away from my computer cozying up with my family & friends by the ocean,
with my phone hopefully nowhere near me.
instead working to be ever present in the moment with those i love most.
just one of my many lofty goals i have written down & set forth for this year.

one of the great things about having a birthday with a side of thanksgiving every year,
is the week never passes without reflecting on all i have to be thankful for.
so before i hop away for my 30th vacation,
i wanted to express bunches & bunches of sincerity filled gratitude.
often times when people reach big milestones in life,
graduation, engagement, wedding, babies, birthdays, job promotions, etc...
we tend to believe it's all about us.
i mean, we are the person physically reaching the milestone, right?
but if there is one thing i have learned in my 30 years,
it's that while, yes, i am the person actually crossing that specific finish line,
the race was never ran alone.
it takes a village, people.
and as you can see from above,
nobody does it like my village does it.
if i could send you all a handwritten thank you note in the mail,
i would.
sealed with love & a forever stamp, of course.

i wouldn't be where i am at this point in my life without so many people,
those who have always supported me & even those who have always doubted me.
the former group continuously cheering on my successes,
and the later reminding me to never give in, even if just to prove them all wrong.
to my mother - for raising me to have courage & be kind,
to my father - for never, ever doubting how high i could rise up,
to my brothers - for teaching me to be tough, but always treating me like a princess,
to my best girlfriends - for showing me what loyalty truly is,
 to my teachers, mentors and friends - for opening my eyes to the magnitude of living a beautiful life,
i will never be able to truly express the piece of my heart each of you holds.

in my 30 years i have loved and i have lost,
i have laughed and i have cried,
i have gone big and won and 
i have gone even bigger and crashed.
i have had days that i imagined couldn't get any greater,
and i have had nights that seemed so lonely i might disappear.
i have traveled and i have met people and i have truly come to know that living is meant for loving.
i have wanted for things that never came,
i have worked for achievements that i'm proud to call mine,
and i have learned what really matters thus far.

and what really matters, you might ask?
the shoes and the purses and the pretty clothes and "olivia pope inspired" apartment 
and fun job and vacations are great and all,
but life should be measured in the amount of love you are not only willing to give,
but that you hold yourself worthy enough to receive.
it has taken me years to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to let people love me.
and perhaps that's the gift i'm truly giving myself this year.
letting it in and then, hopefully to the best of my ability, giving it back in kind.
well that...and maybe a pair of new stilettos.

so hello 30,
i've been waiting for you.

{photo taken from these etsy invites}