Jul 28, 2016

30 Before 30: Finish Writing a Book

In 2011 I started writing a novel, the idea of which came while listening to an audio of a fairytale. Today, I finished it!

Five years of on and off writing, of struggling with plot and characters, of wondering if this would be the one that I actually completed--and I did it!!

I did a mini celebratory dance when I finished it and then I went and got Chipotle, sprung for the chips, and paid for it all with a gift card I got from a company thing a couple of weeks ago.

I can't believe it! I actually finished writing a novel! (Well, the first draft anyway.)

Jul 27, 2016

30 Before 30: Buy Something from Tiffany

Today while I was in Salt Lake I headed over to Tiffany and Co. I've had the money for a little while, but going into the store kind of intimidated me. It's so fancy, you know? I mean, it's Tiffany. That's basically synonymous with class. But, since I was in Salt Lake anyway and I was dressed nice, I decided to go in.

It was a great experience! The salesman that helped me was really nice. When he asked why I was there, I told him that I was treating myself. I gave him my budget and he showed me what would fit in that budget. Then I mentioned a certain collection I liked, he moved over there and talked about some of the designs in it. He asked if I was celebrating anything, and I said no, just that I wanted to get something. He said that he thought that was great and he thought more women should do it--that a lot of women think they can only get jewelry if it's a gift.

Anyway, I tried on four rings, but I kept going back to the first one I tried on. It was just more me, simple and delicate but elegant. And it was far below budget. Win!

The bag!

The box!

I felt really bad about undoing the bow when he had done such a good job tying it.

The ring!

Jun 25, 2016

30 Before 30: Create a "Work of Art" by Throwing Balloons Full of Paint at a Canvas

Today Sis, Bro-in-lay, Kid K, and Baby B came over to have some fun! However, this fun didn't exactly work the way I thought it would.

First, filling up the balloons with paint was an adventure which ended with us having to get three bottles of Smart Water to make it easier. And even then Sis and I both ended up with paint all over us.

I had put thumbtacks in the canvas to help break the balloons; however, I may have needed more because the balloons did not break easily. Poor Kid K couldn't throw them hard enough to break. I think she still had fun though--even if her hands did get dirty.

So it was fun and I have something cool now, but if I were going to do it again, I'd do things a little differently.

May 22, 2016

30 before 30: Finish the Book of Mormon

I'm not the best at reading the scriptures, but in the past year I've tried to get better at it. I definitely see an improvement in my life when I do read them. 

Even if you don't believe that the Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is the word of God, there are good things written in it. It is full of stories of good people trying their best to do God's work. 

This wasn't the first time I've read it all the way through, but every time there is something new, especially as I mature and my life changes. 

May 21, 2016

30 before 30: Have Professional Photos Taken

I had never have a real professional photo taken of me. At one time I had a roommate who wanted to be a photographer and she used me for her portfolio, but I wasn't that impressed with them and her attention to detail left some things lacking. I think it was one of those cases where nice cameras are so available, everyone thinks they can be a photographer.

Last weekend I went out with a friend and the experience was completely different. He and his wife pay a great attention to detail, and he made me feel more comfortable about the whole process. I really think that's what makes a good photographer. 

Here are a few of my favorites:

May 19, 2016

30 by 30: Get a Pen Pal

This one took some research. I looked at adopting a soldier, but while I think that's an amazing thing, it wouldn't give me the back and forth I was looking for. Then I looked at a lot of different pen pal sites, but it just seemed . . . suspicious. So, finally, I went to Facebook. I asked my friends if they knew of anyone willing to have a pen pal, to write "old fashioned" hand written letters to each other. What I wanted was to have someone who lived in a culture different from my own, so I could learn about it. I've lived in the same state my whole life, so I thought that would be good for me.

One of Sis's old roommates (who had lived a lot of places) knew someone whose wife was willing to write me. Which is how I met Pen Pal! She lives in Switzerland and it's been interesting to learn about a different part of the world and a completely different person than what I'm used to. It's been great. I love getting her letters and she's a fun writer. I hope she thinks I am in return . . .

Swiss stamps!

Apr 2, 2016

30 before 30: See a Ballet

Last night I went to Capitol Theatre to see "Beauty and the Beast," performed by Ballet West.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting, since it seemed to be geared toward kids/families. There was narration and dialogue, and it was only about 1.5 hours (including the intermission). So maybe it doesn't really count, but I'm going to count it--though I may try to go to another ballet later.

I love going to shows and performances. The moment I walked into the theater, I was filled with happiness. The murmur of the audience, the red curtains, gold leaf, and chandeliers, everything adds to the experience. It made me glad to see so many little girls there--some with their dads, some with their moms, some with both parents--wearing sparkly or poofy dresses.

The costumes were beautiful--especially the good fairy's, which looked like rose petals. The dancing was beautiful.

The Beast was so dramatic, reminding me of Prince Edward from Enchanted. However it was, I liked having a night out, seeing an interpretation of one of my favorite fairy tales.

The stage, from my seat. 

The main chandelier.