Saturday, July 28, 2012

the absolutely mundane

Sooooo I completely recognize the fact that I've been a little absent from the blog lately.

But let me tell you.........I have practically nothing to report.

Here's my week:

Put another layer of hair dye on
Went climbing a little
Started job training (Ok that's exciting! FINALLY FOUND A JOB...WHATUP.)
Saw my twinners
Helped a friend pick out new work clothes at City Creek (always a good day.)
Got sick mountain biking failing at mountain biking.
FINALLY ATE AT BRUGES IN SALT LAKE (ok that's cool too.)
Band of Horses concert (the only picture that made it into existence this week.)
And now I'm finally writing my 12 page French essay that's due on Monday and I conveniently put off until just now sitting on my couch having just watched He's Just Not That Into You, My Sister's Keeper, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Monster's Inc., and now MULAN.

And eating an amount of chocolate chip cookies that does not really need to be discussed.

And stressing about the fact that I have the sorest throat of all time and a solo in church tomorrow.

So....ok the week was kind of nice, but probably pretty boring to hear about.

I am SO SO SO excited to meet up with my family in Colorado exactly 2 weeks from now!

p.s. I'm looking for more uplifting quotes and stories to add to my You CAN! page-please email me with more!

All my love, B.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

new decade, new hair?

What was supposed to just be a simple dinner at Romano's with friends turned into a night of doing something rather daring.

dress: BHV (Paris), belt: F21, cardi: old

I mean do you see a difference? I'm afraid it might not be obvious enough.

Well, there you have it.  After years and years and years and years of talking about how badly I want to go back dark and this time with a little red, I just did it.  Completely spur of the moment, completely irrational, completely awesome (?). 

It's a little more red and a little less auburn than I planned and now I feel like I look a little Ariel-esque....but I'm ok with that?

What do you think? Stay or go a little more brown?

All my love, B.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

patisserie nostalgia.

Stumbled across this gem of a video this evening and felt required to share.  I shared tons upon tons of photos of France on this blog during my absence, but how about a legit experience?

Behold, an authentic boulangerie/patisserie-going experience.

Dahh. This video is just to real.  And adorable. I miss it allllllll.

How to Visit a French Bakery from Olive Us on Vimeo.

All my love, B.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

some messages

I watched these two videos this morning in my Living Prophets class and both brought tears to my eyes.
I just absolutely had to share.

They'll both be on my new you can page as well so you can watch them any time, but I definitely feel like they deserved their own post.

This is an uplifting message by quite possibly my newest favorite member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson.  Are you feeling inadequate? Slow, unworthy, or just having a bad day? Here's a priceless message that I'm sure can help change that.

Secondly, another beautiful video involving Russell M. Nelson.  While the message delivered by Joseph B. Wirthlin is indeed beautiful, what really struck me was that not too far into his talk, Wirthlin begins to shake uncontrollably and can barely get the words out that he needs to.  Nelson (a very successful doctor by profession) comes up behind him to offer support and comfort, so that the message our Heavenly Father intended us to hear could be successfully delivered.
(Start at around 5:45 or watch the entire thing-it will be 13 minutes well spent.)

How many days do you have when you have a big task ahead of you and you begin to falter? Sometimes all we need is a supporting hand.

How perfect this particular message ties into this very theme, as it is all about love and kindness.

There are people that love you and want nothing than the absolute best for you.  
Never forget that.

All my love, B.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The only reasonable and acceptable way to ring in the end of my second decade here on Earth

Well, here we are.
The fateful day when I make the big leap to real adulthood.

I'm 20 guys!
This is real life.

And I have to say I was honestly a little afraid/nervous/anxious
because like Mother's and Father's day this year,
this is the first year I have ever been totally away from my family on July 15.

I was thinking, "I am going to have no way to celebrate, it's going to be lonely, I don't want to force people into thinking they have to throw me some huge celebration, either.
Because I really get awkward in situations where I'm the center of attention.

So what now? 

First of all....
Outdoor Recreation class 3-day backpacking trip.
I really wrestled with this one-
I wasn't sure if I was up to the challenge of hiking 24 miles across a treacherous terrain with 30-40 pounds strapped to my back, 13 of those miles being in a single day.
It was honestly one of the most physically demanding things I have ever had to do in my entire life.
There were certainly times when I could just tell that my ankles had swollen to the size of tennis balls and my knees (particularly my stupid bad knee) to the size of grapefruits (they really hadn't), but dang, on that 13 mile stretch I really, REALLY had to just keep reminding myself that
"The only way out is through" 
"One foot in front of the other" 
and finally, when we saw the heavenly beacon of the trailhead at the end of the third day,
"It always seems impossible until it is done."
(Brace yourselves, picture overload.)
group shot!

Another group shot at the top of the Triple Step!

View from the top!

Making our descent

Campsite-night 1

Our knowledgeable and gentlemanly guys making dinner

If you didn't want to move to Utah before, you do now.

Much needed heavenly swimming hole lunch break.

Indian artwork

Indian ruins (that brick house just in a hole in the side of the mountain)

Escalante natural bridge-absolutely amazing.

This was the most impossible thing I've ever put my body through, and to be honest my body still kind of love/hates me for it, but based on the pictures you just saw, you understand that I could not and would not have traded my experience for anything.

It was magical.

Anyway, moving on.
Upon arriving home, you might expect that I had a little while of recovery time to nap and get some energy back, right? 


Immediately upon arriving home yesterday, it was time to unpack, shower, and get all gussied up to go out to birthday dinner in my favorite city, Salt Lake!

Last night was an amazing reunion with friends and cousins at the one and only Pie Pizzeria in downtown SLC. If you haven't been....get yourself there at the soonest possible opportunity to fill yourself with the most incredible cheese pull-apart, extreme veggie or chicken bacon ranch pizza.

-these photos courtesy of Hannah Preszler-

And family is the cutest.

Since they paid for me so generously to go to France, I thought we had been pretty clear on the strictly no-presents this year rule.  So when I received this package in the mail, I thought, "What are you doing?!" But I opened it up, and it is seriously the most clever, adorable thing I have ever seen.

Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the Party In A Box.

-please do your best to excuse the absolute mess that is my kitchen table-

So tonight, I'm throwing a Party In A Box.  Complete with funfetti cake, streamers, noisemakers, hats, the whole nine yards. 
And some amazing gentlemen I know are satisfying my withdrawal for french things by combining my party in a box with a crêpe party as well :)

I am so, so grateful to the wonderful friends I have found here who are helping me to make this event so special and memorable for me!
I remember last year coming back to Utah knowing nobody and being so afraid that I wouldn't fit in or make any friends, but that obviously has proven to be no problem at all! 

I wish everyone from home could have shared this weekend with me, 
but even still I feel so blessed and so loved!

All my love, B.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Faith is really the only word I can think of to describe what's going on here

Hello lovely readers,
I would like to announce my brand new "You CAN!" page. A collection of the most inspiring, uplifting things that can be found, a safe and encouraging place for anybody and everybody who needs a message to brighten their day.  This will be a collaborative effort, one in which I hope you will want to contribute.  To read more, please visit the "You CAN!" tab at the top of the page. I am very excited about this!

But for tonight, I felt like this particularly powerful one below deserved its own feature.

"There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This is precisely what I needed to read today. It's just that simple.

all my love, B.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

So I guess I'm a dirtbag now?

Behold, friends.  The reason summer even exists in Utah.

Some friends and I packed up the truck with all our gear and spent the night under the stars in the gorgeous Maple Canyon about an hour away from Provo. 

And I finally brought my camera! Although this is a mixture of pretty cool camera shots and crappy iPhone quality pictures.
Get ready for lots of cute butt shot photos

(warning: This is my first time using the side-by-side HTML code, so bear with the alignment until I figure it all out.  And there's still some weird white outlining.  All in due time, my friends. Just enjoy the photos)

Day 1:
Just arriving

We call ourselves "The Ascenders!"

Hiking to one of our starting points

My moment to shine-a top rope and then my first lead almost 25 meters up!

Austin's taking a breather/all of our climbing gear

Look how high up he is!

Ben attempting some freaking crazy moves

Day 2:
Camp setup in the morning

Bryan is owning his super high lead!

Taking a break-this is actually a lot more comfortable than it looks!

Bryan (Nickname "Chalk") is having fun with his chalk!

We made friends with this dog "Tron".  He was absolutely beautiful!

May or may not have snapped a few creeper photos of Tron's owner doing an amazing climb.

Austin is determined to get this 11d!

Ben is doing more crazy stuff!

This is what we like to call the "power spot" and the "super power spot."

Mission accomplished for the Ascenders this weekend!

So now, after a nice long shower and an even nicer, longer nap, I'm settling in to work on my lesson for tomorrow and get to all the homework I decided was unnecessary this weekend.  

How is your weekend going?

All my love, B.