Dad + The Balloons

We shot our engagement photos last night at a park near my parent’s house. It was one of those weird wicked stormy summer days where it was lightning one minute and pure calm the next. The lighting was PERFECT. We had a lot of props – a couch, a chair, a huge picture frame and, in keeping with true Cheaping Girl fashion, we had balloons. BIG GIGANTIC WHITE BALLOONS. (Janaan ordered these online a couple of summers ago and we’ve been waiting for the right moment to bust them out and what could be more perfectly wonderfully cheesy and happy and carefree than balloons for your engagement pictures? They were fabulous but they cost $11 to blow up! Crazy! But I digress.) So, we had to bring in reinforcements. Mom was there, of course, but Dad had some meeting of the Crusty Bastards that he’d cooked up to talk about the Chevelle or the Tow-Mater Dodge Truck Project or Guns or Shooting or something so he was out….or so he thought. Those Bastards didn’t show up so we roped him into the photo shoot. And of course, it was awesome. He made sure we didn’t lose the balloons until the proper time that we actually MEANT to lose them. He brought a giant board in case we needed to block the wind. And he played some Credence Clearwater Revival while we mock-slow danced in the middle of a field. It was perfect.


The fabulous team at Paper Coterie shot a video at The Chocolate Loft today with a New York Times best selling author. This means two things. 1. There is another fabulous and inspirational video on its way and 2. My house was clean enough to host a video crew and a New York Times best selling author.  Miracles do happen! Also, I had a signed copy of the book on my desk when I got home. Excitement!

Friday Flashback: NFR 2010

It thought it would be fun to post an old photo every Friday because Friday flashback has a nice ring to it. This whole thing will probably get derailed by next Friday, but a girl can dream can’t she? 
This photo is from the National Finals Rodeo, circa 2010. My Dad gets tickets to the NFR every year and it is always a great time with lots of fun shopping, yummy eats and of course, cowboys. It’s the only time that we’re out in public that we can’t easily spot my Dad because there are lots of very handsome well-groomed-gray-haired-Dad-type figures walking around in Faconnable shirts, Levi’s and expensive cowboy boots. 
I found out the hard way that I have to wear a mask to the rodeo because of my allergies. Have you seen the movie Hitch? Yeah, that pretty much sums up me after the NFR, sans mask. My dreams of being a large animal vet have all flitted away. Ha ha.
Janaan LOVES sitting next to me with the mask. I know it. Actually, I think she just likes taking pictures of me and making fun of me later (and also making fun of me while we’re there come to think of it.) I wonder what other people think? SARS? Probably. 
No matter, the rodeo is a damn good time and seeing how happy the whole scene makes my Dad makes any minor embarrassment totally worthwhile.


I had to go ta’ tha’ Wal-Marts to get some Cetaphil Cream (can’t live without it), Zyrtec-D (ditto) and storage bins (seriously, I need to switch out my closet to summer clothes already) and what to my wondering eyes did appear? This whole new clothing line called “bella bird.” It’s shockingly cute. Probably because it was so unexpected, this level of cuteness ta’ tha’ Wal-Marts. It’s like Anthropologie meets DownEast Basics meets, well, Wal-Mart. It’s jersey knit and flowers and ribbons and lace and soft colors and prices range from $9 to $22.

Guest Blogger: Heroes

I was really honored that the team at Paper Coterie asked me to guest blog about Alek as part of the launch of their heroes products. The thing I love most about the Paper Coterie team is their intent: to inspire, to create a sense of community and to help us to remember the small moments and the big moments that make life so amazing. Go tell the heroes in your life that you love them! 
And through the 4th of July you can get one of their fantastic heroes products for free (you just pay for the shipping). Oh, did I mention their products are lovely? They are. Paper Coterie Heroes Promotion

Yummy Shower!

Now that the Wasatch Back Ragnar is done I should really get back to blogging. In the meantime, check out pictures from my bridal shower. Jodi from A Yummy Life Photography is going to capture all of my wedding moments. I love her because she makes everything look as good as it does in all of my happy memories. She can take what’s in your heart and put it in a picture. She’s like magic.

Joy at the Bottom of a Bowl of Ramen Noodles

Estelle and I were Skype-ing (Is that even a word?? Skype-ing? Oh well, you know what I mean.) after our trip to New York and she said something to me about how she found it fascinating that I got so enthusiastic about my bowl of ramen at Ippudo. Oh, how I loved that Ramen. It was absolutely perfect.

That ramen tasted like heaven.

When we arrived at Ippudo we were tired and we needed a place to sit. (Cushy bench in the waiting area with room for all of us? Check.) I needed to go the bathroom. (Clean bathroom with automated paper towels and a garbage can by the door? Check.) I needed some caffeine. (Tall glass of Diet Coke from the bar? Check.) It was a little chilly and I was absolutely STARVING. (Hot bowl of divine garlic ramen noodles? Check.) And of course, all of my favorite ladies were there which made it all EVEN BETTER.

My ramen noodles were over the top amazing, but the real reason that I was so excited was because the day before our trip, I had watched a special video that Dr. Brene Brown created with the over the top amazing team at Paper Coterie.

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Watch this video. Right now. I don’t mean to sound bossy, but, seriously. Watch it. 

In the video Dr. Brown talks about love, belonging and being “enough.” But what touched me the most was her message about how to get through the hardest times in your life – by building up a “joy bank.” How do you fill up your “joy bank”?

Well, I’m telling you there is joy at the bottom of a bowl of ramen noodles at Ippudo, that’s for sure.

Shazam! Paradise Circus by Massive Attack

I’ve been catching up on Season 3 of True Blood this week. For those of you that haven’t seen True Blood, well,  it’s like Twilight, except for grown-ups (you know, it actually has ADULT vampires who drink blood and have sex and do stuff you’d expect vampires to do.) For those of you that haven’t seen Twilight, well, bravo. I haven’t read the books but I’ve seen the first two movies. And I knew that I couldn’t go any further with the whole Twilight thing when I literally wanted to stand up in the middle of the 2nd movie and yell “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU???”

But I digress. 

This song, Paradise Circus was featured in an episode of True Blood, Season 3. No surprise when I hit Shazam that is was Massive Attack. This song is right sexy. Downright yummy.



Ohhhh, Ho. Clap-clap-clap.

Oh Happy Day!

If I win this trip I am going to take Janaan and we’re going to meet up with Estelle and we’re going to have a private tour from Jordan Ferney and we’re going to have afternoon tea at the Georges V or Mariage Freres and we’re going to marvel at the delicious simplicity of ham and brie and a wonderful baguette and we’re going to eat every macaron we can find to see if Bouchon’s are really and truly the best and we’re going to peek in the window at Hermes and dream of waltzing in and buying a bright orange Birkin and we’re going to be delighted to watch Le Tour Eiffel light up at dusk and we’re not going to care what anyone thinks about that at all.  Could it get any better??!! Ooh La La!

Words to Live By

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

— Jack London

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