The key to happiness: yummy food.

February 6, 2016

Honestly speaking, this photo is entirely irrelevant to this post other than the fact that this is the way I feel EVERY time I got and eat Korean food. And this whole post is going to be dedicated to Korean food. Don't stop reading now, I promise, this will certainly be worth your time. I always hear people talking about how they want to find new restaurants to eat at and how they want to try new types of food-- well, I'm going to give you a couple of really awesome suggestions of new food for you to try and I promise you won't regret it.

I've taken countless friends and family members with me to various Korean restaurants and forced them to eat the food (even though at times some of them were hesitant to do so) because Korean food is falsely-feared here in the land of America and that needs to change. I promise, it's not as scary as you think it is! When people think "Korean food" they always get the impression that it's full of mysterious things that you're unfamiliar with... let me tell you a little secret: Korean food is mostly just a bunch of rice, vegetables, and really delicious meat. Especially at the Korean restaurants here in the states, the menus are so good about telling you exactly what you're eating.

For those of you who are willing to try but are too afraid to go all-in at first, my suggestion to you would be to find the nearest "KupBop" food truck or store near you and give Korean food a try. KupBop is the Americanized version of Korean food and I've yet to meet someone who doesn't love it. There's a store near BYU campus in Provo. They also have a store at the Vivant arena (for Jazz games and such). So next time you see it, try it out!

For those of you who want to try out more traditional-style Korean food, I'd suggest heading down to Provo to a little place called Sam Hawk. (Off of freedom boulevard). It's delicious and reasonably priced on terms of Korean food in the states. I'd recommend dining family-style; go with at least four different people and then share all of the dishes you order so you can get a little taste of everything. I's not as much fun if you go and order just one dish.

Recommendations for dishes to try:

Bulgogi: it's Korean-style barbecue and it's arguably the best meat you'll ever try. Literally, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and bet that it's impossible to not like it. There are a couple different types of bulgogi at that restaurant, my favorite it the pork bulgogi, but it can be a little spicy so I'd probably recommend going with the beef or chicken bulgogi if spicy food isn't your thing.

Kimchi Pajeon: this is Taylor's all-time favorite Korean food. It's basically a pancake loaded up with all sorts of yummy stuff like vegetables and kimchi (a delicious Korean delicacy) that you dip in this delicious sauce (and I have no idea what the sauce is??) But I'm a big fan of it so you should go and try it.

Bibimbap: This is basically a bowl filled with rice, veggies, a little bit of mean and a fried egg. You mix it all together and lather it in gochujang and then eat your little heart out. It can be on the spicy end of things if you put a ton of the sauce in, but ultimately you decide how spicy it is by how much of the sauce you include in your bowl. I always dump all of the sauce in... but I just like things spicy. I love this dish so much that I make it at home often AND I order it every time I go to Sam Hawk. There's two ways you can order it, normal, or in a stone bowl. I like it either way but when you get it in the stone bowl the rice comes out a little crunchier, which I find delicious.

Duk Bokki: this stuff is definitely spicy so only get it if you can handle spicy foods! (But, for the record, Korean "spicy" isn't your typical spicy. It's more of a flavor than anything-- you have to try it out to even know what the heck I am talking about, though.) This dish is just some noodles, sometimes some egg (depends on the restaurant) and a bunch of duk. Duk is just "rice cakes" in Korean. It tastes and looks like a big noodle and it's so good. I usually order this dish with Kimbab and I dip the kimbab (kimbab looks like sushi but usually only ever has crab in it, not any other kind of sea critter) in the sauce of the duk bokki. Seriously so delicious.

These are the basic starter foods I show to people when they come with me for the first time to get Korean food. So next time you're bored and looking for something fun to do or you're so hungry you could eat a whole cow, go get Korean food. It's feel-good food that makes your belly happy and makes your mind happy as well. You can't ever feel gross after walking away from eating a bunch of Korean food.

Please ask me if you have any other questions about Korean food! Or just give me a call and I'll come with you when you want to try it. I just want the whole world to know of the yummy happiness that comes only after consuming Korean food. So try it. Be brave and give it a shot, I promise, you won't regret it.


bath time with puppy.

February 4, 2016

I'd definitely be willing to bet that there are few things better than a freshly-bathed puppy (other than a freshly-bathed human baby, of course). When Tay and I first considered getting a puppy we didn't fully consider how much of a commitment it was going to be-- that being said, this puppy has basically become our baby. It's just such a neat experience to have an itty-bitty tiny creature that relies on us so much and who loves us even when we have to get him in trouble sometimes. We love our little Kingsley... even when he's being a pill. 

Life is made up of so many little, magical moments. Sitting beside the half-filled bathtub as Taylor lathered shampoo onto our unhappy little puppy (he really doesn't like baths. Ironically, we have given him three baths already this week alone....) was such a simple and seemingly insignificant moment in time but it was full of magic. I'm grateful for moments like that-- moments that are full of happiness and warmth scattered amongst the hours of homework and grown-up stuff. I'm grateful for a silly puppy who keeps us laughing and for a husband who always knows how to make me feel better when life starts to feel heavy. 


Our Little Kingsley.

January 28, 2016

So, we adopted a puppy. His name is Kingsley and he's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. (Has anyone seen the movie Age of Adeline? The main character in that movie has the same type of dog. That's a great movie, by the way. I'd definitely recommend it if you haven't seen it yet.) We've been his parents for two whole days now and I literally can't put into words how much we love this little dude. Taylor's childhood dream was to have a puppy of his own so it's been a lot of fun to watch the two of them playing together. They're absolutely adorable. 

Fun facts about little Kingsley: 

*He is a cuddler. It's probably his favorite past-time, actually. He loves being around people and he could sit in your lap for hours without moving once and be perfectly content like that. 

*He was born with three other puppies-- and he was the one that always ended up on the bottom of the doggy pile and patiently endured their biting antics. (Seriously, he'd just lay there while they bit his ears and feet and tail.) 

*He's already so good with potty training and he's still so little! He's very considerate of our new home and doesn't want to make a mess of things. We're obviously very grateful for his manners. 

*He doesn't like being alone... even for a few minutes. So when I get ready in the morning he's happy to follow me around the house as I go through my morning routine. I don't mind it though, I find it incredibly entertaining. 

*He's my study buddy. He just sits on my lap while I do homework and he makes the whole homework thing so much more bearable. 

Anywho, we love our little pup. He's a wonderful addition to our little family. And we can't get enough of that cute little face! Puppy for the win.


Q&M: Lovebirds

January 25, 2016

I made a little video for my friends who are getting married in April; we originally intended to do the video earlier on in the day but unfortunately that's not exactly how things ended up working out. So we shot some clips of them playing together in the snow until it was too dark to get any good shots at all, then we called it a night.

This was more of an experimental video than anything else, but I figured I'd share it anyways because these two are so cute and their love just warms up my heart.



recent reads & some apologies.

January 18, 2016

Hey there, here are some pretty pictures of pretty, snowy, bitter cold Utah in the middle of January. I'm kind of over winter at this point because I would rather not have my fingers freeze and almost fall off every time I walk outside, but oh well. I mean, it makes for some pretty, pretty photos. In other news, I'm terrible at blogging, I know. Granted, I've come to the conclusion that I have been terrible at blogging recently for two main reasons:

1) I feel like I have nothing to blog about because I feel like I'm a boring person and nobody actually cares about what I'm doing and...

2) I've been way too crazy busy to sit down and think logical, organized thoughts long enough to spit out a reasonable blog post.

That being said, I've come up with somewhat of a solution: I used to blog about stories and feelings and experiences-- I'd dump out all my feels in the form of a blog post, slap a cool picture down on it, and call it good. But that was how I blogged when I was in high school and my lifestyle was so impeccably different than the way it is now. Back then I had crazy dating stories to tell, I'd day dream about "someday's" and talk about people that irritated me. But these days, things are just so different. So I'm taking on a new form of blogging; but I promise I won't completely eliminate my old form of blogging. It's just going to get a lot more diverse here in my part of the social inter-web. I'll review the books I'm reading and the beauty supplies I'm using, I'll share stupid silly stories with no real plot-line, I'll post pictures from adventures and post about the cool things I bought at the thrift store. This blog of mine will be different from the way it has always been, but it will still reek of me and my strange personality, so stick around and hopefully things will get more interesting. 

For all you readers out there looking for new books to immerse yourselves in, here is a short list of books I've read recently-- some I enjoyed more than others, but they're all different enough that I enjoyed them for different reasons. 

I found this book extremely interesting, actually. It was unlike anything I've read before and it was strangely refreshing. It's absolutely bizarre, don't get me wrong, and at several different points in the book I found myself legitimately wondering what the heck I was even reading... BUT all strangeness aside, I genuinely enjoyed this read. The overall message and theme of the book was really enlightening and opened my eyes a bit about my own life and the way that I choose to handle certain circumstances. Once I flipped past the last page I felt as if I'd learned a lot and the wheels in my head had really learned to spin.

2. More than the Tattooed Mormon - Al Fox Carraway

This one was awesome! I enjoyed the book because I enjoyed her courage, strength, and her positive outlook on life. It was uplifting and motivational and also helped me to think about things I need to refocus on in my life (plus, reading about conversion stories always makes me so happy). Yes, I liked it. That being said, I did feel as if it got somewhat redundant near the end just because it felt as if she was repeating things a little too much and beating around the bush to add length to her book rather than just getting to the point. BUT, it's her first book and I was really impressed that she was brave enough to put her story out there.

3. The Good Neighbor - A.J. Banner

This one was good-- if you like suspenseful books in which you don't actually know what's going on until the very end. I was confused practically the whole time but kept reading because I was so intrigued by the events that took place at the beginning and determined to find out what was actually going on. There were a couple parts that kind of scared me to the point of putting my book down (because I was reading before I went to bed) and cuddling up to my husband for protection. It really wasn't that scary though, I was just being paranoid. This book DOES drop a couple of swear words (which I always hate but I swear it's so hard to not find in books these days) so just be forewarned if that's something that would bother you.

4. Vango -  Timothée de Fombelle

This book was actually written in French, by a Frenchman (which is why the book description is also in French) and was translated into English so that we could partake of its adventures and excitement. I really like this book! It starts off pretty exciting, and, like The Good Neighbor, kind of leaves you with some questions right from the start-- but that's what keeps you reading the whole time. It's basically a James Bond movie worth of excitement and adventure all wrapped up into the pages of a book. It's also based in different places all around the world and heavily influenced by various historical events that have happened in the world, which makes it all the more interesting. It's the first book in a series- and I loved it.

That's all I have for now. Wish me luck in my blogging endeavors for the year 2016. And help cheer me on as I attempt to break my horrible blog-neglecting habits and swing into a new style of blogging, because I'm going to need all the help I can get. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day! (I'll just be doing homework and crossing things off my to-do list for the rest of the day... bleh.)


p.s. be my friend on goodreads and/or give me some good book suggestions because I've been flying through my list of books to read and I could use some new suggestions. 

new beginnings.

January 4, 2016

I went to school today. It was a rather interesting experience considering the fact that I haven't attended an educational institution in over two and a half years. It was also interesting because although I was wearing a wedding ring on my left hand, I still had the awkward misfortune of being hit on by three complete strangers. (Perks of going to BYU, I guess...) I'm sure in another set of circumstances I would have found it humorous, but unfortunately I was too busy trying to keep my eyeballs from popping out of their sockets due to all the congestion and illness nesting within my skull. I'm that person that catches the most awful colds at all of the most inconvenient times. Or maybe I just have an immune system that is as effective as a broken tennis racket-- who knows. 

We've officially moved into our new place-- this one will be a lot more "long term" than our last home, don't worry. But it's nice to have a place to call our own again (we've been co-inhabiting my parent's house for the past few weeks because our new apartment wasn't move-in ready and all of our possessions were inconveniently stuffed in a storage unit up until just a few days ago). Moving in relieved a lot of stress from my shoulders... but then with school starting up again all of the relieved stress was essentially immediately replaced by new stress. It's a never-ending battle.

Anywho, all of this nonsensical rambling was really just an unnecessary precursor to the actual announcement I have: I'm pregnant. JUST KIDDING. I'm totally not. Real announcement: I have a class I'm taking this semester and I have a semester project that I'm really excited about and I would love to have some help from you (and by "you" I just mean anyone who is willing/interested in helping me). I'm going to be making a video that is based around religion (namely the Book of Mormon) and I want to do it in an interview format. SO, just let me know if you're willing to help out and I will be so grateful. I'm going to be putting a lot of work into it, so wish me luck!


A Christmas Recap

December 26, 2015

This Christmas wasn't exactly a "traditional" Christmas for Taylor and me. Don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful, eventful Christmas, but far from anything we've ever really experienced before. Our trip to DC ended on the evening of the 22nd, which meant that we had to jam-pack all of our Christmas festivities in on the three days that followed. We started things off the right way by heading up to Temple Square in Salt Lake to see all of the temple lights with my big sister and her cute family. (I know, cliche, but sometimes things are labeled as "cliche" because they're awesome, Okay?) The lights were great, but I think we officially decided that next year we're not going to wait until the end of December to roam about in the bitter cold of winter-- we'll probably go as soon as the lights are put up just so we don't freeze to death again. It would have been fine if all of our warm clothes weren't packed up in a storage unit in Provo. But they were. So we were wearing inappropriate attire for the harsh temperatures. (In other news, we get to move into our new home this next week, which means we'll finally have access to all of our possessions again! Whooo hooo!) My nephew literally made it two minutes into our endeavor before he collapsed on the ground and decided he just wanted to go home. It was hysterical. 

Our temple light adventure ended up being a lot more complicated than we intended it to be. We went to a restaurant in downtown Salt Lake named Charlie Chow's (five stars) and ate our weight in mongolian barbecue. (Seriously, hit that place up because it's amazing.) We had decided to ride the frontrunner up to Salt Lake in order to avoid dealing with cars, traffic and parking, but long story short, we ended up missing the train on the way back and were forced to ride the trax to Draper (where the line ends) and have people come and pick us up. But somewhere along the way we had to stop the train and hold the doors open so my nephew could pee between a garbage can and a bush (he peed for seriously four minutes and I don't know where he even held all of that liquid) in order to prevent peeing his pants. And as if that weren't enough I was about ready to pee my pants once we got of the train-- and we drove to three different gas stations (all of which were either locked or had no bathroom) before finally going to Walgreens to use the restroom. We didn't get home until after midnight. We'll do better next year.

Christmas day was magical! We woke up to mountains of snow in our backyard. I've never seen it snow so much in one night-- it was just funny because thirty minutes away from our house (in both directions) there was hardly any snow. Like, at my grandparent's house in Draper, there wasn't even half as much snow as there was at our house. Nonsense. I like snow as long as I don't have to go anywhere or do anything. And I like snow for Christmas. But I get sick of snow really fast because it makes me cold and it's really inconvenient. And it broke my windshield wipers. 

But anywho-- Christmas day is always extra special for families who have missionaries out serving in some random location in the world. My younger sister is currently serving as a missionary in Iowa and she's officially been on a mission for six months, which means she's only got a year left. I swear she just left. But I also feel like she's been gone for too long. We got to sit and talk to her via skype for a whole hour and by the end of it she had me leaking tears out of my eyeballs. (Which I didn't necessarily approve of, I just couldn't help myself...) I miss that sweet girl so much! But she is happy and such a cute little missionary so I guess I'm okay sharing her with the people in Iowa.

The big announcement from Christmas is that my whole family is going on a cruise in February! Taylor and I have never been on a cruise before, so we are certainly excited to share our first experience with each other! And we're extra-extra excited to get to go with so many people that we love as well. As far as other Christmas gifts go, I got Taylor a new record player and a whole collection of vinyls to go along with it. He got me a new kindle (so I'm definitely up for some good new book suggestions, please and thank you) and a massage (because confession: I've never had a massage before.)

The holidays are sweeter when I get to share them with Taylor. I'm really looking forward to spending all the holidays with him for the rest of forever. But I suppose with all of the Christmas celebrations officially coming to an end it's time to start thinking about some new goals and aspirations for 2016. I can feel big things coming in the year to come and I can't wait to see what sorts of surprises lay in wait. 

I hope everyone had a merry, merry Christmas.


Washington DC

December 23, 2015

My love and I have this philosophy that when opportunities arise, you've got to take advantage of them. You never know when more opportunities will present themselves in your life, so you've got to make the most of them as they come-- you can't keep saying, "Oh, maybe someday..." when you've got a chance to travel and experience things now. So, living in accordance to our life philosophy, we spent five days in DC. Confession: I'd never been to DC before this trip. BUT, that being said, I definitely plan to visit again.

I would say more, but I think in this case, pictures can speak louder than words. So I'll just leave it at that.