food drives & bubble baths

This last weekend we headed back down to Orange County to watch Brooke in her OCMCO choir concert.  She's pretty awesome and sung even though she was sick!  Wise or not, the concert was lovely, and in the haste to get to the car among crowds of people we took zero pictures.  My bad.  They're a fabulous choir, though, and my favorite number was their finale of How Great Thou Art composed to include a fiddle soloist and strong Celtic vibes.  It was great.

Since we were already down in Orange County, we decided to stay the night with the fam, and help out the next morning with their stake's Mormon Helping Hands food drive project.  Our stake had a service project on Saturday too...but serving is serving right?  We don't feel too guilty.

 After working all morning we ate a DE-licious lunch at Bruxie, where I had the most mouth watering buttermilk fried chicken waffle with honey coleslaw.  Mmmm mmm good!  And of course topped it off with a nutella waffle + custard to share.   If you're ever in Southern California and looking for a bite?  This is the place to go.

The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing and napping.  After staying up so late the night before it was a welcome rest.  We topped off the night BBQ and a dip in the hot tub that was a little, um, bubbly...

The pool man said it was safe to get in and the bubbles were from an algae treatment he was running for us.  So...we had bubbles in the hot tub!  A first, I must say, and a funny cap to a great weekend.


happy grad-iversary

It is so strange to think about, but this time one year ago I was GRADUATING from COLLEGE.  I'm still not used to the idea of being a college alumni, of being old.  My laurels laughed when I told them I turned 23 this last week - they couldn't believe I'm that young.  Truth be told, I'm only five or six years older than them, which seems like nothing and a lifetime all at the same time. 

We're throwing our caps in the air in case you can't tell...

Since graduation we've started "real life," with our first "real" apartment, "real" jobs, "real" ward etc etc.  Everything's gettin' "real" around here, and even though it's hard sometimes, we're having a great time and trying to always look for the best in our situation.  Dave's nightly routine lately has been to come home, kiss me, and tell me that life is so sweet. 

Sometimes I agree with him more than others, but he's right.  Life is so sweet.



So Wednesday night, my Laurels were so darn cute and threw me a birthday party!  I love planning parties with one condition: that they are not my own, so it was so cute to show up and see streamers strung, banners made, and a lovely birthday crown to wear all night.

Delicious homemade birthday cake was eaten, sherbert was supplied (my favorite!), prom was discussed, dresses were shown, boys were texted, and happy birthday was sung.  It was a great success.

Oh!  And I BAKED!  You really ought to be proud of me.  I made these babies and two days later...they are almost all gone.  Don't worry Dave and I didn't eat them all by our selves - we shared (sort of).

Come on it sugar cookies and pink frosting.  I didn't stand a chance.

Thanks for a great night my lovely Laurels! 


golden birthday

David has been giddy for about a week over his plans for my birthday, but on Monday I thought he might explode with excitement. He came home from work and was about to tell me what we were going to do, and then decided not to at the last minute.  When do I need to wake up? What do I need to wear?  I asked him tons of questions, but he sidestepped all of them and said he'd wake me up when it was time and I could figure everything out in the morning.

6:30 AM Tuesday morning:
David: "Carly, wake up!  It's your birthday!!!"

I have to admit.  That was a little earlier than I had anticipated, but I have no qualms with starting the celebration earlier rather than later.  After giving me his (very thoughtful) gift (which I love, love, love.  Mine has a little 'N' on it) - he pulled out his phone, opened an app and gave it to me.  "And," he said, " we're going there today."  The app was MouseWait - he got us tickets to Disneyland for the day!!  If that's not the best birthday present ever, I don't know what is.

The park doesn't open til 10:00, but Dave was so excited (okay, I was too), that we hopped in the car at 8:30, grabbed some McDonald's breakfast and hit the I-5.  We really had some birthday luck with us, because somehow we didn't hit any significant traffic, and we made it to Anaheim by 9:50.  That must be some kind of record.

First things first, we ran right into California Adventure and hopped in the line to get a fast pass for the new racers ride in Car's Land.  That's right.  We waited in a 20 minute long line to get our passes to move ahead of the line later in the day...it sort of made sense.  Now that I think about it we ended up waiting in line for 40 minutes for that ride...we just split it up between the morning and the afternoon.  Good thing it was worth it.  The ride was way fun, you know, when we rode it at later that day at 4PM.

After getting that out of the way, we ran to start riding actual rides!  California Screamin' did not disappoint (as seen by my rockin' windswept do), and we rode Toy Story Mania for the first time.  We mean business in those 3D glasses.  Please let it be known that I almost beat David playing a video game!  This may be a first.  But he blew past me in the bonus round of the last game.  Didn't somebody tell this boy it was my birthday??  I don't think that should be allowed...

To be honest, the lines were so quick in California Adventure that we were done with everything we wanted to do by 1:00!  So we ran over to Disneyland and got me a birthday badge, because, hey, it's only your birthday once a year right?  Everyone might as well know it!
It also ought to be mentioned that we didn't have to wait for any ride more than 35 minutes the whole day.  Happy birthday to me.  Thanks Disneyland.

Right about this time our fast passes were up for the racers ride in Car's Land so we jetted back across to California Adventure.  I have to say, I've never utilized a park hopper pass as much as I did yesterday.  We hopped between parks 4+ times!  Yes, both our feet are very sore today.

P.S. Car's Land was kind of incredible.  Definitely worth going to see.  We were very impressed.  And the racer's ride?  SO much fun.  Not worth standing in line for an hour for, but using our 20 minute fast pass line?  No brainer.

Mom and Brooke showed up around 4:30 (having dropped everything to come hang out with us last minute!  We're so glad they did), so we jetted back over to Disneyland to ride a few of our favorites with them.

 Hats were tried on:

The Tea Cups were ridden:

Dave creamed me on the Astro Blasters (as expected):

And, of course, we had to check out the Matterhorn's new bobsleds - you're not (as) squished anymore!  Woohoo! :

We ended the night by meeting up with dad and going back to California Adventure for dinner (because, let's be honest, their food is way better):

And we called it a day!  And what a good day it was.  Thanks Disneyland.  Contrary to previous conclusions, you are, indeed, the happiest place on earth.


shirley & temples

Saturday was the best.  No, seriously, it was such a great day.

First things first, we shot down to the LA temple to catch the 10:30 session with my mom and dad.  It was such a lovely day and the traffic was so close to nonexistent (What?? On the 405??! This is madness) that we made it to the temple in half the time we budgeted.  We strolled around the grounds and had a lovely time soaking in the springtime sunshine.  Okay, Dave was really hot, but I was soaking in the springtime sunshine.

Afterwards we went to the cutest restaurant just a few blocks from the temple per David's recommendation: Westside Tavern.  And it did NOT disappoint.

A few beet salads, sweet potato steak fries, vege burgers, short rib grilled cheeses, quinoa salads, crab cakes, strawberry rhubarb cobblers and more than a few shirley temples later we were stuffed to the brim and more than a little satisfied.

We will most definitely be back.

And yes, in case you were wondering, my mother and I were accidental twins:

And I almost wore a blue skirt and brown belt with this outfit.  ALMOST.  Too bad.  That would have been too perfect.

Dave and decided we need to spend more Saturdays like this one.


Friday night

Since our date budget is winding down for the month we decided to eat dinner in this Friday and go out for a stroll and a $5 treat.  It's Friday night for goodness sake!  We're going wild and crazy over here.

The nights up here in the valley are starting to be warmer and warmer and to be honest I love it.  Summer nights in Utah were my FAVORITE.  Growing up in Orange County, our summer days (ok and fall and winter days too) were always warm and toasty, but come nightfall the breeze rolling in off the ocean would be very chilly.  I'd never heard of warm nights til I moved to Utah.  It felt so unnatural.  Turns out I love them, and Santa Clarita does not disappoint.

And Dave, being the kindhearted man he is, treated me to delicious Hawaiian shaved ice.  That's two weekends in a row folks.  He's a keeper.

This weeks flavors were melona + strawberry pitted against last weeks selection of mango + raspberry.  To be honest, as long as there is vanilla bean ice cream at the bottom and sweetened condensed milk on top I'll eat whatever flavors you put on there.

Afterwards we took a stroll, window shopping around the mall where we found spatulas infused with the force and baker's twine that Dave couldn't wrap his head around...

Me: I need this.
Dave: Why?  It's for baking.
Me: I'd use it for all sorts of things...
Dave: But...it's for baking...??

Don't worry, I'll bring him around eventually.  He just doesn't understand the all encompassing potential that is baker's twine.  It makes everything cuter (which reminds me of the time I marked little red lines on white string for some Christmas decor last year...I probably should have just caved and got myself a spool of the stuff then...).

All in all t'was a successful Friday night.



Yesterday I made the deliciousness that is s'mores bars for our Young Women activity.  I ate entirely too many and  we have left overs.  Those 18-year-olds let me down.  I wasn't supposed to come home with ANY.  Not that I'm complaining...

Our couch and rugs have been studiously vacuumed this morning.  I hate stepping on our bathroom rugs after they are all fluffed up and clean.  I will probably avoid doing so for the next hour.

I have finished grocery shopping for the rest of the month.  The plan is to not have to go back until May 1st (Except if I need milk.  We can't do without milk).

Dave & I just started watching season 4 of The Voice last night.  I actually think it's a really fun show...hooked.

I'm thinking about sell our little bedroom dresser on Craigslist - Dave wants to start the bidding at $500 - I'm thinking perhaps we ought to be a little more realistic...

I just started reading The Work & The Glory series by Gerald Lund for the first time.  I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed it so far.

We're going on a double date to the LA temple this weekend with my parents.  Stoked.

I just realized we'll be hanging with the fam this weekend, next weekend, and the weekend after next.  Double stoked.

And tonight I'm following this yummy recipe for Hawaiian teriyaki bowls for dinner courtesy of one of my best girlfriends.  I'll try to match up to her mad Home Ec. teacher skills, but I'm not sure I'll best her tonight.



date night

Friday night was to be of note: Dave left work when the sun was still up!  Such an accomplishment before April 15th ought to be celebrated.  And so we did.

We decided to try out another of the local cuisine: Sabor Cocina Mexicana
We pulled up to a big crowd eating out on the patio and a full dining room.  Both good signs.

I got the jicama, mango, chicken tacos for the win - Dave's beef tacos weren't too shabby either.  And while I did enjoy dinner...let's be honest, I was really more excited about the place we found for dessert:

Hawaiian shaved ice!!!

Shave It was hiding in a corner of the mall I hadn't explored before.  Happy happy me.  They even had sweetened condensed milk to top it!  Unfortunately for us one of the local high schools was having a fundraiser yesterday night and, well, we waited in line for a while.  It is a testament to my love of ice cream + shaved ice that we actually stayed and waited.

It was most definitely worth it.
We'll be back.

Cheers to the end of our first busy season and more Friday nights spent like this one.


conference weekend

This past weekend was General Conference and instead of sitting at home watching the event on our laptops (we got rid of our cable you see), we decided to roll down to Orange Country and enjoy the weekend with my fam.  I've gotta tell ya, it is SO fun to be living close to home.  If or when we ever move that will be one of the hardest things to adjust to.

Bella was our nap police and often took my spot on the love seat next to Dave if I ever got up.  She's pretty attached to that boy of mine...

After Saturday's session we left the boys in my parents newly redone bonus room to watch March madness before Priesthood and we girls headed out for a lady's night of dinner at Fashion Island and a stroll around Balboa.

We're already getting excited for summertime around here because our family is renting a little beach house for TWO whole weeks down here on the island!  So of course we had to walk by and check it out, and it was even cuter than we thought:

In true Balboa fashion we ended our stroll with a Balbar.  Sorry to say we've found a new favorite spot on main street instead of Dad's...but Too Sweet makes em' better!  I've been converted.

Well, it was quite the successful weekend in our opinions - it was hard to want to leave at the end of it!  Good thing a certain someone has a birthday coming up soon so there will be much cause to celebrate and get together (hint hint).