Even though family pictures are sometimes stressful and a huge pain, this shoot was so much fun. Corbin did such an amazing job capturing all of my family members and editing the pictures. Seriously I am so beyond happy about how they turned out and I can't wait to see how they look on print once our Christmas cards come in! 



The past few days I have been caught up in an experience that was so humbling and a huge reality check. For the last couple of months I have been such an advocate of being grateful even in times of trouble and never forgetting to count your blessings. I have tried to offer my best bits of advice to friends going through immensely difficult trials. I just recently was put to the test of practicing everything I preached and I can attest to the fact that it is so much easier said than done. But it is so worth it. The amount of energy that it takes to make yourself happy and make yourself miserable is exactly the same. This doesn't mean you're not allowed to cry or be human but it does mean that you have to keep trying even when the odds seem against you. 
I heard a little metaphor somewhere that you have to "fill your fridge". If your fridge is empty and somebody comes along to offer you a crusty gross old slice of pizza you'll take it because thats all you have and all you think you can get. If you, however, have a full fridge with fresh strawberries and delicious parfaits you will not accept (or even desire for) the crusty gross old slice of pizza that is offered to you. You can not have your entire metaphorical fridge filled by somebody else- you have to be accountable for the majority of things that you put in it. You have to set goals of all levels of magnitude and accomplish them. You have to serve others. You have to keep your feelings and your self worth in two separate places because when somebody hurts your feelings it shouldn't make you feel any less about yourself. I am so beyond grateful for a fridge that is constantly being filled with good things. I am also so beyond grateful that even though I'm trying my hardest to fill my own fridge, I still have others to hand deliver parfaits and delicious things for my fridge. I truly don't know what I would do without my mom to curl up next to in bed when I'm scared half to death about what the future holds, my best friends to support me and remind me of my own words, my Savior and Heavenly Father who have a plan for me and will assure my blessings as long as I try my best, and for the people that are worth begging and pleading for. 
I turned in my final college application tonight and can't help but reflect on my high school experience and all the many things that I have learned (writing those essays really got me in the mood hah!). There are so many ways that high school can go wrong and I am forever grateful for the many friends that have been there to make it go right. With that said I'm grateful for all of these things listed too. 
A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles and I have no doubt about that.

11/30- second chances, being humbled and realizing the amount of people that love me unconditionally, a bright future no matter what
11/29- church, leaders bringing cookies, moms bed
11/28- photo shoots, good Christmas tree farms, striped turtlenecks
11/27- Black Friday deals, Gabrielle as my shopping buddy, fluffy hand knit blankets
11/26- an incredible thanksgiving, my countless blessings and charmed life
11/25- that summerlin literally covers the entire city in Christmas lights, Apple TV, Hannah Leavitt
11/24- the Laws, blog playlists, random appreciation texts from friends
11/23- opportunities to serve, the Holy Ghost, Empty studios at color me mine
11/22- zions youth, Madelyn Fischer, Jacob's grandmas
11/21- Christmas wreaths on my neighborhood gate, Corbin Ballard, not working the weekend 
11/20- 8 months, ghiradelli hot chocolate, summerlin parkway
11/19- the hunger games, great friends/ great memories, banana republic turtle becks
11/18- real friends, the fact that my phone still works despite its little plunge, chocolate
11/17- Emma park, productive days, deep conditioner that makes my hair very soft
11/16- Jacob for putting up with my bratty moods, such a great boss, Savannah doing the hardest part of group projects
11/15- old pictures, Jacobs singles ward, the thousands of views on Elder Harts video
11/14- girls nights, profound thoughts, adorable babies
11/13- blog coding help websites, when Jacob wears sweaters, being thankful, my patriarchal blessing
11/12- my dad, prayers, heavenly fathers kindness towards me 
11/11- the cutlers, my camera, sushi taste testing
11/10- Haugen creative workshop, home made pies, my talents
11/9- the leavitts (for buying my last minute student council fundraiser candles), mom, dad
11/8- when blog designing goes as planned, sleeping in, ni-quil
11/7- movie dates at Elizas, good babysitting jobs, cough drops
11/6- good friends to help me realize how lucky I am, Elizas nordstroms cafe runs, seeing Jacob before his race 
11/5- hot showers, Jacobs homemade soup, greys anatomy 
11/4- Bishop Leavitt, baking 400 cookies at suzies house, my journal 
11/3- drive in movies, friends with boyfriends, early stages of Christmas decorations 
11/2- "date night", Hannah as my shopping buddy, a sweet little sister 
11/1- Lauren Richen's life lessons, Pinterest, the city that I am lucky to live in



Holiday songs have always been one of the things that I look forward to most during the holidays. For the past few years it has been so fun for me to put some of my favorites together on a playlist for you guys. Wit that said I hope you all enjoy the third annual lovely holiday playlist!
listen to 2014's here>>
listen to 2015's here >>



It is so crazy to think that next year I'll have to come home to be a part of this crazy family's games and puzzles, my mom begging us to help her, and going around our little 5 seat table to say what we are thankful for. I am so glad that I have them.
I've been trying to put a big emphasis on being thankful every day- telling all of my friends that I love them and all of the people that serve me I am grateful for what they do. Particularly I try to write down my 3 good things a day. So this Thanksgiving I hardly feel overcome with gratitude because I try to be this way all the time (if that makes any sense at all). When we went around my dinner table to say what we are grateful for, it felt slightly anti-climactic because I am always acknowledging my many blessings these days. But just in summary, I'm grateful for my testimony and knowledge that the gospel is true, I'm grateful for wonderful parents, siblings, and extended family who have taught me this through their examples and words, I'm grateful for the opportunities that are popping up in my life, I'm grateful for all the progression that I have made in the past few years, I'm grateful that my future is bright, I'm grateful for all the people who have been placed in my path to lift me up and help me become the best version of myself, and I'm grateful that I can't think of a single thing to put on my college applications where it says, "describe the biggest challenge that you have faced," because I have been so incredibly blessed in every aspect of my life. My heart is so full because of everything Heavenly Father gives me daily. I truly have a charmed life.
a full daily gratitude list can be found here>>


MIX NO. 14

Guys it has been so long since I've made one of these (I stalked my own archives and found that its been over 9 months since I've done one) which is not okay! The other night me and a dear friend were listening to music and he told me that I had the most wonderful taste in music. It just got me thinking that I really need to throw another lovely playlist out there. Please excuse the insane lateness of this playlist and enjoy the songs.
*and just so you all are aware I have this year's Christmas playlist coming in hot so hold on to your seats. If you absolutely can not wait until that one is up you can enjoy the past 2014 & 2013 holiday playlists to hold you over.
listen to 2014's here >>
listen to 2013's here >>

SONG (& song commentary) LIST:
(play button at the bottom of this post)

1. great big storm // nate ruess
honestly one of the theme songs of my senior year so far. There's a weird part in it but just ignore that…

2. you are in love // taylor swift
why on Earth is this song such a secret!? *if you want need to find it on iTunes don't just search "Taylor Swift" you have to search "you are in love" to uncover it from the deep dark corners of iTunes. You're welcome everybody

3. can't help falling in love with you // haley reinhart
This song makes my heart melt. Every. Single. Time. So does the commercial it was in  

4. cheap sunglasses // rac
We all have one person in our lives that we can relate this song to don't deny it

5. wasn't expecting that // jamie lawson
The music video for this song will melt your heart even more than song #3 on this list did

6. come to me // goo goo dolls
I know what you're thinking… Goo Goo Dolls what the heck? But it's good trust me

7. dancing in the moonlight // top loader
Added to the wedding reception playlist that I may or may not be making for one day…

8. holding on holding out // tall heights
How did I even find this song?

9. from eden // hozier
I've had this one up my sleeve for quite a while (but then again I haven't made a playlist in a while either)

10. hide away // daya
I know this is basic because it's on the radio but that doesn't make it any less good (and the words she's singing about are NOT a sub song to Jacob just throwing that out there. He's golden.)

11. kiss me // sixpence none the richer
me & my co-worker's favorite pandora station to play in the studio

12. sound & color // alabama shakes
do yourself a favor and watch Apple's latest commercial featuring this song. You won't regret that 30 seconds. Don't judge me for being nerdy and into that kind of stuff

13. love me like you do (abbey road performance) // ellie goulding
I don't care what song it is, the acoustic version is always better. This one sounds straight out of a Disney princess movie when you get to the middle of it

14. octahate // ryn weaver
this one is also slightly on the basic side but still good

15. prettiest thing // oh darling
I wanted to make a homecoming video to this song SO bad!! I ended up going a different direction with it (you can see it here) but I still hope I find a video to use this song in sometime

16. sunrise // norah jones
whenever I get the chance to take a nap you can pretty much bet that this song is playing

17. without love // hairspray
this one's for you Syd Stagg. Xoxo

18. listen to the man // george ezra
Ignore the part in the middle where they're talking… I don't know what happened…

19. you are enough // sleeping at last
another one I've been saving for quite a while

20. someone new // hosier
ignore the first 20 seconds of this one… sorry guys I don't know what happened again. 8 tracks changes the files I upload I think.

21. resolution // matt corby
saving one of the best for last (or almost last)

22. bones // josh record
If you can tell me the episode of Grey's Anatomy this if from then we are most likely soul sisters

23. as we ran // the national parks
used in a recent video (you can watch here) my videos wouldn't be half as descent without good songs



It makes me so sad that I don't have blog posts specific to each Zion's Youth concert I've been to throughout the past few years but trust me when I say I've never missed this little semi-annual tradition. Every fall and spring, 14-18 year olds from my church participate in and put on an incredible performance. Though I've never participated in it (my singing skills are pretty limited to croaking out a song at the top of my lungs while I'm driving) I always love going to see it and feel the spirit just by listening to it. It makes it 20 times more fun and exciting that I know so many of the people participating in it. My friends and I arrived so early so that we wouldn't miss our chance to get tickets so we had a lot of time to kill and take pictures. 
read about this spring's concert here >>



This weekend was SO much fun & SO many great pictures came out of it. It all started with me just keeping my camera in my car this weekend so that I could try to get some pictures (because the upcoming November in pictures post was about to be running a little dry) but it turned out I got the best premature Christmas pictures ever. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and my instagram feed is already plastered with blurred lights, trees, and ornaments.
Friday me and a few friends drove down to the strip to finally have a little Ghiradelli hot chocolate date.  Every time I drive down Summerlin Parkway to the strip I can't help but think about the scene in Great Gatsby when everybody is driving across the bridge to go to the city dancing and partying in their cars hah! I know those times will be coming to an end soon so it makes me want to cherish them every time that I get.
Saturday night Hannah was randomly texting our friend Corbin who has been up at college and he was able to meet up with us for a little while too. He was so thoughtful to have brought his camera along too. Downtown Summerlin (our favorite place ever) has their trees and ice rink all set up too and it was the perfect place to have a little photo shoot with Corbin. Thanks for all these lovely shots, Corbin!