Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Bachelorette

Usually, I don't watch The Bachelor or Bachelorette, but I went over to a friend's place the other night and watched the "men tell all" episode of the current season of the Bachelorette. I have to say that I am very impressed with the kind of girl she is. She seems to be bright, kind, and down to earth. I really like that. So when this happened, she totally won me over, and now I have to watch the finale. (Stupid TV shows! I hate getting hooked!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lennon and Maisy

I don't know who these girls are or where they came from, but they have the most beautiful voices. Together, their harmony is simply divine. Also, I used to do that cup thing at girl's camp.

I know this came out a while back, but when something is so good that it keeps coming back to mind, I know it belongs here on my blog.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Who doesn't like strawberries? Man, they are good, but usually I can't eat them all before they go bad. However, yesterday I bought a carton, and today I ate a few as part of my lunch/dinner. Maybe I was famished. Maybe it'd had been too long since my last strawberry experience. Maybe it was just a particularly delicious bunch, but THEY WERE SO GOOD. I finished off all of them right then and there. 

They looked a little something like this (except it was Valley Fresh Produce, not Giant.)

Yep, I ate the whole pound and delighted in every one. 

My Job is Paper Craftastic

Several months ago, I started working at Paper Crafts magazine. By golly, I love this place. Yes, I just said "by golly." (By the way, we don't do scrapbooking (or origami???), as that seems to be everyone's first question. Our sister magazine, Creating Keepsakes, covers scrapbooking, but we focus on cards mostly, but also stamping, gift bags, home decor, etc.)

It's basically the job that I couldn't even imagine because it is so perfect for me. I get to work with several super fabulous people; we all get along so well and laugh a lot. Plus, I get to not only edit, but write! I manage a blog, so I get to interact with exuberant crafters. I get to make people's days by sending them crafting goodies too! And I love crafts myself, especially making cards, which is something we do together about once a month. I also get to work on our constant flow of magazines, and sometimes I update the website. One of the best perks is that I get free stuff quite often. And I've used that stuff to make things to show on the blog or cards to be featured in upcoming issues. (I have two cards awaiting publication! Yeah!)

My first week, we took a business trip to Anaheim (in JanuaryYESescape the cold!!!) to go to CHA, which is basically a huge craft convention. I was blown away by all the craftiness I saw, and it wasn't even the biggest show they'd had!

This is our editorial team (minus Cath) and Maile, a contributor to the magazine, at CHA.

Even though it was a bit overwhelming and I tend to be quiet and usually steer clear of large crowds, I had a good time and got to meet a lot of cool people and familiarize myself with many companies.

Can you find me in the masses? (You can click on it to enlarge.)

And here's one of Kerri and me in the House of Blues in Anaheim. I just love this one!

And let's not forget our photographer, Brian, who looks like the last guy on The Bachelor and also shoots like a boss. That good, Brian? ;-)

Now fast forward a few months. This is when we had our yearly editorial meeting where we plan for the next editorial year, and we just had to get dessert at Sweet Tooth Fairy! Oh, and look! Cath's in this one!

That's Melinda, Windy, Cath, Kelly, Ahtanya, Betsy, yours truly, Kim, Susan, Teri, Julie, and Kerri! Jennifer is taking this photo, but you can see her in the first picture of the post, second to the right. She loves the spotlight. ;-)

But this is my natural work habitat: my cubicle. I'm posing for a picture we took for a blog post. I needed something with my name on it, and I knew I could find something in my Christmas stash.

I really like my job, and I'm liking it more and more as I'm getting to know more people in the industry and getting used to a groove.

One fun fact for you though: believe it or not, even though I have been working here for almost 6 months now, I have not worked here from a full start to finish of a magazine. Yep! Crazy! That's how far in advance magazines are concepted before they are actually published and sold.

And since Christmas is such a big card-making and gift-giving holiday, it's big with our audience, so we are constantly thinking about Christmas in some form or fashion. If you're one of those people who thinks it should be Christmas all year round, just work for Paper Crafts.

Summary: job is great. I work with awesome people. Anaheim is a great alternative to Utah in January. I like crafts. Christmas never ends.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Independence Day

I have always loved this holiday, but this year was a particularly fun 4th of July, except for the fact that I missed the balloon festivities (though I did snap this pic on the way to the Freedom Run). 

Speaking of the Freedom Run, I was kind of dreading it in a way, but I got up very early to run my first ever 10K with my awesome friend, Michael Koecher. My goal for the race was to simply not walk any of it, but I definitely didn't think I'd be able to do that with how dry and smoky it's been and how I totally failed on my previous run.

I started the race going uphill. It was tough, but I took it slow. As we turned onto University Avenue, I realized for the first time that we would be running through the parade route that hundreds of people were there for. My first thought was "Man, maybe I should have put some makeup on this morning." As if anyone cares.

Then we split from the 5K runners again to do a loop up Center Street. During this loop, the song "Can't Breathe" by Leona Lewis started playing. I had to crack a smile.

As we turned to head back up 9th East again, I could see up the street and thought, man, I've already come about 5 miles without stopping. I am NOT stopping till I cross the finish line. So I didn't. Even though it was about 9 blocks. I even RAN a bit at the end. I can't believe I did it. I am so proud of me!

Afterwards I had my first Fatboy, some Powerade, and a free 5-minute massage. Here's a picture of Michael and me in line for that.

That massage was heavenly.

And then we went home, I called my brother to wish him a happy birthday (shout out to Ted for his 26th birthday!) and I showered and took a nap. (And woke up somewhat paralyzed.)

Later I limped down the stairs and walked to Stadium of Fire with Mike, David, and Emily. The show was fantastic! Who knew the Beach Boys were so stinkin' cool?

Did I go home and buy the Beach Boys greatest hits? You bet your bottom dollar.

Also, I almost cried during the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. My patriotic little heart just couldn't take it! And I simply couldn't soak in the awesomeness of the fireworks like I wanted to. It was so amazing. Pictures never do fireworks justice, but here are a few from the evening anyway.

It was a great day, but the patriotic festivities weren't over for the week. Last night a group of us got together and lit some fireworks.

It was the first time I had ever lit fireworks. Crazy, right? What kind of American am I? I probably wouldn't have even done it but Mike and David prodded, so I caved. (Thanks, guys!) Also, sparklers are pretty cool to play with. I still want to experiment with long exposure shots with them. Another day. :-)

These things were great fun, but this holiday means more than fireworks, music, and a day off of work. I am seriously so blessed. How can anyone be ungrateful when we live in a country with so much freedom? We must never forget that freedom isn't free. We must never forget what principles this country was built on. Our lives are so wonderful. I hope you had a great Independence Day too, and God bless America!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Some people are shocked to find out that I am an introvert. I don't really see how this can come as a shock to anyone. I mean, I enjoy spending time with close friends and getting to know people, but spending time in big groups or with people I don't know or even with extreme extroverts totally exhausts me. I try to act like I'm totally comfortable, but I probably fail often, and it takes a lot of energy out of me. That's how introverts are. They like quiet time and alone time, and they prefer smaller groups or one-on-one interactions to bigger crowds. They aren't necessarily shy. And they aren't boring or dumb or handicapped in some way, as I feel extroverts (and even introverts themselves) tend to think.

This speech I've posted below by Susan Cain is the most insightful thing I have come across about the issue thus far, though I would like to delve into it more. Our society is made for extroverts. We value those characteristics. As Susan Cain says, our classrooms and workplaces cater to extroverts even though introverts make up nearly half of the population and are generally smarter and wiser, and in many cases more capable.

I find it fascinatingly unjust that introverts go so unappreciated in today's world and are made to feel like outcasts in our society. (For heaven's sake, I had the word "lame" thrown at me twice just this evening for choosing to go back home rather than go to what we young-single-adult Mormons call a "Munch & Mingle," which is basically when we flock over to a small apartment packed full of 20-something strangers and eat sweets, which most of us could really go without, and try to ask and hear and cleverly answer the redundant questions we tend to ask each other. Wait, so why is that fun? Exactly.) But enough of my thoughts. Please watch this video. It's about 20 minutes, but every minute of it is gold.

If you don't want to watch the video and would rather skim a short list that is also very insightful, read 10 Myths About Introverts. But really, you should also watch the video because for those of you that are introverts, it is very helpful in understanding yourself and appreciating yourself in a world that doesn't show its appreciation for you. And for extroverts, the video and the link will help you understand why introverts are the way they are, which will help you know how to interact with us!

Click here to view it from the source (since I can't seem to make the video proportionally smaller).