Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring is Springing

Yesterday morning I woke up to a familiar sound and scent... one that I have woken up to many times before. I can't even count the number of times that I have experienced this, but yesterday it was the most delightful experience.  
I woke up to this:
The sound and smell of freshly cut grass. 
Some may question the fact that I am living in the heart of London... but little do they know that we have a very quaint, small courtyard below our flat that has vibrant green grass that naturally needs trimming every once in awhile. And boy, was I grateful for that nostalgic moment. 
I felt like I was back at home in my parent's house waking up in the summertime to my dad mowing the grass right by my basement window.
Aside from this freshly cut grass there are signs of spring budding all over London. 
The weather has been consistently beautiful for the past few days- Sunny, 60 degree days which required the ditching of my Eddie Bauer Goose Down jacket. 
Here are some of the lovely sights that were seen in Notting Hill this week. 
All of this sunshine called for some lemon and pear gelato.
PS, if you haven't had pear gelato... you must find some and try it. It was divine!

Birthday Celebration

Well, unfortunately I couldn't book Christian's party at the Savoy Hotel... maybe next year?
So we opted for the Bloomsbury Bowling Alley. Now, this wasn't just any bowling alley it was a vintage, retro bowling alley that made us feel like it would have been appropriate to dress up as if we were from the 50's or 60's.
 Perhaps the rubber shoes can give you a feel for what it was like.
Seeing as Christian's birthday was on a Tuesday I decided it would be best to celebrate with friends the Saturday before (all of our friends work crazy, long hours just like Christian- so it would be near impossible to get everyone together on a weeknight).
So we started the evening off at the Bloomsbury Bowling Alley for some retro bowling. It was quite the experience with "The Big Lebowski" playing on the screens at the end of the lanes. The lanes were a bit shorter than those in the America, but we still thoroughly enjoyed it.
The whole gang.
Following our bowling extravaganza we headed off for dinner at "The Spaghetti House". The food was good, but the company was even better! We feel so incredibly blessed to have made such wonderful friends here in London. We don't want to leave them.
Courtney and Joe saved Christian's birthday by bringing a yummy birthday cake (I attempted making my FIRST pie... and didn't complete it in time so I was twice as grateful for Joe and Courtney's thoughtfulness.)
When we got home from the birthday celebrations Christian went straight to watching the BYU game (yes we have kept up on our March Madness here in the UK).
And I went straight to the kitchen, determined to complete my first pie. It turned out quite well.
Now for Christian's actual day of birth... I got up a bit early to decorate the best I could with the decorations ASDA had available (let's just say everything was fit for a 5 year-old's party... princess' or toy cars). My new favorite tradition since being married is an  Ivins' tradition, when you have a birthday you get a list of profundities written about you. So since Christian turned 24 I got to write 24 profundities about him. I then made crepe's with strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar (this may sound weird BUT you should try it because you will LOVE it). I tried to serve this delicious breakfast to him in bed, however, he got up and came to the kitchen and just ate at the table instead. I should have cooked a little faster.
No one gets time off during this BUSY season at Deloitte... so after our nice breakfast Christian got ready and headed to work. I felt so sad that he had to work on his birthday. I guess I better adapt my expectation for birthday's because I don't think anyone should work on their birthday, however, this corporate world we live in doesn't care. BUT, Christian was able leave work earlier than usual so that we could go out and celebrate. 
We had a LOVELY STEAK DINNER at Smith's of Smithfield or also known as S.O.S. It is a four floor restaurant renowned because of the Smithfield Meat Market which is right across the street and is the place where they get all of their fresh meat and ingredients. I have had many delicious meals here in London, but this was my first steak worth talking about since we left the States. It would be an understatement to say that I was in Heaven.
Following dinner we came home to have rhubarb crisp for dessert and to celebrate Christian's actual birthday. Some may think rhubarb crisp was an odd choice to replace birthday cake and I agree it is, but, Christian loves rhubarb crisp and I believe after lemon meringue pie this is his second favorite dessert.
What would a birthday be without a few little gifts, huh? I gave Christian concert tickets to see Alexi Murdoch in London, a fedora hat (we'll see if he wears it), a shirt, vintage records for a record player that will have to be accepted as a belated birthday gift when we return to the States. 
Happy 24th Critch! It was a great day!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Happy Birthday to the Love of my Life!

Today is a GREAT day... it is my dear, sweet, loving husband's BIRTHDAY!!! I love this man more than I ever thought possible! He is the most patient, loving, kind, generous, funny, lucky, dedicated, hard-working, spontaneous man and I feel so LUCKY to be his wife!
Speaking of luck, he was born very close to St. Patrick's Day and it shows because of the luck that this guy has... don't ever challenge him at a BINGO event, "Price is Right" show, Egyptian Rat Killer game, golf tournament (he has skill and luck with this great sport, a terrible combination to try and beat), etc. He will WIN! To add to that luck he gets to be in London on his 24th birthday! I hope this is something that can become a tradition for both of our birthday's!
I feel so blessed to be with Christian, with or without his luck. He truly is an amazing man!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Christian!!! I LOVE you!!! 

Awaiting Visitors

3 DAYS! 
These 3 lovely ladies above will be joining me in Europe in just 3 short days! 
I am so excited to show these girls where I am living and then to join them as we go out to see many other places in Europe. I get to be in Europe with 3 of my besties!
Where will we be going...
and last but NOT least my neck of the woods...ENGLAND
I simply love traveling! I know that is the case for most people. But I feel that I have an abnormally strong love for traveling, which in my mind is 100% perfectly fine! Why do I love traveling? I love experiencing new cultures. I love trying new food. I love the way that my eyes are opened to the beauty that surrounds me. When I am in a new or foreign setting I observe and take in a lot more than I do when I feel comfortable with my surroundings. I love meeting new people from all walks of life. As Coldplay says, "we live in a BEAUTIFUL world" so let's enjoy it, wherever we may be! 

Friday, 11 March 2011


A couple weeks ago we went on a Thames boat tour with a group from Deloitte. The tour took us down along the river to Greenwich (prounounced- gren-ich). It was a little wet and cold, but we still had a great time! 
Above we are at the Greenwich Market.
Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
Prime Meridian. This is the "line" at which longitude is measured to be 0 degrees. This divides the Earth into Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
I fell in love with this place! 

Big Little Brother

Shortly after posting my long story about how Christian and I met I got a comment from my dear brother, Taylor. He said, "Ok Ok. So I know you two are the ones who got married and everything... but you would think I could get at least a little credit for the marriage. :)" He is so right! (Even though I know he was kidding) I can't believe I could tell the story of how I married Christian without including my brother. Taylor was Christian's BIGGEST advocate! When Christian was on his mission Taylor took full responsibility of keeping tabs on me and who I dated.
All in all, I am so lucky to have such a great brother! He is an amazing example to me and brings so much joy and laughter to our family! Thanks for being my big little brother, Tay!!! I love you! 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Little Lace Dress

Saw this and LOVED it...
Photo 1 of Cream Lace Flippy Dress
However, I am trying to budget our money here in the UK.
(I'd rather travel than shop. Although, IDEALISTICALLY, I would like to do a little of both!)
If you aren't on a budget, you can find this beautiful lace treasure here.
Instead, I went on a search and in the end I found this...

This was found at Primark.
This great find was only... 15 quid! Whereas, the little lovely above was 48 quid!
I will wear this one just as much as I would the one above.
Since I was a "bargain hunter" I felt I was justified in getting something extra so I went ahead and got myself these,

I am obsessed with oxfords right now.
With these I still spent way less than my TopShop treasure would have cost me.
Thank you Primark!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A little Iron & Wine

My dear, sweet husband gave me tickets to the Iron & Wine show at the Roundhouse in London!
I saw them perform back in 2007 at Saltair... they were even better last night!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE concerts! It was the perfect gift!
Sameul Beam: he is quite the muscician.
Please note the saxophone player in the background, he was phenomenal.
We certainly enjoyed the show! Thanks, Nin!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Living a Dream

as many of you know we are currently living in LONDON. i have always dreamed about living abroad and now my dream has become a reality. we are in the most cosmopolitan city in the world. i love the diversity we get to see and experience every day in this great city.
some of my favorite things about London are:

  • walking: most people do not have a car and if they do they don't drive it in London. i have never had to walk so much in my life nor have i ever enjoyed it as much as i do here. 
  • fresh markets: there are infinite markets in this city. i LOVE it! i love going to the market on a regular basis so that we can eat fresh and delicious fruits, vegetables, breads, etc. 
  • architecture: i am obsessed with 90% of the buildings i see. they have so much character and detail and are simply just beautiful. even the newer modern buildings have a distinct edge, it is not just cement and steel, they have a unique design. 
  • museums: this city is chucked full of museums, most of them are free too! you will never have a boring day with nothing to do in this city. the history is so rich in this part of the world and is so intriguing to learn about.
  • taxi cabs and phone booths: we all can recognize a british taxi cab or phone booth when we see it. i wouldn't ever think that i would adore or appreciate seeing a phone booth or silly taxi, but i do in this great city. 
  • fashion: i wish i had a bottomless bank account because this is the fashion capital of the world. they have some of the most amazing shops here. you can wear anything in this city and it will be appreciated by someone. i love that people don't feel fearful about the judgement of others as i think they do in more conservative places. if you want to try out a new look with confidence-this is the place to do it.
  • central location: once in london or most big european cities, you can get anywhere in the world. 
the list could go on and on and on. i am so happy to be here! i love london!!!

i am now a blogger

i am new to the blogging world. i am excited to be joining it though! i have many friends who blog and i love reading about their lives so i hope others will enjoy reading about mine.
a little about christian and me:

  • we met the summer before our senior year of high school (2004). young i know! but we became good friends and were inseparable that whole summer. we had a cinematic summer sneaking out every night just to be together and talk. it took christian a few months to even kiss me so don't worry they were innocent "sneak outs". 
  • high school graduation rolled around and we still enjoyed being together. we both decided to attend utah state university and lived in the greatest dorm housing at usu, snow hall. we both made new friends and had GREAT roommates that are now our lifelong friends. after the first semester at usu christian put his mission papers in and received his call to serve in the catania, italy, mission for the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints. 
  • so christian headed out for italy and i stayed at usu for school. we wrote regularly for about the first year of his misison and then it slowed to be a letter from each of us every two months or so. christian was focused on his work in italy and i was able to work, go to school and date! anyone who knows me knows that i have been boy crazy since birth and that i love boys. i missed christian dearly but there wasn't much sense in sitting around for two years so i lived my life and dated. i always kept christian in mind though, i knew i couldn't get married to anyone else before i could see christian and know what was supposed to be with him. 
  • march 2008 rolled around and christian was coming home from his mission. i was so nervous, excited and nervous. i was contemplating serving a mission myself and thought that i had to know if i was going to go on a mission or if i wanted to marry him before he even got home... which was a terrible stress to put on myself. i had input from all of my friends and family telling me that they thought we'd be married within 3 months of him getting home. little did they know it would take us about 8x's longer than that.
  • two months after christian got home he went on a european/asian adventure for another two months. while he was in italy with his family i got a phone call from him inviting me to meet up with them in england. i talked to my parents, booked my ticket and left seven days later. that was perhaps the most expensive and spontaneous thing i have ever done. i am so glad i did it! i went to england and spain with christian and his brother, peter. 
  • we got home from europe and had an up and down summer with our relationship. both of us were uncertain of what we wanted and what we should do so we took a little break. we soon found that we only wanted to be together and didn't care to go out with anyone else so we got back together and continued to date.
  • december 2009, i was graduating from usu and had to decide what i was going to do. christian and i had been talking marriage lightly for about nine months at this point. after many prayers and lots of fasting we had the faith to move forward with the ring shopping just to see how we felt about it. as you can tell we are S.L.O.W. movers. everything felt perfect and we were happy and excited at the thought of being married. 
  • february 15th, 2010 we went on a lovely snowshoeing trip up to donut falls and christian proposed!!! it was perfect! i was so happy! that evening we arranged to have both of our families meet us at Setebello for some gelato and then we got to tell them in person (although word spread fast and most already knew why we were calling this little gathering). next to our wedding day this was the happiest day of my life. 
  • may 11th, 2010 we were sealed for time and all eternity as husband and wife in the bountiful temple! this was the happiest day of my life! i married the most amazing man and feel so blessed to have him in my life. he certainly is my better half.  we had a lovely reception with all of our friends and family at the oakridge country club. we then headed off for our honeymoon in sun valley, idaho. for those of you who haven't been there must go. it is a quaint ski town. it was perfect!
we have now been married for 9 months. it has been a great adventure and i love being married. i had a fear that i would miss the "single" life before getting married, i was so wrong! married life is so wonderful and i am so lucky to have christian.