fall // winter reads

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
- C.S. Lewis

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

Was there a more appropriate read for the oncoming Halloween season than a creepy one about vampires taking over the world?  Dave and I listened to this on tape and the voice actor who read for us didn't help the chills that ran up and down my back.  I'm normally not into scary books anything, but I (kind of) already knew how this one ended...so it was a little easier to listen to.  It's worth noting that Mathson's book is actually nothing like the Will Smith I Am Legend movie that came out a few years ago.  And be warned, listening to this one before bed made me have some really weird nightmares.  Proceed with caution.

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

David and I listened to this book together and what a fun, fun read it was.  I needed a little convincing to hop into a book by Tolkien after knowing how incredibly long and detailed his Lord of the Rings saga books are, but David assured me this one was doable.  At the end of it, we both agreed that the book felt like it was written in the style of a grandfather telling a story to his grandchildren, which made the whole thing all the more enduring.  Plus I highly encourage listening to this one on tape because the reader sings all the songs that are written in the book - they are fabulous and not to be missed.

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

What a fun and beautiful read.  As soon as I was finished with it I missed Jim Dale's fabulous Scottish and English accents acutely.  The imagery and descriptive words used are just the kind of thing you want to curl up in and let flow over you (another plus to listening to books on tape).  The plot is complex, and almost never really fully explained, but somehow I didn't care and just enjoyed the beauty of Morgenstern's writing style.  I also always seemed to want caramel popcorn every time I put it down...

Divergent - Veronica Roth

As far as teen, dystopian lit goes, this was not a bad one.  I compared it closely with Hunger Games (fair or not), and it leveled up at some points and fell on others.  I was intrigued enough to read the whole thing in two days so that definitely counts for something.  Overall I enjoyed the plot twists and character development, and now I'm very interested in seeing how they're going to portray some of these characters in the upcoming movie.  We shall see how it goes...


highlights #83

Woohoo!  It's Wednesday!  Happy half-way through the week day :)  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I'm on a hunt to find more projects to keep me occupied while Dave is away these late, late nights...any suggestions?  So far I've been hitting Shutterfly like a boss and almost have our book for 2013 whipped out - winning!  I've finished reading The Night Circus and am more than halfway through Divergent, but if my pattern of downing a book a week holds, I'm going to need a lot more books on my to-read list...

Anywho, while I go peruse Pinterest, here are some fun finds from the web:

some great beauty tips

cute homemade Vday cards

this is 200 calories

winners from Target

THIS is the coolest

why is my state so...?

magic shower cleaner (tried & true)

oh Mr. Clooney

this, I want to try

printed this off yesterday - too sweet

pictures from the past

this is good to know...

your iPhone has a secret undo button

the geekiest/cutest proposal

a nostalgia trip

and an interesting article Dave and I both read and are working on (so far it's been pretty cool)




This weekend, Dave and I are about to become parents of three.

And next week I'll be a single mother of five (six if you count the beagle;)

It's about to be a long week and a half over here, but lots of fun.  Dave will (sort of) be around to help out this weekend, but then he's off to Kentucky for two weeks starting on Sunday and I'm on my own with the next batch of kiddos.  It will be...an adventure.

I'm definitely counting my blessings (and impeccable timing) at getting these babysitting gigs right when Dave is going to go out of town so I have something (5 somethings) to keep me busy while he's not here.

Definitely a plus. 

Picture via



Today was all about Valentine's, X's & O's, and fresh blooms.  Our first few weeks in February are going to be very busy so I've decided to squeeze out as much lovey, dovey, festivity as possible while I've got time.
And I'm not even sorry about it.


highlights #82

After being on the road all last week, it was a little hard to jump back into real life.  And to really spice things up, while I was gone, real life up and turned herself on her head because we just hit our first real busy season with E&Y folks!

Last year Dave worked for a smaller local firm and when we hit busy season, instead of Dave getting home at 5:30, he was home at 8:00.  We thought we were in the thick of it and were so proud of ourselves when we made it through.  Well, needless to say, Dave is getting home closer to the 11PM hour and leaving an hour sooner in the morning with his commute.  While these are indeed long days for both of us, he should be done with this busiest time by the end of March, so fingers crossed I can find enough projects on Pinterest to keep me busy till then!

With that in mind, here are some fun finds from around the web:

a few recipes I've got my eye on - here & here

I might be sold on steam rollers

part of me really wants to get one of these...

this is a great list

what city should you actually live in?  (I got Tokyo & then London - I'm going with the latter)

21 accents
- her LA impression makes me laugh every time

some interesting thoughts

the toughest scene I wrote - so interesting

the cast of Matilda then & now

test your vocab (23,000 for me - looks like I need to hit the books more often, but come on, tatterdemalion?  Vibrissae?  Who really knows what those mean??)

in anticipation of that February holiday

and a happy song



R is for road trip

24 hundred miles of a road trip to be precise from LA to Montana and back again.

What a doozy and done in six days.  Call us crazy (we already did), but it happened!  And in the middle of January too.

Back up.  Why did we drive to Montana, you ask?  Well, my aunt and uncle just moved to Billings and had a few things that, try as they might, just wouldn't fit in the moving van or in their cars.  My mom, being the wonderful sister she is, offered to pack up her Suburban and drive up the 15 with them and recruited me to be her copilot/ driving buddy.  So we packed our yoga pants & our UGG's and hopped on the road.  And truth be told, it was a really fun trip.  When do you get so much quality mother/daughter time like this?  Kinda never - so we lived it up.

Anticipating spending 36 hours in the car we downloaded three books on tape thinking we'd really need some entertainment.
I think we listened to maybe half an hour of our first book and just talked the rest of the way.  Honestly, the last two days of the drive my voice started giving out.

Here's how it went down:

Sunday: LA to St. George
We started off on Sunday with a quick jaunt up to St. George to give us a head start on our week of traveling.

Monday: St. George to Idaho Falls
I'd never actually seen the St. George temple up close and personal aside from driving by on the freeway so when stopped for the night I made sure we swung by in the morning.  What a beautiful temple!  Added it to my favorites list.

A few of my favorite mountains.  Sights for sore eyes indeed.  We stopped in Provo for a lunch break (at Zupas, where else?) and I felt right at home.

That pink sunset over those Idaho snow topped mountains?  Gorgeous.

Tuesday: Idaho Falls to Billings

On Tuesday we made our way into Montana and our finally destination: Billings.  Along the way we drove through many a small town, USA.  If you blinked you'd miss it, but it was charming.  We also spotted a few bald eagles.  Does it get any more American than that?

We decided Bozeman, Montana had a pretty darling downtown to stretch our legs in (and where it was 50 degrees and everyone was out in light sweaters walking their dogs as apposed to our boots and many layers).

We pulled into Billings that night, met up with our main girls, ate a delicious dinner downtown, and had them show us around.  

Wednesday: Billings to Rexburg
We turned around the next morning, helped line a few shelves, had ourselves a fabulous Billings style brunch and hopped back on the road.  We laughed about how we weren't even there for 24 hours, but so it was.  We came, we ate, we dropped off our carload, and we got back in the car.

My aunt advised us that, if the roads were clear, we should drive through Yellowstone down south and that's exactly what we did.  And what a gorgeous drive!  Now I need to figure out a way to get back out there...

We ended up stopping in Rexburg to meet up with few girls from back home and taking them out to dinner.  We rolled in after dark and since we both had never seen the BYU Idaho campus we decided to stay the night and do some exploring in the morning.

Thursday: Rexburg to St. George
After giving ourselves the drive around tour of BYU-I (and being blown away at how much it reminded me of its sister campus in Provo) we hopped back on the road.  Unfortunately we missed the hotel free breakfast so after our self guided tour we asked Siri for the closest Starbucks, to which she responded:
I've found four places matching Starbucks, they're pretty far from you...

We laughed pretty hard at that.  No Starbucks in Rexburg.  Got it.

As we got closer to Utah valley we started organizing a few social calls.  We stopped off in Salt Lake first and stretched our legs at City Creek and then called my grandma to meet up with her.  I'm still so sad she moved to American Fork right when I graduated and vacated Provo.  Oh well.

Next we surprised the Nemrows and ran by their place just to say hi for a quick minute.  Lucky me, two of my cute nieces were over so I got to give them a squeeze as well.

Then there was a Thursday night miracle: all my best girlfriends and (most of) their significant others met us for dinner at (where else) Zupas.  Talk about a great night.  It's pretty stinkin' convenient that they're all still in Provo so when I pass through I can see them all in one swoop.  Love it.

After dinner we pushed past Cedar City and stayed the night in St. George before the long haul home.

Friday: St. George to home
And that was a wrap!  St. George felt so much closer than it actually is when we rolled in the night before.  I forget that we still have 4 states to drive through!  But we made it.

Still so thankful for the clear roads we had through those snowy states and the basically blue skies the whole week.  What a blessing. 

And now I've already checked off one (of my harder) new year's goals!
Go someplace I've never been before:
Idaho Falls ✓
Rexburg ✓
Billings ✓
Bozeman ✓

Check, check, check, and check.


highlights #81

We made it to Wednesday again!  Sadly, January 8th has a lot to live up to after last Wednesday being New Year's Day and the Wednesday before being Christmas, but we shall just have to make the most of it (even if David will probably be home at 9:00 tonight).  Actually today is kind of my first day really back to reality after Christmas break.  David has, most seriously, been working from home every day for the past week and a half with intermittent inventories scattered throughout, and I have been thoroughly spoiled to have him around.  I also got nothing done except a little laundry, grocery shopping, and getting Christmas taken down.  So today I'm in high clean mode.  My kitchen better watch out.

While I go get suited up with Lysol here are some fun finds from around the web:

this guy is a sweet husband

I'm digging her doily heart garland (never to early to decorate for Vday, right?)

speaking of love day - how cute is this festive (easy) garland


we found a pretty awesome and stupid, easy pizza dough recipe - and it got 2 thumbs up from four pretty picky pizza lovers

everything about this picture says perfect summer getaway to me

I love these pictures (and watching the mom's fashion evolve)

in case you haven't laughed today

how to properly put on powder (who knew?)

and in case you're like me and don't buy a calendar til the end of January when they're on sale, here's a nice way to bridge the gap




New Year's Resolutions.

A double edged sword indeed.  I love making goals to become a better person and improve myself and all that jazz, but this year I decided to reel myself in a little bit and really think about making goals that I could accomplish this year.

A novel idea indeed.

Here are a few of my new year's goals in hopes that I will hold more firmly to them if they're out here in the open for all to see:

Dave and I also started a tradition a few years back of picking a family theme for each new year.  It's not something we necessarily refer back to every day, but it's something we want to more better embody in our lives this year.  An overarching goal for ourselves to work towards, if you will.

In 2012 our theme was to find the best as we were leaving college and moving into the "real world" together.

In 2013 we decided our theme would be to always be still standing strong in the gospel (which comes from a quote we found in a talk that I, of course, can no longer find...).

And this year we decided to choose a theme from one of my favorite hymns, and a thought that often comes to my mind at the end of the day:

I figure if the scouts can do a good turn daily, so can we.

So there you have it folks.  These are my/our goals for this new year.  So let them be written.  So let them be done.
(And fingers crossed I don't forget them by February 1.)



David and I thought we'd ease back into real life after a fun filled Christmas week with my family.  We left Orange County last Sunday, met up with my parents in Culver City to celebrate New Year's Day on Wednesday, and then hopped in the car again on Friday afternoon and went back down to Orange County.  Real life, shmeal life.  Who wants to get back to that anyway?

Actually, the reason we went back down south again this weekend was because one of my sweet friends from home was getting married!!  And we weren't about to miss that wild party.

 It was a lovely night and Alyssa was the most gorgeous bride.  Plus they had their reception at the same place we had ours!  Of course, even in California, it gets colder in January than it is in August, so they had the reception in the ballroom instead of out in the gardens, but Dave and I stepped out and took a quick peek.  Such great memories in that little courtyard...

And since we were already down for the reception we figured we might as well stay the night and spend time with family on Saturday morning.  We decided to get together for a lady's lunch and enjoy a stroll on the beach.  Never a bad idea.  Plus we tried a most delightful new restaurant that is right. on. the. beach.  I'm officially a Beachcomber Cafe fan.

On the beach in January.  Not a bad gig.


best of

Twenty-thirteen was a good year.

We partied at weddings and spent time with friends.

We celebrated our birthdays with roller coasters and brown bag lunches.

We made it up to Utah three separate times (for a combined total of almost 4 weeks of Nemrow family time and three out of four seasons - missing fall by the skin of our teeth, oh well).

We went on a plethora of fun dates and explored LA.

We spent many Saturday afternoons, long weekends, and lunch dates meeting in the middle with a few of our favorite people.

We lived on Balboa Island for a few short weeks in July and somehow that little beach house still feels like home whenever I see it.

We partied in San Fran and then drove the California coastline back to LA with all the sites in between (Big Sur?? Jaw dropper).

We celebrated TWO whole years of marriage in August with brunch at our favorite Provo haunt (and carried on the tradition of bad restaurant photos).

We made it to the happiest place on earth three times and always had the best company to enjoy it with.

David navigated the interview process, kicked booty in his interviews, got himself a new job, and made me a proud wife.

We met our annual famous person quota with Clinton Kelly this fall.  Check.

We ate some dang good food.

We married off the last Nemrow bachelor (sorry ladies).

Spent time with good friends.

And now it's time to start all over again.  January sometimes feels a little daunting that way.  It's a whole new year waiting to be filled up with experiences and pictures and memories, but it's also wonderful.

Bring it on 2014.  Let's make it great.