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Happy Christmas!!!!!

While we're all out partying with Santa and co, 
I leave you with this uplifting and fulfilling video footage.

Happy Christmas (circa 2007)!
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Turtlenog 2012

Camaron's cousin and his friends started a tradition a few years back.
It has been deemed Turtlenog.
Turtlenecks + eggnog = turtlenog

It is a very classy soiree where all boys must sport mustaches and be dressed in the classiest of fashions. Girls are not encouraged to have mustaches, but must also be class-ily dressed.
Basically, classy is the main factor here.

This year's Turtlenog was celebrated at a friend's cozy cottage in Vivian Park.
There were pints upon pints of eggnog to share, necks were warmly covered, not a male's upper lip was bare ...and someone even brought a turtle!!!

All of these amazing turtlenog details basically covered up the possible awkwardness of being the only married couple in our mid-twenties at a party full of 18-year-olds who just graduated high school. Seriously. It was a blast. 
And since very few people knew us, I so could have been the party skank again.
For old time's sake. (maybe I was?)

Here is the official Turtlenog turtle  -delighting in some nog, of course (yes, he's wearing a scarf)

Our cute cuzzies. Taylor, the distinguished young man on the left, was the mastermind behind the party

The happy couple and their child


p.s. want to have holiday nightmares??


...


HELLO!!!!!!!!!

what are my eyes doing? No one knows. But I kinda hope they do it again.

Merry Christmas!!!!!
Can you believe it's the day after tomorrow?? I sure can't.
Yippeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
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Vegas, Baby!

As our first anniversary was approaching this month, Camaron and I began to deliberate on how we wanted to celebrate. Where would we go? What would we do? How much should we spend?
In the end, Camaron and I decided there were 4 things needed 
that would help us to determine what we would do to celebrate:

1. Lots of yummy food
2. Late, late nights
3. A themed hotel
4. Plenty of Michael Jackson impersonators (sha-mon)


The answer to our destination became all too obvious

...then once we were done visiting Costco on free sample day and watching fake-MJ youtube vids at 2am in the lobby of the Provo Beach Resort, we decided to hit up Vegas* just for kicks.

Warmer weather, sweet fancy hotel deal, sleeping in until lunch, buffet for 2 hours (why rush?), 
Vegas temple, oxygen bar, free massages for becoming chums with the guy giving us oxygen, 
white elephant gift purchasing, as much creme brule as we want, spending an hour trying to decide where to eat and ending up at Panda Express (the obvious choice), 
A crazy variety show with crazy-talented, skanky rollerskaters, 
breakfast in Paris, finding secret passageways while trying to find the bathroom,
and Camaron wearing women's mittens.

What a wonderful first anniversary weekend it was:)
And next weekend is Christmas:))) (triple chin. aka: me after Christmas)

...and not surprising to anyone, the only pictures we have are from when we 
were gorging on desserts at the buffet. Classy.

Camaron couldn't stop making this face the whole time he was eating

I couldn't stop making this face the whole time I was eating


*To those of you keeping tabs, yes we have been to Vegas 4 times this year. Don't judge us.
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Our First Anniversary

This Sunday, Camaron and I celebrate our very first wedding anniversary.
We were married December 18, 2010


It was the best and easiest decision of my life.

Thank you for such an amazing, fun, funny, exciting, lovey year, Camaron!

One year down, the rest of eternity to go.
I can't wait.
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Best Christmas Album.

At work, Christmas music has been blastin constantly ever since November 25.
There are a few Pandora stations they tend to stick to; Most popular being:
Taylor Swift Christmas
Colbie Caillat Christmas
and N'Sync Christmas

I don't know how Pandora works exactly, but just between those three stations, I've heard about every Christmas song you can think of (and every cover of each of those songs).

Through this, I have realized how some artists just have Christmas down.
Seriously, some artists have made recording a Christmas album into an art.

Exhibit A

Mariah Carey
Merry Christmas
All I want for Christmas is to hear this album every December for the rest of my life














Exhibit B

Aly & AJ
Acoustic Hearts of Christmas
I don't care how you feel about Disney channel stars turned musicians, this is such a good Christmas album. Love these girls. Probably the only Disney-ers to play their own instruments 
(besides Jo Bros, of course).

Exhibit C

Sufjan Stevens
Songs For Christmas
Six words for you: Come. Thou. Font. Of. Every. Blessing.
(it's on disc 2. Yes, there are 5 discs in this set)

Exhibit D

Glee
The Christmas Album
As much as I dislike this show and most all of their covers, I can't not like this Christmas album. Some of the songs give me chills. Chills, people.


Any disputes? What are your favorite Christmas albums?


p.s. that huge space between Mariah Carey and the other albums is symbolic. That is where I believe her album belongs. It stands alone ...way above all others.
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Family Pictures

Ok, before you try to find Camaron and me in these family pics,
 I guess I should let you know this is not my family.

This is my friend, Natalli's family.
Seriously, beautiful family.

I had the opportunity last month to take some family pics for them and it was so much fun.
Confession: I've never done a family portrait session before.
Another confession: I can't wait for the chance to do it again.






I'm mostly excited to photograph a family again because I feel like I now know a ton more than I did going into this photography session. Although I am proud of my work with Natalli's family, I can't wait to try out all of the new things I have learned.
Some of which incude:
capturing more candid moments
taking shots from more creative angles
learning EVERYBODY's names
using more varied poses
taking a TON more shots

Any other tips for me?
Want to give me more photography practice? (email me)
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Give Some Get Some ...and link up

One of my favorite things about the holidays is celebrating with friends. I love a good holiday party. We were happy to have been able to attend 2 holiday soirees this weekend! 
Loves me some eggnog:)



We had a church party Thursday night -we mainly just went for the free dinner. We stayed longer than anticipated though, because they had gingerbread house supplies and tables set up. Camaron and I love love a good house-o-candy, so we grabbed some graham crackers and began constructing our sweet abode. Sadly, the frosting we were provided with was not meant for constructing houses and ours collapsed ...like 6 times. In the end, we threw cuteness out the window and simply made a structure that could hold as much candy as we could stuff in it as possible. Now that's my kind of gingerbread/graham cracker house.



Later on that night, one of my friends from work was throwing a Christmas party at her house. 
It was called "Give Some, Get Some." 
Basically, they invited everyone to bring canned food for donating to those in need 
...and they had hung mistletoe all around the house:)
They had delicious stew, hot chocolate, a photobooth with Justin Bieber, and Christmas karaoke 
(all key elements in a successful Christmas party)
Camaron and I were watching a spectacular rendition of "Last Christmas" on karaoke, when my attention was diverted to a group of girls who were pointing above us and trying to get us to look up. They were referring to the mistletoe dangling right above us. Well, there's not much I enjoy more than givin my hubby a fatty smooch ...so with zero hesitation, I grabbed that man's handsome face and laid one on him. Little did I know, no one knew we were married, let alone even knew each other. 
It rocked to be a fake party skank.

Have you been partying this season? Any other fake (or real) party skanks out there? 
Link up your party posts below yo

p.s. karaoke fail = not being able to find an adequate version of your song (we quit before even the second line of "Baby It's Cold Outside")



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the numbers

This is just a funny observation I just made.
In 2009, I posted on this blog 9 times.
In 2010, I posted 25 times
 ...and in 2011, I posted 183 times (so far).

Wow.
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Cutie Owl Ornament DIY


One of my favorite parts of Pinterest is all of the amazing DIY pins available. 
But it's always a super bummer when I click on a DIY image, only to find no instructions/tutorials.
Anyone else run into this?
Well, when I found this pin, I decided to make these cutie owls (instructions or not)
...and just because you're so stinkin cool, I've included instructions in this post:) 

Here we go!
1. Begin with a cut-up paper towel tube, or toilet paper tubes (I'm classy, so I used TP tubes). Bend/fold in top of tube.
2. Paint entire tube desired color (I used acrylic paints).
3. Using a permanent marker, begin by drawing a pair of circle for eyes. Then add patterns, designs, embellishments.
4. Create as many as you'd like and place throughout your Christmas tree:)


stay tuned next week for more ornament DIYs
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S'mores Crispy Treats

Rice Crispy Treats + chocolate - Rice Crispys + Golden Grahams = Put these in my mouth right now.

One of the best parts of college was learning this recipe.
So yummy.
So easy.

melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large pot at low/med heat
add 4 cups of mini marshmallows (10oz bag of mallows)
stir the mallows until melted
Turn off heat
add 6 cups of Golden Grahams cereal
stir until grahams are well covered in mallow
Break apart a king-size Hershey bar and toss the pieces in the pot and stir until mixed in a lil bit
spread whole pot of goodness into a 9x11 pan and let cool

cut up and serve to people who you want to be best friends with

For added fun, eat whilst watching Wayne's World 2.
Chyaa!

p.s. Garth has the best quotes in this movie.


"I'm going to be frank."
"Ok. Can I still be Garth?"


"So, would you like to have dinner one night?"
"Oh, I like to have dinner every night."


"It's just that people have started to talk, you know. They're saying things like, 'Hey, there goes Garth and his friend Wayne... the psychopath.' "
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Blog Design

Have you checked out the auction at Jenna's blog yet? It ends Dec 11th

Ok, news:
I really enjoy changing up my blog here and there. Designing new headers, buttons, layouts...
I apparently have a problem with letting things stay the same for too long
  (seriously, if you've been following my blog for a while, you know I change it up often)
Through messing around with my blog, I've learned a lot.
Most of all, I've learned that I love creating new designs.

Have you been thinking of changing up your blog, but don't know where to start?
I'd love to offer my help:)

Click here for details and pricing





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Pillow For A Cause

My bloggy friend, Jenna, is one amazing woman.

She put together an AMAZING auction to help out a friend in need and I was given the opportunity to help out by donating one of my pillow covers.

If you're still scrapped for Christmas presents, this is a great opportunity for you, too.
There are so many amazing products and services that you can bid on and win at an amazing price 
(and you would be helping out someone in need at the same time)

Head on over and check it out!


p.s. if you've been eyeing the red poppy pillow cover, it's only at $8 right now! A steal!


*Other possible names for this post included: Pillows for Peace, Bid for a Cure, pics-o-you-can-do-it!
Any other name ideas?
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First December Weekend

Happy first full week of December!!!

I don't know why, but I'm just loving December and want to celebrate everyday!
Ok, maybe I do know why -We get to go home to Arizona and celebrate
 Christmas in just a few short weeks!!!!!!!!!!

This weekend was such a fun one. We watched a ton of Parks & Rec; It's basically our favorite. 
On Saturday, we doubled with Candace and her bf. We got ourselves some deliciousness at Jimmy Johns and then got all competitive at Laser Assault (the local laser tag arena).
Oh. My. Goodness.
It had been much too long since I'd laser tagged it up. It was a blast!
Pretty sure everyone in there knew who I was 
(the girl who would scream every time she turned a corner and ran into someone ...and then would laugh her face off) 
But hey, look where all that screaming and laughing got me:
5th place, boi!
Don't know when the last time was that I placed in the single digits at laser tag (4th grade)

Sunday was marvelous -as it usually it. Even though Camaron was sick and I had to attend church alone, the day was awesome because     ...wait for it      ...it snowed!!!
Sure it didn't even stick, but for an Arizona native, this was a HUGE deal! It was so beautiful:)
The rest of the day was spent snacking and watching old Disney movies (The Sword in the Stone)
I loved this weekend.
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 Oh, just trying out bokeh effects with the Christmas tree. nbd.


p.s. the other day I went to the library to pick up a book I had put on hold. I looked though the "holds"shelf with the letter of my last name. I scanned over all of the books with the holdee name papers sticking out of them, but for the life of me, couldn't find the book with my name sticking out! ...Then I realized I had forgotten my last name. I was looking on the shelf that would have held my old last name.  In 16 days, I will have been married for one full year:) ...and I still sometimes forget my married name
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Getting Piney

Our home is smelling soooo good right now. It now truly feels like Christmas is upon us.
(and no, it's not because I just sprayed a heaping amount of the Bath & Body Works Christmas Tree room spray*)
Camaron and I went and got a REAL Christmas tree for our home this year! Both of us were deprived of such things growing up, so we treated ourselves with a fine Grand Fir 
on this our second Christmas together as marrieds.


It stands proud in our front room. I've already filled it with lights, 
but the decorations will have to wait until tomorrow
  (because we apparently don't have any of those little hooks you need for hanging ornaments. Bummer)

While the tree is looking and smellin pretty dang good, I'm gonna have to say the best part of getting a live tree was the adventure we had getting it on the car.

We bought our tree from a nearby grocery store (I already had suspicions that traveling with a tree on top of our car would be difficult, so I wanted to pick one up from close by) The store had posted that they'd "even help tie the tree to your car!" -but this store is obviously a fan of lying, because we most definitely had to do the loading and tying by ourselves. Luckily, they did let us borrow their twine and scissors, though. Yeah?
So Camaron put the tree on top of our car ...and then the Salvation Army guy paused from his bell ringing to inform us that we had put the tree on backwards. Who knows these things? (not us)
So, we fixed the tree and then started the tying. We were on opposite sides of the car and would thread the twine though the car's windows and then throw it over the top to each others. We were lookin like pros -until I threw it too far and hit a lady in the head with the ball of twine.
It was all tied up and we were ready to go.
So long, grocery store!

...and then we quickly realized that we had tied our doors shut with the twine
(who of you saw that one coming?)

So, we did the logical thing and climbed into the car through the open windows, just like the cool kids and their cool convertibles (minus the convertible part)

Let's just say, we gave Salvation Army guy some good stories to tell his buds when he got home.

We made it safely home with the tree still in tact (thanks to my granny driving)

Oh, what a wonderful Christmas this shall be!

We topped off our night of Christmasy spirit with a chocolate orange:)

P.S. Did you see Ender was cast??? How nuts is this?! So excited for this movie!

*My family hates this stuff for some reason. But I would always fill the house with it during Christmas time growing up. ...And I probably will do it again when we go home for Christmas in just a few weeks! Muahahahhaaaa!
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Trim Up The Tree

Did last week totally throw anyone else off?
I seriously keep having to ask what day it is. And December is on Thursday??

When did this happen?

2011 was an amazing year, but it sure flew by incredibly fast. Camaron and I will be celebrating our one year wedding anniversary in just a couple weeks (insane). 
I would write a bunch of lovey dovey stuff here, but I'll save that for the 18th.

Anyway, back to Christmas. 
It's basically tomorrow, have you decorated yet?
I am so excited to bust out the Christmas decor DIYs this week. Pinterest, what can't you do?
all found here and here

I can't wait to post pics.

What are your fav holiday DIYs and decor ideas? Please share


p.s. check out my giveaway over at Young People in Love:)
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After the Turkey

Nothing better than following up a delicious Thanksgiving feast with a highly-intense game of croquet.
Nothing.
(except maybe a game of ultimate frisbee:) )

 Yes, I am horrible at croquet and was the first one out, but we got to play outside! On Thanksgiving!
 In Utah!
 I am just very grateful that the weather here isn't horrible ...yet.

Later, I ate a ton of rolls and then we all played Mafia. All I learned was that the only way to win is if you are silent the whole time. Seriously, anytime I voiced an opinion or idea about who I thought might have done it ...boom "It's Andrea! She did it!"
It was so funny. 
Not to mention, I have this amazing gift of coming off completely guilty of something when I really didn't do it. All of the time. No lie, it's been such a great talent to possess. I'd love to teach you sometime, 
but it's one of those things you just can't teach.
Sorry.

 Then last night, I got to play with my Mandyface friend who was in town for the delicious holiday. Oh, she makes me miss AZ so much. Love her. We got shakes and I discovered I'm not the only one who loves gummies in my ice cream! 
10 point for Griffindor!
Oh, I mean Mandy.
Well, and Griffindor can have em too.

Now, who's ready to bust out the Christmas decorations??
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Today I am thankful for

 Thanksgiving is truly such an amazing holiday. Sure, the pilgrims and indians and all that was great, but a whole day just to celebrate your gratitude for others and all that you have?*
 What a great day.

Today, I have an infinite amount of blessing to be grateful for, but I'll just give you a little taste (pun?)

Family nearby that we can share this holiday (and delicious meal) with

Beautiful weather to play in

Friends (new and old)

Opportunities to create and experiment

A husband who completely gets me and is always happy and fun

Jobs that allow my husband and I plenty of time to spend together and create memories




...and discovering new websites that are full of cutie pictures like this:




Happy Thanksgiving to all!

*Not to mention, tons of delicious food to stuff my face with:)
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We Write the Lyrics

This pic was taken in August. For this story's sake, imagine this, but with patches of snow all over. Crazy, I know

Ok, longish story short:
This last Saturday I drove down to Vegas to pick up Camaron. His dad had driven him there from Arizona.  In case you weren't aware, Las Vegas is basically the perfect meeting place between Gilbert, AZ and Provo, UT. Camaron had flown down to AZ last week for the funeral of a close friend (I really wish I could have joined him, but my work is weird and doesn't provide me with many options for taking time off).
Ok, this story is already getting too long.
Anyway,
I drove 5 hours by myself to Vegas, ate at Jack in the Box with Cam and his dad, then Cam and I began our 5 hour drive together back to P-town. I know what you're thinking "Wow, what a super fun  10 hour drive! Was that Jack in the Box in the scariest part of town, too?! Cause now I'm thinking I need to plan a road trip. Where's my atlas?"
In response to your thoughts, yes. Yes, it was a super fun trip. And yes, that Jack in the Box was uber sketch.
Truly, it was a fun drive. The fun on the drive down was mostly made possible by The Cranberries, and Billy Joel. The fun on the drive back with Camaron was mostly made possible by, well, Camaron ...and the fact that Camaron found out (once again), when I don't know the lyrics to a song, I make up my own. (Similar to what Kara does sometimes)

Case in point:
artist: The Format (we traditionally listen to them when crossing the border into AZ)
song: Tune Out
part I never could tell what they were saying: the first line of the song.

I had no idea what they said here -all I heard was "__________, please choose a side..."
I know they weren't saying "Strongbad," but it kinda sounded like it, so that is the word that I always use when singing this song (ie: "Strongbad, please choose a side...")* I told Camaron my cool new lyric (because I figured nobody could actually decipher what the band was really saying). Turns out Cam does know the lyrics, and I was a little off.

Fake lyrics + singing Ashlee Simpson at the top of our lungs + buckled-in dancing + Remembering our friend who passed away + talking about us moving back to AZ = Five hours that felt like maybe one. I am so thankful to have such a fun lovey dovey husband (This is now my Thanksgiving post?)

I can't wait for our next roadtrip.



oh, and don't forget to grab yourself a chance to win one of my pillow cases and a pack of greeting cards:) Click here

*apparently, the actual lyrics are: "It's your bed, please choose a side..." I guess that makes more sense than Strongbad (but not nearly as intimidating) Did you know the real words? 10 points to you and yours
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Christmas Presents?

I'm always shocked by how early some people get their Christmas shopping done. 
I seriously think I saw around 5 people's status updates on FB this last week declaring that they had already finished. What is this???

I don't know about you, but I honestly have troubles getting everyone's presents by Christmas. I have been known to shop even on Christmas eve. I don't recommend it, but I also don't know how to avoid it.
Are you an early bird or last minute shopper?

Either way, I just added some great items to the shop, and I'm sure you know someone who'd love a little extra color on their couch/bed/chair...

Fun pillow covers just added to the shop!
...and more are on their way.

Also, if you see something you like, but not in the color you need, just let me know! 
I can customize most orders:)

Also, just in time for the upcoming holidays,


...and who is soooo excited for Thanksgiving this week?!?!
I cannot believe it's already here. This year has completely flown by.
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