Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vera Bradley Now & Then...

While it's on my mind, I wanted to write about some evolving thoughts concerning Vera Bradly. You might be thinking, 'random.' But I'm in Texas so I've seen a lot of it this week--which there is something about it that is comforting to see.

Like many girls back home, I had a Vera Bradley fetish in high school. My senior year, a store was closing that was carrying my favorite line at the time. So I was able to buy out almost all the pieces to the particular line--Hope (retired in 2004)--for a good price. I can't even find a good link to the line because it is so old and has since been replaced many times over.

My Hope pattern.

The Hope line was meant to promote breast cancer awareness and research. 10% of the proceeds that come from the Hope line goes towards this foundation. Notice the pink ties above. I can't remember what exactly, but the flower and each color represented something that was written out on the tag. My bags still have the tags on them for this purpose (I tuck them inside).

I think the foundation was really clever--inspiring. Patricia Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, who started Vera Bradley in 1982, lost a close friend to breast cancer and started this awareness in 1998. Ever year I think there is one line, of many releases it seems, designed for this awareness.


Ever since I got the Hope line, I've struggled with the new releases. Maybe I was just defensive about mine. There have been some that I've liked but none that I adore... until this week.

There is a new line called the "Garden Hope." It just so happens to be a part of the awareness program as well. I absolutely love the print. It's a beautiful colored floral. Whether in or out, I'll always love the colorful floral prints.

This is the backpack of this new release I love. I'm on a big backpack kick right now that I'll probably have to speak to another day.

Like I said above, I've had a love and interest for Vera for a long time. I'm not obsessed by any means. It's not a 'must have' or a 'must look' for me. It just interests me and catches my eye every time I see it--intriguing.

Also in high school, I was on a vintage kick. I spent hours researching the oldest Vera and for months would try to find old patterns on ebay.

The one vintage piece I walked away with was the Bluebird backpack purse retired in 2000. (Now that I think about it, that's not really vintage.) If you're at all interested. Take a look at some of the lines retired from 1986 to the present.

Putting faces with the names... These ladies started Vera Bradly.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back on the road again....

This weeks work takes me to Texas. Although busy, it's been a good trip. I had a client cancel on my yesterday so I went to down town to kill some time. I remember the Alamo being bigger...either that or I've gotten a lot bigger so relatively it has gotten smaller. ha!

I flew into Houston and spent a couple days with Helen and her boys. It was nice to have an amazing dinner to come home too after a long days work there.

The gist of my day consists in going to my arranged appointments that I sceduale in the area. I just type the address in and go. There some amazing communities and quaint towns out there. It is fun to see. Tuesday's tender mercy was when I drove up on the Houston Temple without even arranging to do so. It was beautiful.

I'm headed to Austin today. It just so happens that I get to stay with my Aunt and Uncle tonight that live there. I've never been to their house so I'm excited to do so.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gateway Arch

I tried working on my 'nightime photography' tonight. The subject matter was amazing. Becuase I didn't have a tripod to do the slow shutte I just set the camera on the ledge of the balcony rail which made me really nervous too.

This is the view from the side balcony of the apartment. The front of the apartment looks into Bush stadium. I've always been one to 'take in the view' and appreciate my surroundings. So this isn't one I'm taking for granted. I only wish I could capture it better. Although I haven't given my photography much attention in the past few monhts, I'm working on it.

My Valentine

We've had a special V-day celebrating it in out own special way. We're actually in St. Louis for the weekend with Drew's family. There wasn't enough room for everyone at the apartment so we're enjoying a fun stay at the Westin in down town.

Andrew takes full advantage of holidays and birthdays to do something special for me. So I tried to thinking of something good...

I ended up typing out a 'love letter' and blowing it up at Kinko's. I then folded it up in a homemade envelope...personalized Valentine.

Andrew was thoughtful and generous. He got me some warm socks to keep me warm on the road because he's not there to do so. And he got me a massage to my favorite girl at Remedez. He is so sweet.

Thanks for another great Valentine!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did you know...

...that if your candle spills over 5 hours worth of accumulated wax onto a carpet floor, that there is a way for it to come up?

I thought surely there was no way, till Andrew came home, did some research, and saved the day.

All you have to do (it actually takes a lot of time) is scrape up what you can--which is not much-- and then let ice settle on the clump. This enables you to get some more pieces that are brittle to the cold ice I guess. Then you take brown paper bags--one at a time--and lay them on top of the spot and iron it. It took Andrew about 30+ bags worth of ironing. Basically, the paper bag soaks up the wax melted all over again by the iron. Isn't that neat!

On a similar note, my husband is so sweet and kind. He took full responsibility and matters into his own hands for the wax pile. He does this time and time again. He's amazing. He takes these type of things as challenges and goes for it. This reminds me of buying our everything from IKEA and he built for days like it was no big deal. Thanks for being so wonderful!

show and tell

For Christmas, Andrew got me the new Cricut Expressions. It still hasn't left the box; however, I just learned that classes are available at Roberts Crafts. I'm too busy this month--but next month, for sure.

Apparently, this machine is an amazing wonder--dicut lettering and shapes in all different sizes. It can cut all sorts of different materials and boards too. This will give great dimension to scrapbooking, signs, posters, & fun.

Thanks so much Drew. Can't wait to learn so I can put it to good use.

*Just in case you're wondering, the Quickutz Silhouette is the competitor with similar features. The only difference is the Cricut requires cartridges (that you have to pay for) and the Quickutz one you can download or come up with any image you want to cut. If you are a designer or savvy on the computer this one might the one for you. However, the Silhouette makes you be plugged to the computer. Mine is portable.

Just is case someone out there is at all interested, I can get you the Silhouette for a percentage off wholesale--super cheap!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

visitors are so much fun!

A week ago, my friend Lindsey Mayard came to visit from Stanford. She's a really neat girl that I anticipate staying in touch with.

We met this summer working at Morgan Stanly. We were both doing the summer thing except she was/is getting an MBA at Stanford and I was just there for the summer exposure post udergrad. We hit it off there with no time... not only did we share the common denominator of bball (Linds played basketball at Rice), but also Linds is engaged and I had just been recently married. With high morals and values, it's rare to find someone so distinguishable of her caliber.

I was pleased to have her in town visiting. I got to know Linds much better & we had a blast. The four of us, my husband and Dave Jensen, were four peas in a pod all weekend. Dave was an MBA summer associate at Morgan Stanley too. He is finishing his MBA at BYU. Although I didn't know him before, we learned that we knew a lot of the same people and had many of the same friends--he played baseball at the Y.

We visited temple square, went to Hires, skied, ate on Park City main, talked long hours, rock band, ate at the Wakefields, went to church, super bowl party, watched movies...

ANYWAYS, the weekend went by fast and there wasn't enough time to do everything. I guess Linds will come see us again soon. I hope!

I failed to mention that Lindsey is getting a dual masters from Stanford in education as well. I'm so impressed. Just in case private wealth doesn't work out she will have the versatility. I love hearing about other girls going strong with education. I'm so motivated. But rather than just the obvious of work and education, Lindsey is such an amazing person.

Our snow outfits. Linds had the full gear ready to go.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Shade Warehouse Sale

Been there--shopped that! I noticed this top months ago in the SHADE store and really liked it, but I haven't wanted to get new clothing--just trying to enjoy what I have. Untill, the warehouse sales came about...

I guess SHADE was sitting on too much inventory and trying to get rid of the old, so they had a warehouse sale this past weekend. I got some practical t's for $3.00. & i got the shirt and overlay sweater as seen above for my sister's bday. They're sweet and soft colors that remind me of her.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bridal Fair Fun

I assume that once most get married, then they cease to read bridal magazine and think about 'the perfect wedding day.' Not me... I think back to my wedding day often. In large part, it was perfect. However, my taste continues to evolve and I have new opinions that I didn't necessarily have 9 months ago. But no regrets... just a continual passion and fond interest for wedding occasions and everything involved.

I was thrilled to be going with my best bud, Angela to the bridal fair. And it just so happened that another friend had interest in looking around as well--Laura. Whether one is engaged, married, or has no love interest at all, wedding/bridal talk is so much fun. It's a dreamy day that I have spent much time thinking about pre & post wedding.

This is Angela and I waiting for the 'runway show' to begin.
This vendor was advertising for a bridal package at the spa.
No offense, but you see a lot of tacky things at bridal fairs. I don't know if it is because the most respectable names don't really have to lure people in their booths or if it is because a lot of people at fairs are starting out their clientele.
But this booth really stood out. I could tell that Mellissa Blackburn was a very talented custom dress maker. The dresses on display were truly unique and much like art work.
What really through me off was that the designer looked so familiar. So we visited and exchanged names trying to make the connection. When she said she had worked at Sundance, it all came together. She might have managed the grill but was a VERY familiar face--not to my surprise considering my family is obsessed with the grill.
She then was saying that my name sounded very familiar. And then I looked down and her display book and saw my sister Katie! She made Katie's dress which was so beautiful and intricate. That was the name connection. I can tell Mellissa is very passionate about what she does and very selective with the clientele and work she takes on. She is very creative and expressive in her work and gets really into it.
Maybe one day I will have something creative and expressive in mind that she can pull together.
This was some of the pics of Katie on display.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

On a Shaklee kick

Although I think Shaklee is a bit extreme with the Go Green movement, I'm invested--but i hardly have a choice.

Long sob story short... I'm experiencing 50-60% hair loss (says my dermatologist). Much has got to change or I'll go bald. It's terrible.

Every girl some time or another experiences some kind of hair loss. In times past, when I shower I clog the drain. But this is different. This is falling out scary much and not even able to comb through the hair or else patches follow thereafter.

(Sorry if this is gross... I'm getting to the Shaklee--Go Green--point.)

I had some blood work today (you probably heard me screaming bloody murder. I can't help it though. I'm a needleaphobic and always pitch a fit. Drew was so helpful though to help me cope.) We'll see what that report says--could be Thyroids or unusually low Iron deficiency. Which I know I've always had that. When I played bball I had to take pills because you have to have some particular Iron count to meet NCAA regulations. But now without bball, I guess I've let myself go.

In the meantime (while we attempt to tighten up my hair follicles) i have to rub a steroid on my scalp everynight and keep the hair washing to a minimum (the water weighs it down and pulls it right out.) He also recommended I cut my hair to release weight. forget it!

Unfortunately, this isn't an overnight fix. I'm so impatient about this. This has been going on for a couple months. It's been upsetting, but I really do have so much faith that this will all come through.

So I'm told to take lots of Iron. Before I even had a chance to go to the store and get some pills, mom was all over it. She called her natural health Dr. to get me a diagnostic appointment to become a current (which I can't get in till August she is so booked). Then mom overnighted me biotic hair wash that was recommended by her (another all natural thing). And then she's got me going with $300 of Shaklee vitamins. Again, I'm invested. I'm going to be screaming vitamins in a couple weeks time. If this doesn't fix it, I don't know what will.

I enjoyed researching the Shaklee way though. I think the house cleansing products are a bit extreme for me right now, but the natural vitamins seem to be the way to go--says mom and Oprah at least.

If Shaklee doesn't change the world, it's going to change me. The fact that I'm on a 'balding timeline' freaks me out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I could hardly believe seeing Stila makeup in Costco the other night. Andrew couldn't understand why I had to take a picture.

Memories flooded back when I saw the Stila gloss in Costco. Stila was my first love when I started wearing makeup. Maybe thats why I hardly have any interest now-- I was crazy about it then. I so highly revered whatever I had gotten in it that I wouldn't even use it--I was preserving it for special ocassions. To this day I still have Stila that's only to be used on special occassions.

I know it's not really that specail. But to a 11/12 yr. old girl, it was the best stuff ever. I wasn't able to get it in the local departments in LA., which made it a treat and special thing when we traveled to bigger cities that carried it.

I will say, they do a great job with marketing and packaging. And you can get 3 great tubes of gloss at Costco for $14.99.
I'm low to no maintenance when it comes to makeup; however, stila will forever be my favorite and first love in the makeup world.


I really don't have to much to say except that I went in my spare time one night with the girls. Although my vote was to go to the mall, we had a great time--not having to pay either was nice. Disney would make for an expensive passion. We are both M&M's. Get it?

There was about 15 of us from work that came to the show. Us girls had to stick together cuase we were out numbered by the guys. LaDawn, next to me, is the assistant for company pres. Never a dull moment with her. Brittney dominated customer service. She is so helpful with complex clients. And Brooke came this trip to demo one our new prodcuts for everyone. She was my roomy. Such a great mother of four who looks like she is 23.

My highlight of the night wasn't a ride in particular. Rather it was when we were walking around and I looked over and saw the owners of our company hanging out side a ride. The owners (three brothers) love the Toy Story ride. They paid the big bucks just to ride it over and over again. After riding it twice, it broke down and they had to wait out side. ha! Later the riude started back up and we all competed. It was fun. I saw first hand that there is no age limit for disney land. Even dads can go without their kids.

Nome, Alaska

For starters, I have been so excited to post about the following. So don't turn off with the sight of a map and skip this post. It's so interesting!
Ever heard of it? I hadn't... But recently I met the neatest/nicest girl who happened to be from there. She's actually dating one of our favorite friends. I couldn't even imagine a place like this existing.
If you've heard of Nome it is probably because it was popular during the gold rush and it is where the dog sled race (forget the name) every year ends. But if you haven't heard of it--like me--then that makes sense too. After all, only 4,000 people live in Nome, Alaska.
It is located in the Northwest part of Alaska...super cold! My friend said it gets 60 below there in the winter. Can you even imagine? They can't leave their houses, and they have to constantly plug their cars into the house to keep the engine warm.
It is a prime location for grizzlies too.
Nome is located on the water...100 miles from Russia. In the winter when the ocean freezes over there, people snowmobile to Russia. And she said the drunk sometimes start to walking out that way and the patrol has to bring them in--random tid bit.
What I had trouble understanding was how a town of 4,000 people in the middle of no where survives. For example, the roads literally end on the outskirts of town. You can't drive to the nearest town--Anchorage. Rather, you have to fly to get out of town. Flying is cheaper than maintaining a road system. Their closest town in Alaska is just as close is Russia. Again, they fly or helicopter out when they want to go somewhere. (I think Fairbanks is closer but because you have to fly there too you might as well go to Anchorage where there is more).
Can you imagine how such a deserted place must cost to live in. A gallon of milk costs $7.99. And I think she said that gas costs $6.00.
Again, I asked myself and her multiple times, 'why Nome?'
Not only is it a port there on the water, but also they have a lot of success fishing and crab hunting. Makes sense. But what makes it survive is that it supports tons of native villages up in the northern part of Alaska....villages that can't drive in. They have to helicopter in to buy food provisions and so forth. The villages have natives to the land that speak different dialects and so forth. The government supports them because they were natives to the land first. Nome has a hospital and grocery where all these villages must turn to.
Which is why my friend was brought there. Her dad was exposed to Nome fishing and took his wife there when he became a Dr. to work a few years and 'get it out of his system.' They just never ended up moving. He is one of the few Dr.'s there but as I could imagine in a town of 4,000, they have a strong identity. My friend graduated from a class of 25. And she has no complaints. She loved it. Her branch was really strong.
Nome serves as a hub for diverse native villages far and wide. I think the largest village is of 800 people. Some just have 100 people. She said that Nome serves over area the size of Nevada. I imagine that is quite the melting pot of people.
I really showed my stupidity when I asked if people/the natives lived in Igloos. That was more of a nomadic thing back in the day. They do build a big one for the tourist around the time of the dog race.
Many would laugh at me having never heard of Nome. It's the go-to for most northern Alaskans.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Sonja. She is one of the most lovely confidant people I've met where right off the bat you know they're top quality... one of Nome's finest.