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December 31, 2012

the end of a chapter

happy new year!!

this year was full of so much fun & many new adventures. 
here are some of my highlights from the past year.

>> graduated from BYU
>> one year anniversary with the hubby
>> having the whole family come visit us in provo
>> began my photography business
>> staycation in LA over the summer
>> got into grad school // didn't go :)
>> long weekend in sun valley, ID
>> shopping time with nani & the girls {twice!} 
>> trip to AZ for nate & mc's wedding
>> finishing our color me mine bowl, finally
>> roadtrip to visit my sister in boulder, CO
>> shane & heather's wedding
>> mark's promotion at work
>> christmas in lala land
>> got a job

December 30, 2012

a night on the town

last night mark, john, ann & i went to downtown seattle for a night out!

on the way up to the city we stopped at a delicious thai restuarant where mark & i had our fix of massaman curry. my favorite thai dish. we then rushed a bit to get downtown to make it to the ACT theathre to see a christmas carol. obviously christmas has come & gone, but i am so glad that we still attended this particular production. the theather was so unique. it held about 450 people & there honestly wasn't a bad seat in the joint. the small stage was in the middle of the room with stadium seating completely surrounding it. john & ann got GREAT seats. we sat in the second row & felt like we were a part of the play.

i love the story of a christmas carol & this play did not disappoint. there was great acting, singing & humor! i was laughing throughout the whole performance & left feeling so uplifted.

it was such a fun night & seattle really is a beautiful city.

December 29, 2012

what i'm loving lately

1.) Bare Minerals Warmth >> i have tried tons of bronzers in my day & i still always find myself going back to the bare minerals warmth bronzer. back in high school i would dust this stuff ALL over my face, but now i use it to just add some 'warmth' to certain areas on my face. it works wonderfully & doesn't clog my pores. this color also works on just about everyone's skin tone & you can use as much or as little as you want to get that perfect glow!

2.) Maybelline Pink Punch Baby Lips >> i love baby lips. i use the clear, peppermint one as a chapstick but recently bought the bright pink one to use as a light lip stick. i am so obsessed with this product because i suffer from terribly dry lips. when i use normal lipsticks i tend to get cracks or weird coverage due to dry lips, but baby lips is great because it is a chapstick with pigment! so if you need to hydrate your lips but still want some color, try pink punch!
3.) MAC Fluidline >> i am a sucker for the cat eye look. i love a nice little wing coming off of the top eye lid. i have been using MAC's fluidline gel eyeliner for a long time now & this stuff is just great. all you need is an angled or a really thin makeup brush to apply it & you can create any sort of cat eye you like! or if you aren't into the cat eye look it is great for making a nice solid line or even a mustache ;). i always get this gel liner in black, but they have brown & fun colors as well.

4.) Acqua di Gioia >> i am a perfume girl. i enjoy smelling good & getting compliments about my perfume. of course i am a fan of the ever so popular chance by chanel, but you don't want to smell like everyone else in the room, do you? i love acqua di gioia because it isn't found all over the place. i always get compliments when i am wearing it & most of all, my husband loves it. i had to stop wearing my favorite perfume a couple years ago after mark told me i smelled like a grandma :( sad day. but since then i have used multiple perfumes & have found acqua di gioia to be one of my all time favorites.

December 27, 2012

christmas cheer

is anyone else as sad as i am to see christmas go?? i am always a bit blue the day after christmas because i know i have to wait an entire year to celebrate again! although, this year on the day after christmas we went on a little girl's only shopping spree with nancy's mom, nani, which quickly helped those blues disappear temporarily. but as i sit in the airport i feel them creeping back.

our time in lala land was spent watching many movies, making tons of food, decorating cookies, shopping, making homemade tamales, decorating gingerbread houses, seeing old friends, drinking lots of tea for the sick girl {me}, chatting, laughing, enjoying the company of family & exchanging lots of gifts!

as we prepare to head out to seattle today for our next adventure, i am just thinking back on how quickly this vacation went by. it is so hard to find time to come home to LA. but when we do get the chance to come, it seems we fill our days with tons of activities, which seems to make the trip go by even faster. time flies doesn't it...i just want it to slow down sometimes!!

i am beyond grateful for my wonderful family. coming home is always so much fun. i know mark loves it too because he gets to mess around with my brothers & act 13 again for a few days. the older i get the more i appreciate each member of my family & wish i lived closer to them. one day! i had the best christmas this year & the gifts were only the cherry on top of an already fantastic vacation.

December 25, 2012

christmas 2012

wishing you & yours a very merry christmas.
the bechtholts
{& my sister and her boyfriend :) }

December 24, 2012

sibling lovin'

coming home for the holidays tend to be very busy when we are in LA with my family. my parents seem to plan out the entire vacation so we can fit as much in as possible. while i love that we are on the go & doing fun things, this often means i don't have much time to see friends when i'm back. luckily two of my best high school friends asked me to take some holiday sibling pictures a few days before christmas. i was so happy that they did because it was the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends that i rarely see for a few hours!

i think giving parents cute pictures of their kids is always an easy but thoughtful gift that they are sure to love! jordan & ariana, i hope that your parents are surprised & happy with their gifts this year!

i had so much fun chatting & snapping pictures of these two little groups of siblings. i also learned some valuable lessons about photographing friends. haha. i miss these girls a lot & am so happy that i was able to see them during this visit home!

December 21, 2012

it's been real...

...but not real fun, snow.

i am beyond excited to get out of this frigid weather we are having in utah. oh, is it not cool for some of you? well, i am chilled to the bone!

it is awfully pretty though.

who knows if LA or seattle will be much warmer, but a girl can dream, right?!

i can't believe christmas has snuck up so quickly this year! it feels like thanksgiving was last week & now mark & i are about to head home yet again! where does the time go...but i am ready for a break from our normal day2day routine. no work. no cooking/cleaning! AH!! no snow. sounds perfect to me.

i hope everyone is getting all of their last minute shopping done & heading somewhere fun to celebrate the holidays.

holiday fashions with maryclaire

still in need of some holiday fashion inspiration??? head over to my photography site {jenna bechtholt photography} & check out more of this stunning girl & her cute holiday outfits.

December 20, 2012

recipes {peppermint bark}

before christmas arrives i wanted to do one last holiday recipe. christmas is the perfect time to eat way too many sweets & feel pretty comfortable doing so. so, in honor of this wonderful season, i would like to introduce you all to a special peppermint bark.

this stuff is addicting. the crunch & saltiness of saltine crackers. a thin layer of chocolate. the slight taste of crushed peppermint candies, oh, & some butter. perfection.

i was introduced to this particular peppermint bark recipe a few years ago from a dear friend of mine, lauren. one night, when we were roommates, she whipped up this super easy but chocolatey peppermint bark. and i have been crazy about it ever since.

i really have not had too many different types of bark, but i will be making this stuff every year for the holidays. it is that good, in my opinion. thank you lauren for the great recipe & new family tradition!!

peppermint bark ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers
1 12 oz. bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
3-4 tbs crushed up candy canes or peppermint candies {you can add as much or as little peppermint to to the top}

line a cookie sheet with foil. lay crackers flat on the surface of the cookie sheet; leaving no spaces, holes & with no crackers over lapping.

melt butter & sugar together. pour evenly over the crackers. carefully spread the mixture over the entire sheet of crackers the best that you can.

preheat oven to 400 degrees. bake for 8-10 minutes. keep an eye on the crackers & remove from the oven if they appear to be getting too dark close to the end of the cooking time.

remove the cookie sheet from the oven. sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot crackers & allow to melt for 3-5 minutes. using a flat spatula spread the chocolate evenly over all the crackers.

while the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the crushed peppermints over the chocolate.

refrigerate until the chocolate is firm & chilled. then simply break into pieces. you can make the pieces as big or as little as you desire! i love to do some smaller pieces & some larger chunks.

and there you have it, the perfect christmas treat.

December 19, 2012

stay hungry, stay foolish

"Overall, just do YOU. At some point, someone will appreciate it, and that someone will turn into someones, and your following and support will go from there, further encouraging you to get better and do more of what you love."

- Chantel Marie Photography  

any creative field is a challenge. photography has been such a fun journey for me thus far & i am beyond excited to see where it will take me. but....there is also a lot of down time without clients lined up that can get me feeling a bit down on myself. am i cut out for this? do people even like my work? is anyone viewing my site? blah blah. that is why i SO loved the quote above by a wonderful photographer in the salt lake area. 

this quote just sums up completely what i am going through & how i am feeling about my current profession. i am in the beginning stages of my business & just like it says, 'at some point, someone will appreciate it...' or at least i am hoping! i know things take time & hard work is required. i just have such big dreams that sometimes i wish it was going faster...but i know things work out the way they are supposed to & never with the timing that you are hoping for or expecting. 

so, with a bit of hard work, passion, drive & some fun, i think i may just make it!
just got to keep pushing through! and being me.

recently i have done a few posts that include all of these IN-YOUR-FACE quotes, but i find them so inspiring & helpful. so i like to add them to give my readers some inspiration of their own & to help you all understand some of my thoughts that i may not necessarily share in my own words. 
i hope you enjoy them & take something of your own away from the simple phrases.

December 17, 2012

life lately {iphone edition}

we ate & made food, food & some more food, as you can see! we also hit up a christmas party, a wedding, finished our color me mine bowl after 1 year, shared some cuddles, worked hard & had some fun!!

until next time...
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