Friday, March 26, 2010

more answers.

go to the new blog to see the rest of my answers + pictures of me and the boy.

and don't forget to update your links with my new site name!


Friday, March 19, 2010

drumroll please...

without further ado.... the new and improved blog:

Monday, March 15, 2010

ch ch changes..

Photo 304

confession: i get excited very easily. sometimes my excitement can be excessive.

for example, i've stayed up past 3am the last 4 nights in a row working on a project that i'm super super excited about. probably excessive.

want to know what project has justified me sleeping 4-5 hours a night?

i can't tell you. it's a secret.

ok, just kidding. i'll tell you.

it's a new blog and website! a REAL website!

phew. it's so good to not have to hold that inside any longer.

why a new blog, you ask?

well, for a while now i've been debating having a separate blog for just my photography and painting. a more professional looking blog. because professional looking blogs obviously make you more of a professional. BUT... i just haven't wanted to. i don't want to post on two blogs. i don't want people to only check one blog and not the other. so i came up with a better solution.

a new blog in general. a new domain name and a new layout. it's clean and organized and the perfect blend of personality + professional. the boy and his awesome roommate have spent SO much time helping me get everything together and work out all the kinks - they have honestly been so great i can't even tell you.

i really wanted to have the new and improved blog up today, but it needs just a little more fine tuning. so it's looking more like tomorrow or wednesday. and as soon as it's up and running, i will answer all of your wonderful questions and pick a winner! so if you still want to ask a question - you have another day or two! (ps. reading through your questions has been SO so fun. i can't wait to share some of my answers). the website will probably be another week or so, but the simple fact that i have my own website is so exciting to me it's almost nerdy.

in other news:
i whipped up an AMAZING new recipe yesterday with the help of the boy's roommate - justin. in fact, we spent over 2 hours cooking + taking amazing photos of our little creation. not only are these two guys fabulous and making websites, but they are also excellent at letting their tummies rumble and waiting to eat for the sake of photography and my blog. not to mention rearranging tables and holding lights/reflectors for the sake of my photography as well. i can not say enough good things about them - mostly the boy. he's my favorite.

i woke up early today. and i went jogging. i almost died. oh utah air, please get warmer! i'm out of shape and you being so cold just makes it harder! but i do feel very accomplished/slightly liberated.

do you ever look forward to certain activities that you start counting down hours? i'm going to play tennis with the boy and then eat leftovers on his lunch break. 3 hours. so excited.

in fact, we made calendars yesterday. calendars and schedules and checklists. he showed me how to use google calendars (amazing) because he's good with computers. i drew our schedules for the week on binder paper, color coded them, and taped his to the fridge because i'm good with drawing and color coding. we were seriously sitting at the kitchen table at 11pm last night, laptops out, making schedules. i should have taken a picture. 

i miss my nieces and nephews. they are getting so big and cute and i can't stand that i live 800 miles away from them. (some of them live even farther away, actually).

ok, well this has turned into rambling and brain dumping so i'll stop now.

but keep an eye out for the debut of my new + improved blog - can't wait to show you!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

21 questions.

Photo 288

let's play a game called 21 questions.
[this isn't how the real 21 questions is played, but that's ok]

i know there's a few people out there that read this little blog of mine. some of you i know. and a lot of you i don't know - but i love you just the same! it may sound creepy, but it's not. and even if it is, just go with it.

anyway, every once in a while i will peruse through a blog and wonder certain things. like, i wonder how her and her husband met, or where did she learn to cook like that, and where does she buy her daughter's clothes because i'm pretty sure she dresses better than me. you know, things like that. 

so today i had the thought: i wonder what people wonder about me? there has to be something, right? especially from the people i've never met. 

so here's your chance to ask me anything.

really. ask me anything and i will tell you. you want to know what kind of camera i use? no problem. want to know what color the boy's eyes are? done.

i figure i'll leave this open for a few days and next week i'll answer my favorite 21 of your questions. [i really hope there's at least 21 or i will be slightly embarrassed].

and as a little added incentive, i'll pick a name from one of the comments to receive a complimentary photo session, like this one i gave away a few months ago. it would obviously work best if you live in the bay area or utah, but hey, maybe i'll need a vacation.

so ask away! please don't be shy!

EDITED: if i happen to draw the name of someone that doesn't live anywhere in the nearby vicinity - i will probably have to opt for sending you a painting instead. hope that's ok. the boy was probably right when he said it was a lot more practical than a photo session. i just chose to offer a photo session because i'm better at following through with those in a timely manner. (i struggle sometimes with following through, i'm working on it, don't judge me). 

moral of the story: you can still ask a question and possibly win something - even if you live across the country. or in a different country. i don't discriminate :)

dear mom,

i thought about e-mailing you, but i know you read my blog too, so this works just as well.

remember how you sent me the recipe for your sweet and sour chicken yesterday? well, i made it [don't worry, it was delicious. but we'll talk about that later].

anyway, it took me over 2 hours. 2 hours. we didn't eat dinner until 9 last night. and i realized something. every time i make a recipe of yours for the first time - something you made all the time while i was at home - and i realize it's kind of hard, and takes forever, and the smoke from burning oil burns my eyes a little, it makes me grow an added respect for you. really. how you made us dinners like that with 7 kids is beyond me.

now that we have that out of the way, i do have an excuse for why it took so long. i also made fried rice, which i had never made before either. it wasn't too hard, but definitely added time. oh, and it was way good too. i used so much garlic and ginger i almost died - in a good way. in fact, my fingers still smell a little bit like garlic and ginger today.

one last thing. don't be mad. i made a few changes to your recipe, and i think i liked it better. i used red bell peppers instead of green. and you know how the sauce calls for ketchup? well i forgot to put it in. i didn't realize until we were already eating. but i didn't mind the difference. and i added a dash or two of red pepper flakes, to make it just a little spicy. and i added a drop of red food coloring, to make the sauce a little more pink. you know, like it looks in real chinese food restaurants. still, i would have had no idea what i was doing without your recipe as a jumping off point.

i didn't get to take any pictures - that's the problem i run into when i cook at night. there's just no natural light. that, and i'm starving and want to eat.

i think your teriyaki chicken is next on my 'to cook' list. want to send me the recipe?

love you.


ps. mom do you mind if i share the recipe on here? i bet people would want it, right people that read my blog? i honestly think when i made it last night that it was better than any sweet and sour i've had at a restaurant. i just need to make it again so i can get some pictures before i post it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

monday brain dump.


long weekend. 

my body hurts. 

friday, alexandra (the roommate) and i drove up to play cards and make pizzas with the boy and his roommate. she had never been up there with me before, and it was kind of fun for her to see a part of my life that she has definitely been missing out on. the pizzas were completely homemade and delicious. and i was so glad that alexandra is just as competitive as me when it comes to silly card games.

saturday, the boy and i decided to play tennis. i used to play tennis all the time in high school, and we've been talking about playing forever. let me just tell you, that i have not worked out in close to 2 months. and that is why my body hurts. yes, i am a sissy.

sunday, we made dinner for a friend of the boy that just had their first baby about a month ago. i made pioneer woman's macaroni + cheese but was not too impressed - no offense pioneer woman, don't hate me. i actually really liked it before it was baked, so i have this awesome idea to make it just how i like it. i'm kind of dying to try it again this week, just a little bit tweaked - so stay tuned.

besides that, i should be studying for my biology test that i have to take today. and as soon as i'm done with class, i'm taking the boy to the bean museum on campus for a nature photography exhibit. i'm terrible at taking photos of nature, and he loves it, so it will be a good experience for both of us. the picture above is the best i can do with landscapes. my bad. i'm a portrait kind of photographer.

so i'm having these struggles with my blog. i've been wanting to do a makeover for a while now. i want it to be personal, but i want it to look professional, and well, i struggle. everyone says to just have 2 separate blogs, but i just don't want to. is that silly of me? is separate better? hmmm. choices, choices.

i've been having other struggles too. with babies. everyone is getting to have babies lately. except me. (i realize that i have to be married first, but we are just going to overlook that for the sake of this argument). until now, it has never been that bad. i just figured that as long as my sister-in-laws kept the babies coming, it would hold me over until i could have babies of my own. only, it doesn't work out like that when the babies are 800 miles away! and boys just don't understand that there is a difference between meeting a baby as a newborn, and meeting them as a 4 month old. it's like they are a completely different person by then. am i the only one who thinks this way? i actually know i'm not, i just wish that there was a way for me to describe it in a more logical manner - boys understand logic.

i need a kitchen with windows. for picture-taking purposes.

i cook in my boyfriend's kitchen a lot, for a few reasons. one, he lives in a super nice condo with granite countertops and it's just a pretty kitchen to cook in. two, he only has one roommate (usually i'm cooking for the 3 of us) so i don't have to worry about being in anybody's way. and three, if his roommate is home - he knows more about cooking than i do. honestly. it's awesome. he taught me how to make bread. he told me the scientific reason behind why i don't like baked macaroni + cheese, and he's even taught me how to properly disinfect the kitchen. his name is justin (the friend/roommate), and i told him that i'm taking him with me when i get to register for wedding gifts because i think he knows more about pans than anyone i know. that justin is a good friend to have around.

they have caffeine-free diet coke at crest. they actually have it everywhere in utah. i had no idea. it tastes almost exactly the same. mom, you would be so proud.

well that's enough for today.

oh, but i would like your input on the blog thing. and the baby thing. like i said, i struggle.


Friday, March 5, 2010

me + the boy


maybe one of these days i'll quit calling him "the boy".

and maybe one of these days i'll actually post a picture where you can see his whole face.

but until that day, here's one of my favorites.

he's actually the only boy i've ever dated that i have pictures with. i never remember to take pictures of me in general, especially not with people i'm dating. he'll even hang in there for 20-ish minutes when i have the perfect picture i need to get of us with my camera timer. it's happened more than once. 

he's a keeper.


utah changed it's mind about spring and it started snowing yesterday. looks like it's card games and hot chocolate tonight :)

hope your weekend is lovely and warm.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010



this is probably my favorite picture of my little sister. ever.

she's pretty much the best.

even when she beats me at bowling and then makes fun of me in front of our entire extended family for the next few days.

she's really good at text messaging. and writing notes. and planning parties.

in fact, she has become the self-proclaimed wedding planner, maid of honor, and bridesmaid art designer for my wedding. i'm not really sure what a bridesmaid art designer is, but jennifer has it covered.

everyone that knows her just loves her. i'm actually pretty sure that she has more friends than i do.

isn't she the cutest?

love you jen. come visit me again soon - i miss you already.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

one of the prettiest people i know.

meet alexandra.

my roommate and fellow diet coke enthusiast.
she owns more plaid shirts than any one else i've met.

she's graduating in april with a degree in political science, and is heading down south to louisiana in june to teach middle school english.

she's pretty much one of the coolest people i know.

oh, and she likes to read.

oh, and she's smokin (smokin hot, that is).

following boot photo taken by the boy.
following photo posed and taken by the boy.

disclaimer (sort of): 
my boyfriend is the best assistant/second shooter ever. seriously. i made sure to point out the pictures he specifically took himself, but i have to admit that half of these photos (the better half, even) were posed + styled by him. i was so impressed. and so glad to have him around. just thought i'd  give credit where credit is due :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

the week of never before seen photos.

i take a lot of pictures.

a lot.

there are 10,990 photos in my iphoto library alone. which doesn't include the pictures i started to put on my external hard drive.


since i obviously have not posted 10,990 photos (and then some) on this blog of mine, that must mean i have lots and lots of fun + awesome pictures that i've been keeping to myself. my dad actually calls me a picture hoarder sometimes...


but don't you worry (i know you were thinking about worrying, but don't). all this week i'll be posting never before seen photos. at least never before seen on this blog, because some other people have probably seen them.

like pictures from this wedding that i took in june (yikes) and more of this sweet baby

and to start off the week with a bang, a photo of me and one of my favorite roomies.

this picture was taken saturday.

my roommate asked if i would take some photos of her for her college graduation announcement. yes, i am seriously jealous that she will be graduating in 2 months. even though i should be graduating also. but that post will have to wait for another day.

back to the picture... 

we got to a fun little location that i had seen when i was running the other day (more like months and months ago when i used to exercise, but i say the other day so it sounds like i'm still in shape). it was just me and the roommate at first, and the pictures were turning out wonderful. how could they not? she's a total babe.

then, the boy showed up.

he was going to be my assistant for the day and hold some reflectors and things for me, because all professionals have assistants that hold things. right? only, there was no sun. which meant i had nothing i needed him to hold. and since he wasn't holding anything, he decided to explore while i took pictures.

that's when he found the train.

and decided he needed to climb on top of the train.

he then decided he needed a picture of me climbing on top of the train.

and i decided i needed to take a picture with my roommate on the train.

and somehow that picture that i needed turned into the two of us thinking we are models and doing jana's sassy face, which resulted in this picture.

when i look at it, i can't tell whether i should think it's really cool, or whether i should laugh. maybe i should do both.


i will tell you one thing, it sure is nice dating a boy that knows his way around a fancy camera. you don't find one of those every day (meaning the boy, not the camera).

Friday, February 26, 2010

creamy chicken enchiladas.

a recipe, as promised.

[ps. they look and taste WAY better in real life than what it looks like in this picture. it's really hard to get good pictures of food when you and 2 grown men are starving].

my mom used to make this for dinner when we were growing up, but for some reason i didn't like them then, i don't know why. so my mom stopped making them as much [my sister still blames me]. and because she stopped making them, i never really got to try them as an adult, now that i actually know what good food tastes like. 

until, over the summer, i went to visit my boyfriend's family and his mom made them for sunday dinner. i couldn't tell her that i didn't like them, it would be rude and everyone would think i was weird. so i decided i would just eat them as best i could and fake a smile. but you know what? i actually liked them. it was a really exciting day for me.

then last week, i was craving chicken enchiladas like you would not believe. i e-mailed my mom for her recipe, but apparently she doesn't have one. she just throws stuff in as she goes. so that's what i did - with the help of my friend justin.

here's what you'll need:
12 tortillas
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb. container sour cream
2, 10 oz. cans of cream of chicken soup
1 can olives
9 oz. diced green chiles
3 c. grated cheese

first, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

then, boil your chicken breasts. i had never boiled chicken before this, but it was so easy and they turned out so tender and delicious. boil for 10-15 minutes, until cooked all the way through.

if you use frozen chicken breasts, like we did, you may have to cook them for closer to 20 minutes. because if they look like this, they're not done.

feel free to use already cooked tortillas. but as for me, i love love love the raw tortillas that you have to cook yourself. so while the chicken was boiling, i cooked up 12 tortillas.

next, you'll want to mix together the sour cream and the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup.

then, add the green chiles. we used a 2oz. and a 7oz. can, and the spiciness was moderate. feel free to add more or less, depending on how spicy you would like your enchiladas to be. [i might add more next time].

and make sure you get lots of pictures of stirring in green chiles, because it is apparently exciting.
once this is stirred through, put about a cup of it aside to spread across the top later.

struggle opening a can of olives. or open it easily, it works either way.

slice the olives, and stir them into the filling mixture.

then, slice the chicken into bite size pieces, and stir them into the mixture as well.

now to the last, and most important, part. cheese. grate 3 cups of cheese - we used medium cheddar and pepperjack. mmm, pepperjack. only pour 2 of the 3 cups into the filling mixture; you'll use the remaining cup to spread across the top. stir it up and the filling is done!

put about this much mixture inside each tortilla.

fight a little bit over who gets to roll them up.

[i won. obviously].

roll up the enchilada.

and place it in a glass pan.

once the pan is full, spread the filling across the top - the cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, and green chile mixture you saved earlier. (sorry, we forgot to take a picture of that step).

then, sprinkle atop the cup of cheese you saved. yum.

put pan into the oven at 375 for 35 minutes.

my mouth is watering.

our 8x11 glass pan only fit 9 of the tortillas, but our filling made enough to fill 12. so we cooked the extra 3 in a little glass bread-sized pan. 

and just fyi, these heat up to make amazing leftovers, and you can even freeze them, unthaw them, and bake them another day if you feel like making more than one batch.

happy cooking :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

just a little update.


i've eaten AND showered today. successful day for me.

this gorgeous home is in scotland, designed by one of my favorite architects and designers that i've learned about in my history of architecture class.

i have a hot date lined up tonight. breakfast burritos and the dollar movies. life does not get much better, let me tell you.

stay tuned tomorrow for a delicious + fairly easy delicious recipe. you know, in case you don't know what to make for sunday dinner.

that's all. happy thursday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Photo 250

[this is an old picture. diet coke and i are no longer speaking. let's change the subject, i'm sad about it]

happy wednesday:
wake up
read scriptures in bed
start studying for my architecture test, in bed
realize that i can't study in my messy bedroom
start to organize messy bedroom
realize that i don't have time to do that
study in my messy bedroom
remember i had finance homework due today
do my finance homework
brush teeth
put on mascara and uggs
head out the door
head back in the door after i see the rain
grab an umbrella
head out the door, again
think about driving to campus so i can get a diet coke on the way
tell myself that i no longer drink diet coke
take the bus to campus
turn in finance homework
go to biology
study architecture while sitting in biology class
leave class for a minute to buy a chocolate milk out of a vending machine
go back to class and not pay attention while biology teacher is talking about coniferous forests, study instead
go to my architecture class
study more architecture
take architecture test
feel really really good about myself when i see a 91% and a 'great job' next to my id number on the testing center screen
like, really good.
have an awesome roommate offer to pick me up from campus so i don't have to wait for the next bus.
take up said awesome roommate on said offer
get home
change out of the clothes i was wearing all day (and also wore to bed. gross, i know)
fix hair
put on blush. and a little more mascara
see awesome boyfriend for not long enough at all (my fault, not his)
think about how handsome he looks when he wears ties. he does, just saying
go to church meeting
come back home

in case you're wondering why i didn't list taking a shower or eating, it's because i didn't do those things today. oh how i love college [a little bit serious, but mostly sarcastic, in case you were wondering].

Monday, February 22, 2010

dear children of mine [that i don't have yet],


[photo via jcrew]

first of all, i certainly hope you'll like cute clothes. chances are you'll be the most stylish kids on the street, and it would make my life a lot easier if you don't tear off your headbands or ties at the first opportunity you find. don't worry, i know how to sew - so your halloween costumes will always be fantastic. and i promise i won't mind when you start telling me your costume ideas in june - i will probably already be thinking about it.

when i was your age, the day after my birthday i would already be planning my party for the next year. so grandma made me follow a "you can't talk about your birthday until one month before" rule. i'll give you 2 months. i like parties.

i'll let you help in the kitchen, even if it means the job will take twice as long. you can sit on the counter, dump the ingredients into the bowl, and help me mix. you can even lick the beaters (someone needs to do it).

there will be warm chocolate chip cookies and milk waiting for you when you get home from school. except when your dad tells me i'm feeding you too much sugar, then we'll have apples and celery with peanut butter. i'll be so excited to hear about the things you are learning, and i will remember to tell you the funny things your little brother or sister did while you were away. you are going to be my little friends. i'll help you with your homework and read your school books so i can help you understand things that you are having trouble with. maybe we'll even have home school so i can be the one to teach you and making sure you are learning up to your full capability. we'll see :).

i can't wait to read you books - i hope you love books as much as i do. and on special nights, i will let you all snuggle in mom and dad's bed for storytime before it's time to sleep. sometimes, i'll even ask for your help in making our own stories about who knows what. see, i'll need your help.

every morning, we'll read the scriptures and pray as a family. at night, dad and i will tuck each of you in and help you pray. i can't wait to hear your sweet little prayers. before i go to bed, i'll already miss your voices and laughter and i'll have to quietly sneak into your rooms and check on you while you sleep, while i wonder what you're dreaming.

please don't be stinkers so your dad and i will like taking you on family trips. we'll have maps on the walls of our home with little pins denoting places that we've visited and places we want to go.

i'll let you learn whatever instruments you want - even if it's not my favorite. like the trombone. and i'll smile when i hear you trying your darndest, even if it sounds like an elephant is dying. i'll learn how to play the piano better before you get here so we can have one in our home. and i'll play church songs while you sing. just thinking about it makes me happy.

i don't like singing too much in front of people, but i will sing with you. and we will dance and play while we clean up the dishes or do chores to make it just a little more fun.

don't be too fed up with me when i ask you to hold still for picture 100. i promise you'll appreciate it later. trust me, you will love pictures. i'll get you cameras of your own so you can take pictures of things that are important to you. and when you get a little bigger, i'll take you for dates to the park or the beach and teach you how to use mom's fancy camera.

i can't wait to teach you things. i can't wait to teach you big words, and about history and the places we go to visit. but more importantly, i can't wait to teach you about the savior and to watch your testimony grow as you do.

some days may not be as good as others. mom may have a hard time. like if you decide to dump the bag of flour on the ground, or absolutely refuse to take a bath. but i promise that we will figure it all out and i will love you no matter what. i think about how much i love you already, without even meeting you, and can't imagine what it will be like to have you here. sometimes i will probably feel like my heart might just burst with all the love i have for you. which i'll try to remember when we're shopping at the grocery store and you keep wandering off, just like i did.

try not to get too sassy when we play card games as a family, i know where you get it from.

and don't be mad when i make you add sleeves to your prom dress.

i can't wait for you to be here so i can meet you and kiss your little cheeks. i take that back, they will be big cheeks. and i'm ok with that

i love you to the moon and back.