Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dinner and a Play

On the last day in Denver during our Thanksgiving trip, John's parents took us and Stephanie and Jim out for the evening. We had dinner at an excellent restaurant downtown and went to see the musical She Loves Me which is based on the same play as You've Got Mail. It was really cute and perfect for the season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

7 Drugstore Finds

In line with old post nostalgia, here's one for fun: A Drugstore List, the original way without Photoshop or Polyvore (wasn't that what everyone was using at one time?) and also because I'm too lazy to use either of those right now. I have to get back to Rory and Lorelai.

#1 - Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream - my everyday facial moisturizer and sometimes body lotion in the winter if the Kiehl's Creme de Corps isn't on hand. My California born skin still hasn't adjusted to these parching mountain west winters and this solves the problem for me.

#2 - Neutrogena Liquid Sunscreen - again everyday because my mom has made all of her daughters paranoid of the sun and penetrating UVA rays on overcast days. When I moved here I stopped wearing sunscreen in the winter because it's always dark but she gave me a good scolding when I told her that. My mom tells us we'll be grateful when we're her age and I think I believe her. 

#3 - Kirkland Moisturizing Shampoo (Costco) - I used to use this expensive Bumble and Bumble Quench shampoo. Again because dry Utah winters kick my butt! Dry scalp gives me dandruff and dry air gives me static and split ends.  But behold, on a visit to my parents house was this giant pump container and it worked just as well as the pricey stuff. I even noticed less frizz in San Diego. 

 #4 - Neutrogena Eye Conclear - I also like the pen form.  I know the YSL Touche Élcat is all the rage and I've tried it and it is amazing, but it runs out fast and it's too expensive for me to replace every couple of months. This has a good moisturizing coverage and it has sunscreen. Yes, more sunscreen. Thank me and my mom in 20 years.

#5 - L'oreal Shocking Extensions Mascara - I think I read about this on Garance Doré a few years ago. I (obviously) have Asian eyes which are hooded. Garance has hooded eyes too. Normal mascaras smudge all over on me but this stays in place well.  I have yet to find an eyeliner that stays put. I look like I'm the Hamburglar after a few hours if I ever put it on, even with the super waterproof gel Bobbi Brown one that's supposed to be the best.  Maybe I need to learn how to master liquid formulas.

#6 - Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub - my mom still uses good old St. Ives apricot scrub, but the grains are too course for my liking.  I like this exfoliator because it's gentle and I even use it on my lips because I can't bring myself to pay for The Lip Scrub or the Fresh Brown Sugar one. I mean those smell great but this does a good a job. So does a baby toothbrush.

#7 - More Cetaphil - I know some people like CeraVe better, but Cetaphil is my thing.  I love the cleanser for normal to oily skin as well as the regular lotion.

And lastly (and these are not from the drugstore ) . . .

I've had a few spots of deep cystic acne in the past, the kind that leaves pits and dark scars.  Even when I didn't pick at them or try to pop them they were crazy! A couple years ago I finally went to my mom's dermatologist to get some help and she suggested prescription strength Clindamycin and Benzol Peroxide gel (which is actually inexpensive) and Skin Medica Retinol Complex .25.  This combination has kept those major spots away ever since. I wonder if it's just my skin improving as I've gotten older, but even when something does pops up this combo does the trick before anything big develops that can cause scarring. I just thought I'd share in case you've ever had similar problems. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

En Memorium

Some days I kind of miss the old style of blogging that my friends and acquaintances used to do back when we were in college, newly married, or starting our first jobs after graduating.  It was those wistful posts with wish lists of the little things we'd buy if we had the money, the places we'd visit if we could, the movies we saw, the bands we heard for the first time, the food we made, our observations of the people we met, and our self-doubts and improvement goals that captivated me for hours. I also can't forget the de-lurker posts: "Reveal yourself and leave me a comment!" as well as the ones on our political views occasionally peppered with how we felt about everyone who didn't believe exactly like we did.

As we got a little older our stories morphed into paragraphs and pictures of first apartments or homes and how we decorated them, the restaurants we could now afford to eat at, our travels to big cities, life with the new hubby, and the gory birth stories which I admit I always read with a mixture of fascination and fear when they first started appearing in my reader.

The blogging world seems like it's been left to those with sponsors clogging up their sidebars and many have left blogging platforms in favor of Instagram and Twitter for quick quips or a glimpse of their kids, outfits, and pets. I get it though. We don't have as much time as we used to.We're feeding kids, finishing up the last bits of work, or binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. But I liked those sometimes silly and other times more thoughtful posts from the old days. I was reading a post tonight written by the college aged daughter of an old co-worker.  It was refreshingly honest, vulnerable, and reminded me of myself and some of my friends when we were 21.

The blogs of old were filled with the types of stories and rambling thoughts that left me feeling like I knew a person. I'd finish reading a few paragraphs musing that we had a lot in common. I wasn't alone. Or maybe I totally clashed with this person. Regardless, I felt I had a little peek into their mind and their life, or at least the life they portrayed. I wonder sometimes if we'll ever get those slightly voyeuristic days back or if they've passed for good. So, this night, for those blogs long dead in my side bar, I'm pouring one out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 Denver

This Thanksgiving we flew to Denver to spend the holiday with the LeSueurs. John's mom is an expert party planner and prepped a lot of the meal the day before. We helped out as much as we could, but she was still cooking like crazy until the late hours of the night. She even made an apple French toast souffle for us for breakfast at 1am! The meal was amazing and the company even better. John exposed his nerd knowledge by correcting family members on their LOTR knowledge at dinner.

John and I made two pies: a buttermilk and a chocolate cream.

Lounging before the big meal.

Not the most flattering picture, but the only one of me from the day. John was testing out a lens.

Mary's lovely work!

John was in charge of the carving.

Some were doubtful of his abilities but he pulled through, except for the wishbone that was sliced through.

Almost the whole family. Branden, Amanda, and their kids were in New York and we missed them.

Ryan had his turkey medieval style!

Cute baby Avi! It's always the best having a baby around.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jen and Dave

We had a blast taking family pictures with Jen, Dave, Brent, and Tessa. We bought a couple of toys this month to help us get toddler attention. They've turned out to be a blessing and a curse! At first the kids like them, but then they want to play with them and all is lost! Haha! Brent kept on calling the squeaky elephant mini-Sophie because it looks similar to that vintage giraffe that everyone has. After pictures we tried out a new to us Salvadorian restaurant for pupusas and platanos fritos.  I think I need to keep a store of pupusas on hand at all times because they're the perfect snack!



Monday, November 3, 2014

John and Angelica

This had to be the easiest location shoot ever! We took these in John's parent's yard, which is gorgeous and provides a lovely natural backdrop. John knew all the spots that had the most colorful foliage so it made things quick and simple. We were even treated to a home cooked meal of pulled pork salads and apple pie afterwards. The Nashes know how to cook and do it well!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

On Routines

Lately, our lives have fallen into some predictable but full routines.

Weekdays: work, exercise, cook, shower, clean-up, grade sometimes, pass out; Wednesdays all the other stuff + mutual. I realize that we could cut out cooking, but we try and cook every night on the weekend because 1) It saves money 2) It's healthier 3) We rely on our leftovers for lunch the next day at work and  4) This area doesn't have the greatest variety in tasty take-out. 

Weekends: laundry, clean everything because we don't get around to it during the week, grade, shoot family pictures, edit family pictures at night.

Sundays: meeting, meeting, church, sometimes another meeting, cook (but let's be honest, with church out at 4 we're usually scrounging up leftover pizza), clean up, call families

This fall we've booked up our weekends with family photo shoots. It's been fun but obviously also work. We're still learning how to balance photography with the other things we want to do. Sometimes I miss our slightly adventurous weekends of the past where we would drive up the canyons, go on nature explorations, and discover new small towns and nooks and crannies in the area.

I had a day off on Friday and John took the day off as well. It was like old times! We found that Halloween day was pleasantly uncrowded just about everywhere. We had eggs Benedict and pumpkin pancakes for breakfast at a favorite restaurant, drove to La Caille to spot baby bunnies and peacocks, and took a short hike up Little Cottonwood canyon.

Once home I took the longest hibernation nap in the world. We also tried to be nostalgic and watch Monster Squad but switched over to Devil after 15 minutes. In my mind the first movie was good as I remembered it as a kid, so I kept telling John, "It's like Goonies!" but it just wasn't. The second wasn't so great either. I kept expecting the police officer to turn into Danny Castelano. Once it got dark we dumped our candy into the neighbor's "Take One We're Watching!" bowl and went out for a dinner of stone bowl bibimbap at Korean House with coconut sticky rice gelato in Sugar House afterwards. We got a glimpse of the shadow cast for the Rocky Horror Picture Show outside the Tower Theater and with that fitting end called it a night. It was an introvert's Halloween dream.
Displaying IMG_20141031_123420.jpg
John's phone pic of the hike. I'm still un-sure of this vest. It had a Yohji Yamamoto vibe to it with the asymmetrical funnel neck on the hanger and it's down = warm, but maybe too camo colored marshmallow?

Duckworth Family

Shea's family was in town for her brother's wedding in October. They asked us to do some family pictures for them and we headed over to Wheeler Farm among the tractor rides and Halloween activities and shot away! It was so fun to get to know Shea's family and to see their relationships with one another.