Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Fell For It...

A couple months ago I wrote about needing to find some good books. I didn't want to fall into the Twilight Series trap that everyone else and their dog, yes... their dog, seemed to be ensnared. I persevered until Maxine tricked me into reading them.

I bought the first book, Twilight, went home and read half the book. Then I suffered through an agonizing work day to come home to the second half of the book. Done. I was hooked. Absolutely, positively, irrefutably HOOKED. How did this happen? The next day at work, I found myself chattin' it up at the printer with some co-workers about how incredible these vampire books were... How did I become THAT girl?! I even brought my copy in for a friend to read.

Then came Hawaii (which I have yet to blog about). Ten incredible days in Hawaii... with Bella and Edward. Oh yes people. The first day on Maui, Kami and I went to Borders and I bought the rest of the series—New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. This was the extent of the next 4 days of my vacation... with a brief 2 hour oil painting class interruption. While Kami was "working", I read, basking in the sun at the poolside while the pool boys brought me pineapple slices and lava flows. It was glorious until I realized I was laughing hysterically (out loud) and one of these boys asked what I was reading. "Umm... it's about vampires... and uh, werewolves... maybe." That did it. He didn't leave me alone about it for the rest of the week. I don't really blame him. It sounds pretty ridiculous, but oh my gosh... these books are like crack!

Kami was one book behind me in the series, so I had to hurry up and read the last novel because it was super long compared to the others. The saga ended on Thursday, about 2:30am, on the bathroom floor of the Ritz-Carlton resort. It was so addicting, I just had to finish the stupid thing, but I felt bad about leaving the light on while Kami was trying to sleep. Later she yelled at me for resorting to the bathroom, but I just couldn't help it. Like I said... crack. Or should I say.. bliss.

Needless to say, Kami was just as hooked. We both had "issues" with something WEIRD that happens in the second half of Breaking Dawn, but I won't ruin it for those who still want to read it. I know you're out there, just dying to borrow my books! In fact, while at dinner one night with Kami's coworkers, we talked her boss's daughter into reading them. The next day, she joined Kami and I poolside as we all fell in love with Edward. But don't worry... her pool boy didn't tease her about the vampire books. He was too enraptured with his own love for dolphins to see past the end of his nose. Yikes. Weirdos live in Maui too, I suppose.

Anyway, it's true. I fell for the curse of the Twilight Saga. When I read the words, "The End", I painfully longed for more. The next day was slightly depressing, honestly. I went back to Borders and bought Stephanie Meyer's new book, The Host, just to alleviate some of the pain. I do hate to admit it, but I'm also "one of those" who pre-bought tickets to the Twilight movie for opening night. I'm even leaving work 2 hours early on Friday to see it with Kami and some friends/family down in Orange County. A bit obsessive? Maybe. But don't judge me until you read these books.

I'll say it again... crack. Pure crack.

PS- more on Hawaii to come!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cheryl & Jim

It's not every day that you throw a bridal shower where everyone invited knows both the bride and the groom... and know them well. I think we laughed all night long--telling stories, playing games, opening presents, and eating cake.

A couple weeks later, I was lucky enough to attend their wedding at the Los Angeles Temple. It was the first sealing I've attended there. The spirit inside the room was undeniably loving and full of excitement. I couldn't help but smile the entire time. Cheryl, of course, looked absolutely amazing, and Jim couldn't help but be himself.

I'm so happy for you two!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh dear.

I had brunch at Las Brisas in Laguna Beach with some of my closest friends this past weekend. At the end of the meal, the waiter brought out a chocolate cake all lit with a million candles. At first, I looked at the cake coming toward us and I honestly thought, "Oh, I wonder who's birthday it is," and then he placed the fire ball right in front of me... as a choir of my crazy friends sang Happy Birthday... to ME!

Oh dear. The memory loss has begun.

The night ended with a little get-together hosted by my roommates. Sara made a huge homemade 4 layer yellow butter cake with chocolate ganache filling and frosting. It was pretty amazing to say the least. Thank you everyone! I had the best day!!!

Shannon, Liz, Kami, Jessica

Brettly, Jake, Shannon, McKay, Liz, Kami, Eddie

Shaun, Sara, Jeff

Steve, Julia, Bethany

Shannon & Jessica

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's a Boy!

Kami and I threw a baby shower for Kim last month. It turned out to be a super fun-filled night of laughs with great friends. We played two games-- 1) guess the baby food by smelling and tasting it (if you dare) and 2) guess the melted candy bar in the bottom of the diaper. The reactions on the girls' faces was priceless.

Byron was nice enough to show up just in time for the gift opening and dessert. I made a cute little pregnant cake. It was my first time using fondant and I loved it! Granted, it tastes horrible, but I frosted it enough underneath that it was easy to remove. I may have found my new calling in life... I just wish Ace of Cakes was hiring here in Los Angeles. Kami crocheted an incredible sailboat afghan and ordered a Superhero cape from our friend. You should check out her website, the cape's are absolutely adorable and completely made to order. But be sure to check out the photo below of Kim wearing the cape... and punching Kami. SO funny!!! I love my friends. :)

About three weeks after the baby shower, Kim and Byron sent a text message announcing the birth of their new baby boy, Harrison, on November 1st, the day before her own birthday. He's a healthy little guy with seriously bright blond, almost white hair. Some newborns aren't so cute... you know what I'm talking about... but Harrison is SUPER cute and absolutely adorable! Good job parents. I'm finally a pseudo aunt.

MS Charity Tennis Event

Kami and I attended a celebrity and professional tennis charity event for Multiple Sclerosis this past month. Kami helped organize the event--good job Kami! Take a gander into my purse (lunch) that afternoon... cranberry juice, tootsie rolls and starbursts. My 3 basic food groups and the hot guy from Heroes... what a great afternoon!

Style projects

Here are two projects that I've recently worked on for the Style Network. One is a cupcake tag celebrating Style's 10 year anniversary. Everyone at work got one of these yummy things... and a 10 minute massage. Heaven.

And here's a billboard I helped with for a new show coming to Style called Ruby. It debuts on Sunday, November 9th, but I've seen the first episode already and I'm hooked. She's lovable and inspiring, I can't wait to see what happens.


For my young single adult FHE group, we recently had a traditional jack-o'-lantern carving night. Although I participated from the sidelines, I did document some of my favorites. Here's a photo of Mike with his pretty cool, non-traditional lime jack-o'-lanterns. I love the cyclopes.

Mike Wazowski... coincidence? Or maybe my friend Mike is channeling his inner Disney character... hmmm.

Very Clever

Usually, I think vanity plates are ridiculous, but this one is pretty clever. I took this photo on my way to work a couple weeks ago. I love the Kings too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

San Francisco - Fall '08

I drove up to San Francisco with Bethany the last weekend of September for Ryan and Laurel's wedding and reception. Except for the fact that I mistakingly took the 99 instead of the 5 into Northern California, the trip was pretty successful. Put two talkative girls in a car for a few hours, add a Frosty stop and some good laughs... and it makes for a fabulous road trip!

The sealing was held in the Oakland Temple overlooking the bay area. And the reception was held in Walnut Creek. I fell in love with two things on this trip. First was Walnut Creek. It's like the best of LA and Orange counties mixed into beautiful Northern California. Randomly, my second cousin is actually close friends of Laurel's family and in her home ward. It was a great opportunity to catch up with her after a good 11 years! It's crazy how time flies.

Laurel's neighbor was gracious enough to open his empty house up to us for gigantic slumber party of LA friends. After the second night of 3am giggling girls, I think the boys wanted to kill us all, but we survived.

The reception was exactly Laurel. Very classy, elegant, and exciting. It was perfect! Here are a couple photos from the weekend. Oh yeah... and the second thing I fell in love with in SF was Rob Moffat. As cliché as this sounds, as soon as he started singing for the couple's first dance, my heart melted. (It's true Rob! It was beautiful!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bacteria Beach Birthday

There once was a boy named Gero Student,
who really wasn't a student, but still quite prudent.
He and his coworkers went on an island retreat,
filled with flowers, food, and fun replete.
A quick dip in the ocean caused quite the commotion.
When Gero Student later read the posted sign,
it created a great work-place laugh-line:
High levels of bacteria...
Let's hope he doesn't get diphtheria.

All joking aside... we celebrated Gero Student's birthday in style... dinner, dessert and good friends. The one and only gift he was given was promptly stolen by his nephew... this cool skull kit. I woke up the next morning to find the mandible on my kitchen floor. All I could think of was the horror this child (and mother) was going to face when he realized it was missing. Good news... the mandible has been restored to it's (un)lawful owner. Sorry Gero Student. Maybe next year you'll get a present you can keep.


Did I mention I moved? I think I did, but if not... I moved in May. These are my newish roommates and I bonding one lovely Sunday evening. There's no substitute for quality time spent together in this room... with a laptop and Gchat.

bond·ing /ˈbɒndɪŋ/ bon-ding

1. Psychology, Animal Behavior.
a. a relationship that usually begins at the time of birth between a parent and offspring and that establishes the basis for an ongoing mutual attachment.
b. the establishment of a pair bond.
2. a close friendship that develops between adults, often as a result of intense experiences, as those shared in military combat.
3. Dentistry. a technique or procedure for restoring the discolored or damaged surface of a tooth by coating it with a highly durable resinous material that adheres to the existing enamel.

[Origin: 1670–80, for earlier sense; bond1 + -ing1]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Did I mention I despise the word 'bonding'? That and 'cuddling'. I hate that word too. Not that I don't like the actual meanings and actions of these words, I just hate these words. Yes, hate.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Labor Day Shopping


I went window shopping for a new mattress on Labor Day and came home a few hundred dollars poorer. But my body thanks me every morning now.

As you can see from the photo, I'm going to have to do something about the height of my bed. I literally have to hop onto my bed every night, and it's also the first time in over 21 years that I've worried about falling off of my bed while sleeping. [Back story: My mom likes to tell people about the many mornings she'd walk into my bedroom (when I was 5-7 years old) and find me asleep on the floor next to my bunk-bed. Supposedly I'd slip right off the top bunk underneath the safety bar and land on the floor... completely unaware. She was super worried about me getting hurt, but realized after a couple times that I wasn't waking up and/or crying about it, so it obviously didn't hurt me much. Basically... I wasn't broken... so she didn't fix anything.]

No wonder I have crazy back problems now. Thanks mom. :)
I guess one good thing came of all of this... I can sleep through anything. Just ask any of my former roommates and/or current employer. They'll vouch for me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm melting!

I know I'm way behind on updates, but I can't blog anything until I complain about the heat here in Los Angeles. Holy Crap. It's HOT and it's OCTOBER!!! What happened to fall weather? Here's a screenshot of weather.com in my zip code... uhh.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Surprise Phone Calls

Emely, Sara and I at the Glendale YSA Conference a couple weeks ago.

This was last photo taken before getting SUPER SICK. I was sooooo sick! After A LOT of praying Saturday night, I was able to finally get a couple hours of sleep, get ready for church in the morning, and take 10-15 minutes to prepare my RS lesson before I had to give it. The lesson wasn't that easy either... it was on "Words of Hope and Consolation at the Time of Death". Thankfully I had prepared a little by emailing 3 close friends about their recent experiences and had those printed out. I wanted die while giving the lesson, but I made it through fairly well and went home to crash on the couch for the next 3 days. No joke. I went to the doctor after having a 101+ degree temperature for 4 days in a row. When I got there, I just cried. At this point I hadn't eaten or had anything to drink in over 72 hours. He told me to go straight to the ER to get some fluids in me. I honestly didn't have the strength. I barely made it home. Kami came over and brought Gatorade. It was my saving grace. Slowly I went back to work and got over this craziness.

Then I got a phone call. And a voice message.

The CDC wanted to talk to me. Huh? And the LA County Health Department? It seems that my lab results came back positive for Salmonella poisoning. No wonder I felt like crap. Literally. :) I spent over 45 min on the phone with the CDC answering questions about anything and everything you could think of. There's a 72-hour incubation period before symptoms show. So now I get to go back and figure out exactly what I ate that week and where. Then the County Health Department came to my house. Wow, who knew I was so important? Surprisingly, my doctor was the last one to call and tell me what was going on.

It's sad when the state and federal gov't has faster response times than my own personal doctor. And I pay extra to have a PPO. Hmm.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Summer Office Party

My summer office party was last night. I've worked at many places and been to many summer parties, but this one doesn't even compare. E! definitely knows how to throw a party! It began with an order of 200,000 Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast, Pink's Hot Dogs for lunch, an incredibly tasty catered Mediterranean influenced dinner, about 10 open bars (stocked with diet coke, thankfully, and 'round-trip taxi vouchers for all employees), and ended with live music performances from 7:30pm-2:00am! This was an employee-only event--no guests allowed. My friend Shana works in the twin building across the courtyard from me and she sent me a text message yesterday afternoon wondering what was going on. Sorry Shana! (Hope you had fun watching the concerts from your balcony!) Her office building wasn't even allowed out of their front doors! Security stopped "outsiders" at every point... checking for the coveted little green wrist bands we were all given to attend. One of the funniest parts of the night was watching the security "standing guard"--while dancing the night away!

Clinton Sparks DJ'd all night and N.E.R.D. (Pharrell Williams' band) was the headliner. Sean Kingston--famous for "Beautiful Girls", Colby O'Donis--“What You Got" featuring Akon, and Ray J--"Sexy Can I" all performed too. It was pretty fun and wild. Our CEO told us not to show up to work today before 11am... needless to say... it was a quiet day at work. I'm assuming Advil sales were at an all-time high at the grocery store across the street.

I can't wait for the Holiday Party!

My office front courtyard turned concert venue

Amanda and I--we sit right next to each other and have the same last name!

My coworkers and I

I loved the decor

Sean Kingston

Colby O'Donis

Ray J


*I saved these videos at a very low-res... maybe I'll reexport better versions later.