Lot 48: 2015

December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

welcome back from Christmas weekend! i hope sincerely that you all had a fabulous weekend and felt the Christmas spirit so strongly and remembered the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of our savior.  i hope that you were with your family and friends and surrounded by those you love and warmth and good food and fun holiday movies and pretty lights and trees.

i had a great Christmas weekend, and i'd love to share, if that's alright. 

we alternate between being with my family and my in-laws for thanksgiving and Christmas.  i was with my family for thanksgiving and so it my turn to be with my in-laws for Christmas.  i am serious when i say i am so blessed that i married into one of the best families i know.  i just fit  with them and love them dearly.  i always have so much fun with them. 

Chrsitmas Eve we went to their house and had dinner and a nativity with our nieces and nephews.  
i helped my sweet niece brilyn with her nativity.  each kid was given a nativity set and was to point out and set up the nativity as grandpa and everyone read the story from the Bible.  brilyn is my buddy, i love her so. she and i get to be girly together and taran says that he thinks that brilyn looks at me and thinks that i am epitome of womanhood and that she thinks i am so pretty and elegant.  brilyn is a total girly girly and i love it.  we have so much fun together.  her little sister bobbie is also so adorable and is in a phase where she always pretends she is a dog.  so we often are on the floor barking and panting.  that's fun too! 

this was one of the best Christmas presents i have ever gotten and i don't even know how my mother-in-law thought of it.  a fruit basket!! i LOVE fruit.  love it.  so when they gave me this on Christmas Eve i got so excited.  such a simple gift that i really loved!! i've been eating it all weekend! 

i have lived in salt lake city for 6 years but have always gone home to the desert where i grew up for Christmas, so i have never had a white Christmas before.  but this year, i woke up on Christmas morning, and it was snowing!! i had a white Christmas!!! i was ecstatic! i had always wanted a white Christmas!!! and i finally, finally got one after 25 years of life!! i couldn't stay out in it for too long, it was 21 degrees!! 

you may remember this awesome onesie from thanksgiving when my sister bought these for all 8 grandchildren and my parents and i, but i was happy to be rockin' my Christmas onesie.  what else was i to wear on Christmas? and i just now realized that i didn't get one picture with taran the entire weekend, and not even on Christmas.  #fail.  #oops.

the present i was most excited about was the fondue set.  we like to eat fondue but we have been eating it in a bowl and then it get cold and clumpy, not ideal.  now we can do it properly!! taran also got me adele's new cd #score and socks because he gets me.  i want an entire closet of socks.  i am always wearing socks and therefore am always losing socks.  he gets it.  and she's the man is a classic and i had mentioned to him in passing "ugh, why don't we own this movie?!" i can quote every line from that movie and watched it so many times in high school, it was a staple of my upbringing.  a must have.  

this is a robotic arm.  it was a huge win and conquest for me so i copied and pasted what i wrote on instagram because it's a whole big thing: I totally won the wife of the year award. Taran never wants anything for Christmas, he only asks for things he needs. I said "no no no, I'm going to get you the perfect present, something you want." The presents that Taran likes are design and engineer related and things he can learn from. I researched and found this gem. I got him a robotic arm!! He is in love with it and I think maybe likes it more than me. He is going to build it in his design program, figure out how it works, how to build it himself and is going to learn so much from it. He's been playing with it all afternoon now that he has put it together and we have named it Major. He was using it to pick up grapes to give to me and won't stop kissing my forehead in gratitude. He has now announced that Major is "sleeping" and won't stop talking about how awesome it is and how we will have to bring it down to my parents house on the next vacation to show all the kids. Best. Present. Ever.

my mom and i went to michael's and had this framed a few months ago.  we had been wanting to get this done for a while, since i got married, really.  she had done this for all my sisters and i was excited to have mine done. 

it is a frame with a picture of taran and me on our wedding day, our sealing certificate (in the lds, mormon, church we get "sealed" when we are married, sealed for eternity so death does not part us.  it is a sacred ceremony that is purely religious and also does bind us as husband and wife legally and lawfully, but also binds us together religiously, as we use the term "sealed" instead of "married." so our "marriage certificate" is referred to as a "sealing certificate.") and a picture of the lds temple we were married in.  i loved picking out the frame, the matting and everything and it turned out beautifully.  

we made Christmas dinner ourselves. we had no plans with his family as we were with them for Christmas breakfast earlier that day.  i kind of loved that it was just us.  it was special and sweet, just the two of us, our own little family.  we made a really good dinner, if i do say so myself, and after we watched scrooged which was weird but funny and then we fell asleep early.  we also made my traditional happy birthday cake for Jesus that i am too lazy to take a picture of, peppermint cookies and sugar cookies.  all delicious.

i this was one of my favorite Christmases of all.

i hope yours was equally fabulous as well! 


December 21, 2015

the top 8 tv shows on the air right now

the mindy project
tuesdays on hulu

who doesn't love the mindy project, right?? i couldn't believe it when fox canceled it! what were they thinking! especially at such a cliffhanger season ending! luckily, hulu picked it up.  in an interview, mindy was asked if the show was going to be really explicit now that it was on hulu and it could be.  she said "no, this is a show that girls watch with their dads and i want to keep it that way."  i'm reading her book right now and she is writing what it is like to be famous and that she realizes that she is a role model to some girls.  she goes on to mention that she is very aware of what she does and takes that role very seriously and it has made her a better person.  i love that.

but, anyway, if you don't know what this show is about, it's about a really cool, awesome, kind of "child adult" OBGYN doctor in NYC.  she has an awesome work life and an awesome personal life and a fabulous personality she is hilarious you will love her if you haven't seen it.

beyonce pad thai.

moving on.

mondays NBC 10/9c

i LOVE this show.  this is one that i was really, really excited about when it aired and it did not disappoint!

this show is about a woman who was left in a bag in the middle of time square with zero memory of who she is, what happened to her, nothing.  her body is covered with tattoos and there is one big tattoo on her back that says the name of an FBI agent.  as the FBI tries to figure out why she was sent to them, each of her tattoos lead them to cases that help the FBI preemptively stop attacks.  each tattoo is a clue.  it FASCINATING and thrilling and each episode is SO GOOD i am on the edge of my seat the entire time! you have to watch it! i think it is my absolute favorite show right now!

brooklyn 99
tuesdays FOX 9/8c

i've talked about this show before, but i will say it again.  it. is. hilarious.  another work place comedy written by the writers of parks and recreation, this is a cop comedy that you will make you not stop laughing.  i think it is a tricky task to make a cop show funny, but they exceed this task so well.  the execution could have gone completely wrong, but oh how it didn't! this is not a crime drama at all, just an awesome work place comedy where the people happen to be cops.  because cops see some funny stuff.  and i'm so glad that somebody finally wrote about it.

crazy ex-girlfriend
mondays CW 8/7c

this was another show that i was really excited for it to premiere.  it's a musical comedy, which makes it even more fabulous.  the songs are amazing, and the cast is filled with Broadway stars such as santino fontana(the voice of hans in frozen, sunday in the park with george, billy elliot, cinderella, Tony Award winner), donna lynne champlin (billy elliot, sweeny todd) and a few others.

the show is about a brilliant lawyer who lived in NYC but was incredibly unhappy and decided to follow her high school boyfriend to his hometown in california to stalk him/have a change of pace.  the songs are great, the dance numbers are even greater, and rachel bloom, the lead of the show, was just nominated for a golden globe for her performance in the show.  it's fabulous and hilarious, you must watch it.

thursdays CBS 10/9c

i've been watching this from the beginning.  we all know there is the BBC version of sherlock, and we all know the BBC version is better.  but BBC doesn't give us weekly benedict cumberbatch now does it??

i read an interview with the creators of elementary and they said since sherlock has been done in so many ways so many times, they wanted to do it completely different, so they thought "what if we make watson a woman..." and then all of hollywood freaked out.  in a good way.

taran and i are very obsessed with this show.  all the episodes except for the current season are on hulu.  after a few episodes of watching it, you will start observing things and making deductive reasoning like you haven't before.  at least that is the effect it has on me.  it makes me want to be him.  without the drug addiction of course.

tuesdays FOX 8:30/7:30c

i've written about this one too.  i feel like the creator of this show wrote the part of the grandfather for john stamos.  his character is i think what we all imagine john (yes, we are on a first name basis) to be like in real life.

this show is hilarious i love how different the characters are.  the son is a total nerd and john stamos is the epitomy of cool.  at first, the "grandfather" doesn't know how to relate or father a son he has nothing in common with and it is hilarious entertainment watching them trying to figure it out.

  and man oh man is that baby cute.  oh so cute.  and don't forget, josh peck was my neighbor.

mondays NBC 8/7c

this show technically hasn't even premiered yet, it has only previewed.  they released the first 3 episodes at the beginning of the month.  i heard about the show when i was watching the macy's thanksgiving day parade and al roker was interviewing ben feldman and america ferrera about the show.  i love both those actors so i knew i had to see it.

i have to tell you, when we watch this show, we literally do not stop laughing the entire episode.  it takes us a really long time to get through the show because we keep having to rewind because we couldn't hear over our laughing.

it's another work place comedy that takes place at a walmart type store.  there are diverse characters who are not sterotypes, which is great, and, really, all i can say is watch it now, please, do yourself a favor and laugh your butt off because it is the funniest thing i have seen in a really long time.  i can't wait for it to actually premiere and for them to release more episodes.
life in pieces
thursdays CBS 8:30/7:30c

yet another one that i wrote about and was excited to premiere.  as i suspected, it is a new twist on modern family. characters are such an important part of a good comedy.  every writer knows how important that is.  it really is the most important part.  so when you create an ensemble cast like this, it is so crucial to create a cast of characters that mesh well, are different, argue, but can get along.  this isn't a drama.  they must get along at the end of the day.

this show tells four stories each episode. the family has mom and dad, (one story) a son and his newborn baby and wife (colin hanks, story 2) unemployed son living in their garage (story 3) and daughter living across the street with 3 kids married to an ENT doctor (story 4, exact same doctor as my dad.) stories aren't in that order all the time, but each story is so creative and funny.  it's one of our favorite shows.

honorable mentions
modern family, nashville, the mysteries of laura

ps. did you catch my spotlight on the fabulous tiffany's blog endless bliss on friday?
pps. don't forget about the ad sale! take 50% off any ad with code CHRISTMAS!

hopefully i gave you some new shows to watch! what are some of your favorites?

December 18, 2015

i haven't high fived in a while

it has been quite a while since i have high fived on friday, done five on friday, or said "oh, hey friday! look at you, being all friday like!" i really don't remember the last time i did it. but i've blogged twice this week and i am on a bit of a roll so why quit now?

one.  i am so excited for taran to open his Christmas present.  i asked him what he wanted, but what he wants for presents are always very boring and scientific.  "i need a new graphics card for my computer so i can design my inventions at a higher volume." snooooze.  he always asks for what he needs and not what he wants.  he has a hard time asking for what he wants.  'tis the curse of being a rational man.  so i made it my mission to find the best gift that would be something he would want and also be in his area of learning, science, nerdiness, and something he could justify a little as needing.  i scoured the internet for the perfect gift and i found it and oh boy oh boy i can't wait for him to open his present! he reads my blog so i won't say just yet what it is, but it is fantastic.

two.  one things i hate about this time of year is that all shows are on break.  it's rather awful.  i keep checking my hulu queue everyday to check if there are any new episodes of my shows but there never are.  aaaah!! plus! all the good cheesy abc family holiday movies that were on netflix last year aren't on netflix this year.  there are only like, five.  it's a problem.  my favorite abc family holiday movie is holiday in handcuffs.  it's so cheesy but so funny and i love it so much.  it wasn't anywhere online so i bought the dvd for $4 and taran loved it as much as me.  it's perfection. 

three.  volunteering at the detox center there is never a day when i don't have a story to tell at the end of the day.  i love it there so much.  i have realized that i am at my happiest when i am there.  i love helping them.  it is so unglamorous and smelly and sometimes gross and being in the presence of so many people who are detoxing from drugs and alcohol makes you just feel.....heavy.  but i love it.  yesterday the male dorm was really, really smelly and one of the guys asked me to come febreeze it and as i was walking through waving it in the air spraying it all the guys were yelling "yeah!!!!!!" and some were even clapping and then i went through again and said "is that good enough?" and it was just fun and even a small act like that helped them.  detoxing is not fun.  and doing it amongst 40 smelly guys in bunks makes it even less fun.  but with some apple cinnamon febreeze it makes it a little better.  and then, later, as i was about to leave to go home, i got a call from a frazzled girl asking if we had a bed available for her boyfriend.  she didn't really know anything about our facility and so i talked to her for 15 minutes and answered a million questions and i was really, really hungry i hadn't really eaten that day but she was so worried and she didn't know what to expect nor did her boyfriend and i told her everything i am to tell people who ask "so.... i don't really know a lot about this place what exactly do you do..." and they were writing things down and asking question after question after question and i was just really glad that i was there to answer her questions, to give her hope, to explain everything to her and to help.  i love it there.

four.  my parents gave us a hybrid bike/elliptical for Christmas and it's so nice to have one at home.  we don't have a gym near us and working out on the elliptical is my favorite workout and we have used it everyday since we got it.  i'm one of those weird people who loves to exercise and i just love having it in the house.  when taran first set it up, i looked at it and said "oh my gosh, it is enormous, it takes up our entire living room." but we managed to tuck it away into a corner and it isn't as obnoxious as i thought it would be.  thanks mom and dad! my mom also was in town this week and gave me my Christmas present early because she wanted to see me open it which i knew what it was because we made it together but it was this beautiful frame of our marriage certificate with a picture of us and the temple where we got married, all three framed right next to each other in one big frame.  it is beautiful.

five.  i can't believe that Christmas is next week! i am always sad when Christmas is over.  taran and i are kind of on our own this year as it's our turn to be with his family this year and his family doesn't make too big a deal about any holiday, but i kind of like this situation.  it gives us an opportunity to make our own traditions.  the last time we were with his family for Christmas was when we were engaged.  that year we saw frozen, made cookies, watched Christmas movies and, my favorite, made a birthday cake for Jesus.  i know that sounds really corny, but that tradition is important to me and is something i am trying to make a tradition.  after all, the birth of Jesus Christ is the true meaning of Christmas, and i don't want to ever forget that.  

happy friday all! we have no weekend plans, so have some fun for me!

December 17, 2015

a family Christmas tradition

when i was growing up, every year starting on december 13, we would pick a family in our neighborhood to do 12 days of Christmas to.  secretly. we would start out with one small treat or gift, then two, then three, and so forth.  we would write our own riddles to go along with it that included a scripture and on Christmas Eve, we would give a big gift and introduce ourselves.  my favorite part of it was the doorbell ditching and the hiding.  it was so much fun.  i'm sure that is not what my parents had in mind for what they wanted our favorite part to be, but for us kids, running away as fast as our legs could carry us and hiding was as much fun as we could think of.  doorbell ditching is a favorite past time among friends but not really allowed, so to have it encouraged and necessary was like having candy for dinner.

when we chose a family, their house and how easy it would be to hide after ringing the doorbell was a major factor.  my sisters and i became experts at hiding in the most creative of places.  i did also love giving a family that was new to the neighborhood, having a hard time, etc a little extra Christmas cheer.  

one year, we decided to be extra ambitious and picked a family that had about 8 kids. they were new to the neighborhood but their house was going to be very difficult to hide around.  they had a very, very steep driveway that steeped down to their house from the street above and only a bush or two next to the doorway which was under a window.  our plan was to cut out the high street all together and walk from their house to our house by cutting through 3 neighbor's houses to get to the long driveway to led to our gated community.  the problem was, there was nowhere to hide in the direction we needed to run to get home.  like i said, this was the most ambitious house we had done.  

this house was in the later years of my childhood and so by this time we were pros at this game but my two oldest sisters were too cool and old to do the doorbell ditching, so this year it was me and the sister right above me, rachelle.  one night, one of the sons from the family answered the door really, really quickly.  we had no choice but to hide in the bushes under the window and next to the doorway as i mentioned before.  we were crouching down into the darkness, trying not to breath, begging that our flawless track record of never having gotten caught was not be broken.  the son stood at the doorway, turned the light on, and looked around for a few minutes.  luckily, we had hidden deep enough into the bushes that we weren't caught, but man was it close!! 

on Christmas Eve when we revealed ourselves, the son who nearly caught us said he could have sworn we were close that night but didn't think we were right next to him! i think that might have been the last year that we did the 12 days of Christmas as after that my older sisters started to move out for college and my mom lost interest in the tradition without all of us under one roof.  

but i always loved that tradition.  welcoming a new family to the neighborhood, bringing light and the true meaning of Christmas to someone.  it was always my favorite part of Christmas.

what is your favorite family Christmas tradition?

and don't forget! take 50% off any ad with the code CHRISTMAS! 

December 16, 2015

christmas festivities

hello hello hello!! do i even remember how to blog? it's been so long!! it's so good to be back.  i've missed blogging but have really had nothing to say. 

first things first before i tell you what fun Christmas festivities i have been up to, i want to announce i'm having a Christmas ad sale! 50% off ANY AD with the code CHRISTMAS!! 

now to get to the festivities, i have been having so much fun going to Christmas festivals!! Christmas festivals are my favorite and are so much fun, and one of my favorites to go to is the  festival of trees. 

the festival of trees is where people made and donate wreaths, gingerbread houses and most importantly, Christmas trees and then people buy them.  all proceeds go to the hospital and all donated decorations are made in honor of a deceased loved one.  i think. there are so many trees it could literally be a forest.  everyone goes to the festival of trees.  it is always packed.  and for good reason! 

**this post has a ton of pictures.  i can never tell if that is a good thing or a bad thing, because i would rather look at pictures than words.  but there was so much to see! 

this was my favorite gingerbread house!

this was so gorgeous and extravagant my mouth dropped! so pretty to look at and so festive! i wanted to take it home!

i chose carefully which tree we had our picture taken at! but i love peppermints and so this tree was the one!

i loved this pink, girly tree.

i love the game candyland so i got really excited when i saw this! 

ever the candy lover and sugaraholic, this was by far my favorite.

this wreath was very special because my mother-in-law made it in honor of her deceased friend.  she made it with a few other friends and there was a display below that i couldn't get in the picture.  i was lovely, i was so proud of her and impressed!! 

we got a few sweets (how can you not?) and by the time we had seen everything, my feet hurt so much i could barely walk! 

the next weekend, we went to the dicken's christmas festival. i had been going and performing at the festival since i was a kid and i didn't know until this year that it was in salt lake city.  i was so excited to go! i didn't take too many pictures and so are dark, so bear with me. 

the dicken's festival is a magical place where everyone there is dressed in old english clothing set in the victorian era.  it is fabulous and i love saying "cherrio" and speaking in a horrible accent the entire time.  the festival is made up of booths with handmade gifts and treats and it's so much fun.

this is the entrance and you can see the English flags and big ben.  i love it!

we took a picture with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.  it was super scary.  ;)

one of the booths had these beautiful glass dishware that looked to me like it would have been from peru but it was from poland.  it was still so beautiful.

a dark picture of some of the booths.  we got a cheesecake tart and some bread from this amazing bakery with a guy who had a thick british/irish accent and i couldn't tell if he was in the spirit of things and was pretending or was for real.  but the bread and croissant was realllly good.

this booth was really cool with it's trippy lamps.  i kind of wanted one.

this monday and tuesday, we got our first big snow storm of the season.  i love a good snow fall! i think it is so romantic and fun.  everything looks so beautiful and pure.  like in a storybook.  my mom was in town so yesterday i met up with them to take the babies to go see santa.  

the mall look absolutely gorgeous. the snowfall with the lights, oh so pretty. 

 the big kids did well with santa.

isaac, not so much.  what is it about santa that terrifies babies? every. single. baby. that i have ever seen sit on santa's lap starts screaming and thinks he is the devil or something.  it's so sad and so confusing! is it his beard? i don't get it?

 after santa we went to this awesome house that it's lights synchronized to it's own radio station so the lights practically danced with the music.  we have a house like that back home, but since i'm not going home for Christmas, it was so cool to see one like that here! the kids loved it and was so fun.  and it had been a while since i had played with the babies i had missed them.

this happened earlier this week, but had to mention this awesome holiday red velvet/green velvet cake taran made.  it's the bomb and is a limited time only betty crocker cake that you should rush to the store what are you still doing here go now it's so cute cake.

also, don't forget that you can watch tv without the tv by streaming all your favorite nbc tv shows online! my favorite nbc show, the blacklist every single episode on the site! makes these extra long days better and makes cuddling up with something great to watch fun! 

merry christmas! don't forget about the ad sale! and technically 90% of this happened during weekends so i'm linking up with bella. 

and man that was a long post!