Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I don't think the flashing lights on a pedestrian crosswalk are just suggestions.....just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The LOVE month

I have never really been a fan of Valentine's Day. All this hubbub to proclaim love to people that should really know that I love them anyway. That is why I have declared the month of February LOVE month. A big month of just pouring out love to my peeps and even to strangers. So far, LOVE month has ROCKED. Ever since the infamous Valentine's Day of 2009, I couldn't help but realize how much more fun Valentine's Day is with really good friends.

Keri Payne, my BFF from high school, came out to see me. Talk about LOVE! Her amazing hubby and children let her come and spend some crazy girl time with me....ME!! The laughing till it hurts philosophy rings so true when we are together. Just a couple highlights:

  • We visited my favorite consignment shops. Really, I could use some more pink objects in my house...and these little hidden stores are the perfect places to find such items. If you have never been to great consignment or antique shops in SLC, let me know....I will tell you where they are and even go with you. Though we didn't hit all of them in one day, some beauties are Emilie Jayne, Home Again, Secondhand Chic, Now and Again...I could go on...but those are my faves. A new one also opened up around 2100 South and 900 East, but it is a little pricey.

  • We tried on clothes at Decades, this amazing vintage store on State street that really only carries vintage-wear. Talking with the owner, I asked him where he gets all this amazing stuff. He said he used to go to estate sales, where the elite of Salt Lake City collected amazing clothing, jewelry, purses, shoes, hats, records...you name it and he would buy it. He then told me that now, people just bring things in to the shop. It was unbelievable the amount of cool things he had. I found this flirty and fun black dress and Keri found some sensational jewelry. We were talking about how fun it would be to take pictures, but the owner told us that camera's are banned from the store...makes sense I guess....I think people would have WAY too much fun ;)

  • We went to my favorite Italian restaurant, Cafe Molise that is right in the heart (get it) of downtown Salt Lake City. This is my favorite place for several reasons. First, instead of using an overwhelming amount of heavy marinara sauce on their spaghettini, they use a light garlic-butter sauce and then squeeze fresh tomatoes on top, adding fresh basil and leaving the tomatoes in the pasta. Covered with Parmesan cheese that is lightly melted, the dish is served straight from the chef's hands to mine. I knew Keri just had to experience a party for her pallet, so we went there. Second, the ambiance is refined and romantic. Third, they play live jazz and when they don't, they have it playing over the sound system adding to the ambiance. It was awesome to take a girls night and explore refined cuisine!

  • Ah...the symphony. One of my favorite past times. I didn't tell Keri what we were doing post-amazing-eating. She quickly figured it out as we walked from the restaurant to the symphony doors. It was Keri's first time at the symphony...which made it even that much more fun for me! It always fun being with people who are experiencing first's. We had the opportunity to listen to Ruth Crawford Seeger, who experimented with string music that collided and broke apart...very modern. We then heard amazing pianist Jean-Phillipe Collard play Mozart's Concerto No. 23 with the symphony. His eloquence and presence on stage was appealing, and his fingers were so light and tempered, which enhanced the brilliance of the piece. We then heard one of the most amazing pieces I have ever heard. Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 was like a story for my ears. I was enthralled by the intensity of each separate movement. I kept turning to see how Keri liked it. We were both so moved by it all!! It was a brilliant night out on the town.

  • The next day was perfect. After going to a single's breakfast that the boys in our church cooked for the girls in our church, and to offset our hectic day before, we decided to see as many girl movies as possible. We went to Jordan Commons to see When in Rome. After an excursion shopping for jewelry hangers at Hobby Lobby and visiting a long-time friend of Keri's, we went back to the Commons to see Valentine's Day with my other girlfriends. Both movies were adequate and I give them both 3 stars. It was fun just to relax and not have anything to do but catch up on chick flicks.

  • Sunday was all about the food. Keri surprised me with Valentine's Day jammies!! I LOVE THEM! Oh, and I can't forget to mention the loofa shaped like a heart...and a little sinful chocolate. After visiting my single's ward, where we got to tell everyone about our weekend adventures and where Keri was asked to give the opening prayer and was asked if she was on Facebook...where she promptly responded that her married name was Payne ;) we baked and experimented. The day before we made cornbread hearts. I was afraid that the heart-shaped tins I got to cook muffins in would make them look like little butts. To my utter happiness, they look just like hearts!! We then made tri-layered chocolate sin, which we ate straight out of the bowl...even though it could feed an entire evening party.

  • Then, Keri helped me decorate my wall. This ended up being our doubled-over-in-laughter-pain moment. To read our joint-post, visit Keri's blog. Some of my favorite moments include listening to my favorite songs and when the Top Gun theme song came on Keri said "I love this song. It is so sad that Patrick Swayze died." I said, "Oh, I agree. What about the music from Top Gun with Tom Cruise made you think of that?" We burst out laughing and couldn't settle down. It was one of those nights!
I was so lucky to have Keri as my Valentine and thank her hub and chillins for sharing her with me! I was talking with one of my other friends about my feelings of Valentine's Day and how they have completely changed over the past couple years, and she had a very profound statement saying that if we could just recognize it as LOVE day...it makes it SO much more fun and a little less overwhelming.

This is what LOVE month is all about people! Let's keep it going....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Steak or Cereal

I have been swimming almost every morning since the beginning of the semester. I just love swimming so much that I enrolled in two swim classes, one that meets on Monday's and Wednesday's and one that meets on Tuesday's and Thursday's. I am certainly a fan of getting better and improving something that I am passionate about, which I why I am especially glad to have such wonderful instructors who really take the time to introduce me to new techniques in areas that I have not previously focused on.

One thing I have realized about swimming early in the morning is that eating right before (for me) is a big no-no. So after my class gets out at 10:30 a.m., I am generally famished. By the time I get home I often wonder if I need to feed my body breakfast or lunch. The question always becomes "Do I want steak or cereal?"


Steak: 1
Cereal: 0

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


My mood lately seems to have matched the wintry landscape of gray that inhibits Salt Lake City right now. A very dull color, this gray allows nothing for the imagination. I wake up and though the sun is shining, a gray musk fills the air. I don't blame inversion...that seems to have somewhat gone away...but this cool, dry earth is damp with despair. It's as if it is crying out, begging for blossoms. I know I sure have been.

However, today I feel lucky. Traveling down the gray road, passing and stopping behind gray cars, traveling past gray restaurants and shops, and seeing gray sad-looking faces, I noticed an inflated pink balloon in the middle of the road. It skipped along calmly and coolly as traffic whizzed by it. A very Joe v.s. the Volcano moment...everyone was rushing to their next appointments...did anyone notice the balloon? I watched as it danced from lane to lane. As if it wasn't worrying whether or not it was hit...because it was invincible. It was almost as if I could hear it saying, "Weeee!" I found myself smiling. Even amongst the busy grayness of the world, all it takes is one moment to raise my gray to a salmon shade of pink.