First Goal: 21-day Yoga Challenge

Interesting how you make a conscious decision to focus your life and things just fall into your lap! Thank you Twitter, and Yoga Journal, for bringing this to my attention: 21-Day Yoga Challenge!

Starting January 9th, 2012, I will receive daily newsletters describing that day's practice. I'm told it will include a video link, practice tips and information about the week's direction.
There are three parts to the challenge:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Nutrition
The challenge will guide me through different mediations, new forms of yoga and once a week I will eat a vegetarian diet. 

I'm really excited! I already believe in the importance of yoga and mediation and I've been toying with the idea of eating raw for a month, so this will be a great way to start the new year.

Who is interested in doing the challenge with me?! This is a social thing!


Strong Women Career Advice

These are passionate people who lead the dramatic changes going on in our industry and are taking new approaches and using new tools and channels.
-Melissa Waggener Zorkin, SEO, President and Founder of Waggener Edstrom

One of the ways I will grow and develop during the deployment is to focus on public relations. I was astounded at how perfectly my personality fits the public relations mindset. I wrote some thoughts about advice from successful women in public relations on my other blog, here. Check it out, and let me know your thoughts about balancing life, love and career.


New Goals: A Military Wife

I have purposefully waited to write this post because I wanted things to be finalized before I made anything "blog official." Taylor will be deploying with his Utah Army National Guard unit to Afghanistan on January 15, 2012. Yup, less than a month after we get married.

Needless to say, things are crazy right now. I'm in the final count-down for the wedding with last minute to-do lists and coordinations and I'm mentally preparing myself with long term goals and short term goals for his departure. Weird that I'm going to be a military wife. The military spouse transformation will be complete with military ID, power of attorney and military spouse benefits.

The thing that keeps me going is knowing that things are going to be okay. We'll be married, we have been separated before and we love each other. Plus, the overriding feeling (even at times stronger than the pain of him leaving which I already feel) is that he is suppose to go. I can't fight it, and it makes his national guard duties easier to accept and support.

Next week I should have some down time because he starts training so I am going to do a "strong women" list of my goals or ideas of how to be successful for the next year of full-time army. If you are, were or know any military spouses, feel free to connect us. If there's anything I've realized in the past month it's that support networks are the only way to stay strong during a spousal separation.

Lots of love,




I came across this poster when I was doing some research about former Bogota politician, Antanas Mockus.

All politics aside, I think this is intriguing. I believe in evolution (a silly thing to say unless you remember that the stereotype of religious people is they believe the modern theory of evolution is inherently exclusive from the creation story and that I am a religious-type person) and I am engaged to a military man and I identify with the girl on the bike.

The future of our world must be the little girl on the bike. Things have to change, either by our decision or by circumstances.

I'll get off my soap box. I just felt like sharing.


Electronic Validation

Last week, the Huffington Post College section posted a tweet asking if anyone would be interested in writing a post about the Occupy Wall Street Movement. I answered and put together a 500 word op-ed. I don't do well at writing my opinion about a popular and complicated situation because I don't feel I'm qualified to make judgments. A very Socratic mindset of the more I learn, the more I realize I have no idea. But I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity; if a college educated woman who seeks out education and understanding is afraid to say something, who is educated enough? I know I'm not the most educated and I'm definitely not an expert but I am smart enough.

So here it is: I was published on the Huffington Post. I am more proud of this than I seem to be.



A Vintage Winter

I love autumn outfits and I love vintage pictures so obviously this picture is perfect and I want everything about it. Brought to you by my late-night thoughts. You're welcome.


Welcome, Fall

I have not been ready for Fall. The biggest problem is we had a 30˙ drop this last week so mentally I was still clinging to Summer and then I was tossed into Winter: cruel joke. Well the other night after work I had to head north to get measured for my dress so Taylor and I missed having dinner together. When I got home we went to Slab Pizza so I could eat a ginormous piece of Hawaiian pizza. It was dark and rainy as we left the partially sub-level restaurant and my mouth wasn't satisfied so we headed towards our favorite frozen yogurt place. When we got to the parking lot of Yogurtland it didn't seem right. I knew it would be delicious but I wasn't sold and I knew Taylor wasn't in the mood. As I sat in the car debating dessert I saw Starbucks across the street and I decided I wanted a Holiday themed drink.

The entire Starbucks experience that night hit both Taylor and me. We walked into the small shop, Taylor wearing his hooded jacket (something deeply sentimental for me for lots of reasons I won't discuss) and me in a jacket and scarf. The shop had enough people filling the chairs it felt welcoming but not enough to have a line or destroy the home-y feeling. We got our drinks from a hipster guy and a magenta-haired girl and we walked out into the cool mist of Fall. I slipped into the high that comes with a cozy feeling in the middle of California-winter weather and Taylor imagined the variety of similar places we could discover if we lived somewhere like Chicago or New York.

We were not meant for Provo. Today, Taylor came and took me to lunch (I work in American Fork). There's not that much distance between the two places but there is so much freedom the closer you are to Salt Lake City. It will be a temporary fix in December when we're married and leave Provo, making things better until we can leave Utah for good. Until then, we are both now fully enjoying the cooler weather and all it offers.


Winter Shoes

Yesterday Taylor and I went to TJMaxx in search of some knock-off Uggs for me. I figured out few winters ago it's best to get $30 Fuggs because I'm so tough on boots it doesn't make sense to (as much as I'd love to) buy the name brand ones when they're going to be shot in six months.

As we walked through the shoe racks he pulled out every pair of not-Ugg boot. Apparently he thinks Uggs are awful, but every boot he pulled out I would never be able to get myself to wear, cold feet or no. At one point I found a cool pair of Ralph Lauren shoes that looked a lot like the traditional Puma style.

Me: "These are cool."
Taylor: "Yeah. They're summer shoes though."


Summer shoes? Oh yeah. This is my fifth winter in Utah and I still see any pair of close-toed shoe as a "winter" shoe.

This is why: Rainbows.

As a California kid, I wore these pretty much year-round. That picture is of me, my brother, Philip, and my sister, McKenzie, during our family portrait session last summer. Unplanned, and yet to no surprise, we all wore Rainbows. (What you don't see in this is that my sister-in-law, Elizabeth, and brother-in-law, Austin, were also wearing Rainbows.)

That's why it's so hard for me to buy "winter shoes". I always want to wear flip flops and cold weather means I need to wear any type of shoe, so my feet are always cold.

These are what I did buy, though:

They're perfect: a little weird, waterproof, fully lined and warm and I want to wear them.



the creative yogi

Last summer my brother, Philip, and I took a ceramics class together. He (which then passed on to me) fell in love with ceramics in high school and it's something he and I continue to bond over. I won't get into the unexpectedly raw freedom that comes with a wheel of porcelain, but I will talk about a thought that class created. One of our assignments was to read "The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp. (Get a hold of it and read it. Especially if you are creatively (or have aspirations to be) driven.

In the essay she discusses the power of habit. In creating and maintaining a habit to begin anything from the day to a practice session to a moment of creativity, we allow ourselves to progress more quickly and efficiently. Basically, the power of routine.

As I mentioned it in my other blog, but I am now a working not-so-stiff. It feels really good and freeing to be in a routine that I like and isn't school. I love school, and I plan on going back someday, but I was really ready for something different.

I'm not great at routines, because I see them as constricting if I don't have flexibility. But I've always wanted one I like. So, with this job, I have created a simple morning routine: I do yoga.

I was converted to Yoga when I lived in Virginia and did Bikram Yoga. Sadly, there isn't a Bikram studio close by, so I have been doing small half-hour sessions via the Yogamazing podcast. It felt good, but I didn't think much about it until I skipped my routine last Friday. It was really ridiculous how useless I was. I couldn't focus and my day was way less productive than the rest of the week.

Lesson learned: Whether routine, yoga or both, I'm sold on my morning ritual.



Last week I was blog stalking an ex-roommate (with whom I have no real relationship but know a little about her) and everything about her blog seemed fake. It felt like a prepackaged happy-blogger about life, love and food. The entire thing seemed like a facade to appear like her life is perfect so she can get followers. It weirded me out so badly it left me feeling bummed all day, so much so that I have to change the way I approach my blog.

This has to be real or else I'll hate my blog (and probably myself for writing such a cliché blog) in three months, so:
  • No more nicknames. Lover's name is Taylor.
  • I'm going to be raw at times about life.
  • For the record: I really don't care if anyone follows me or not.
That's about all, I guess. Except that Taylor and I made sunflower seeds from the sunflowers in our garden. They're so delicious! They're super salty and they have a really good pop when you bite them and they almost taste like popcorn, which is weird but awesome.


Why I love my weird rabbit and boots

About two months ago my rabbit, Jovi, died. It was surprisingly difficult on me so a few weeks later Lover convinced me to buy the little Netherland Dwarf mix from the local pet store. When we first saw him he was in a cage with the guinea pigs. He would running from one end to the other spazzing out but as soon as you picked him up he would sit quietly in your hand. He was tiny! And he had short ears and a round face so he was unfairly adorable. We named him Rocofella. 
Roco has grown to look more like a rabbit (instead of a bunny) with everything elongating, and his personality is stellar. I think he has some species confusion because he climbs like a cat, sniffs around like a dog and hops like a deer.


I also bought myself a pair of combat boots. I get stared at because of them all the time, but I really couldn't care less. I feel BA when I wear them.

That is all I have to say right now about my wonderfully silly life.


Labor Day of Love

This weekend I drove out to California for my aunt's* wedding with my uncle/aunt and their four kids aged 12, 9, 7 and 3. It was an adventure, especially once the seven-year old started throwing up. They're good kids and they like me so it was a good drive even though it was long.

We spent the night in Reno at Circus Circus (where I almost gambled the $5 voucher my 18 year-old cousin picked up but we didn't have time) and a couple of hours in Tahoe catching crawdads (or crayfish for you southerners) and swimming. I love Tahoe. My dad's parents owned a cabin just outside there in Truckee so the Sierra Nevadas definitely say "home" to me. Plus the warm weather, chilly water and the adventure of catching crawdads brings back really good memories. I almost stayed in Tahoe, but I wanted to see my parents and sister/brother-in-law so I didn't.

The wedding was fantastic! My aunt is beautiful. I know everyone says that about the bride, but Ashley is exceptionally gorgeous. See for yourself:

 I love my family. All the time I spent chasing the little cousins (on my mom's side we have cousins almost consistently from age 26 to 1) and talking with my grandparents is special to me. Especially as I watch my grandparents get older I take time to appreciate them more.
This is my mom's dad with my youngest cousin:

Some fun highlights from the trip:

  • Ate peach cobbler for breakfast with the Hursts.
  • Enjoyed the wedding ceremony because it was personal, tender and appropriate.
  • Watched personalities clash in ways I never recognized before.
  • Found out Grandma Hurst still has her wedding dress. It's beautiful.
  • Received one of Grandma Hurst's turquoise necklaces. It's a newer one Grandad bought her two years ago and she asked me if I would enjoy it. Ummm...duh.
  • Realized my three-year old cousin (whose birthday was on Sunday) was almost a carbon-copy of me on my third birthday.
    • This is us:

There's really no way to explain my family except that they kick ass. No, really.

*She's technically my aunt but she's 21 years younger than my mom, her sister, and she's only six years older than I am so our relationship has definitely not been the typical aunt/niece one.


4mm white gold size 6.5

Titles are an interesting thing. I once had to explain to a roommate that if she spent everyday with a guy, spent his money, fell asleep at his house and kissed him that he was her boyfriend even she said they were "just friends."

For a year and a half Lover has been asking me to marry him, and every time I would answer, "I want to." I did. I wanted to marry him so badly but I had a variety of issues to figure out before I could marry him. It was a long, tearful, painful and irreplaceable time but I did figure Hilary out.
Then last year, right before Christmas vacation, we had finished a rawly honest conversation and we were cuddling on his bed when he asked me again;
"Marry me, Hilary."

He pulled away and looked me in the eyes.
"Yes. I will marry you."

And so now, nine months later, I'm "officially" engaged. I have my ring and I changed my status on Facebook and we are planning a wedding.And to be honest, making it Facebook official really does make me feel more official.

A lot of people will wonder about the gaps, the time lines and the roller coaster of our relationship, but there's nothing really to say other than we're official and we will continue to be official from now to forever.

Weird. And so wonderful.


End of Summer

I can't believe summer is over. School started on Monday and this is the first fall since I was five that I haven't had to think about something school related. Amazing. It's weird, but I like it. I continue the job search. I've had some awesome leads, and I hope they continue. One thing I love about the end of summer is peach season. Peaches are my absolute favorite fruit! I need to go to the farmers market this week and buy a bunch of them. They're perfect for about two or three weeks in the year and if I forget I'll miss it. I have this memory of buying peaches with Grandad Hurst from the University of Chico's agricultural fields. We were eating peaches off the tree and they were so juicy I had to lift both elbows into the air so the juice would drip to the ground and not all the way down my arms. I'm so lucky to have those kinds of memories with family. And to have such good peaches!


Pure American Greasiness

In honor of the new school year the local McDonalds offered a deal where if you bought one BigMac you could get a second for 1¢. Before I can say, "Needless to say…" let me explain my relationship with the big McDaddy.

I grew up anti-McDonalds. My family wasn't fast food oriented and my parents inadvertently passed on an ewww-McDonalds attitude. I slowly changed my opinion when my siblings and I started making the Dollar Menu cheeseburgers our pre-concert ritual. I came to have a fond relationship with McDonalds when Lover and I started eating Hot 'n Spicy McChicken sandwiches on a regular basis; a part of our relationship's foundation.

So, needless to say I took advantage of the pre-school year deal. Lover was still doing Army training so I went with my roommate, Michelle. As we sat down with our boxes of food she confessed that this was her first BigMac ever. (Come to find out another friend of ours still has never had a BigMac. Waaaaahhhhhttt?! How can we be stereotypical greasy Americans and never consume the mother of all American hamburgers?)

This is the documentation of the event:

She may look apprehensive, but she enjoyed it. Seriously.


SPC Lover

The reason I refer to my fiancé as "Lover" and haven't really posted any pictures of him is he prefers his anonymity in pretty much every regard (he doesn't have a Facebook, for example) so I try to respect that. Today, I am going to break that a little bit.

Lover's in the Utah National Guard and his unit has been preparing this last year for their deployment to Iraq starting the end of this year. During his training last week, he called to tell me that their deployment has been delayed until October 2012 (there's a real likelihood it's been canceled). Needless to say, I'm happy! We are hoping our plans will be such next year that he won't have to go at all and we can have more of working/studying like this:

Nothing is ever certain in the military, but it made me want to talk about him a little more.

The military is awesome in a very frustrating way. Lover and I have no interest in making the army a part of our lives, but I would not change anything the time we've had in the military has done to our relationship. I have a ton of respect for our soldiers and I love all of them a little because I see Lover whenever I see someone in ACUs.

(A picture he texted me while he was at training. He knew I missed his face. :) )


New Blog

I forgot to post the link to my new sister blog. Here it is:

Lots of love.



I keep having all these great ideas of what I want to write about, and sometimes I'll jot them down, but mostly I forget. I need to start carrying around a notebook. It was easy when I was a full-time student because I always had some sort of bag with me, but now I'm out of the habit.

Goal of the week: Notebook.

I went to get my haircut last week from my main man, Twix (HIGHLY recommend him), and there was a kid there getting his back-to-school haircut and I started thinking about my first days of junior/high school. I kind of miss that feeling. Getting up early on a late-summer morning, catching up with old friends, feeling older and more important, doing nothing but getting syllabi and promising yourself you're going to nail this year.


I officially started a new blog. It's with my sister, McKenzie, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth.


Still in the starting stages, but I'm excited because we're all so spread out and now we can be bloggers. Say it with me, "NERD!" Yeah.

Also, I made this piñata with my roommate for Cinco de Mayo this year.

That is all.


Lover and I unexpectedly fell asleep on my bed last night. I'm talking: he slept all night wearing his belt and I didn't take my makeup off until this morning. (Not to mention my breath could have killed a komodo dragon.)

It was glorious; I woke up as the big spoon and couldn't have been happier.

I love him.


a Hobbit of sorts

Guess what this is!

It's totally my foot: I made a pair of faux-fur lined leather slippers. They are pretty much the most comfortable thing because they're fuzzy and they're exactly my size.

I stole them from this tutorial: here
I went to the thrift store and got an old, full-length leather jacket for $15 and I made these with about one-tenth of the jacket. I think I'm going to make a pair of boots next. I'll keep you posted.

Aren't they awesome?!! I was skeptical about how they were going to turn out while I was making them, but as soon as I finished (and loved) the first one I busted the second one out in 15 minutes. Solid.


An Occasion to Remember

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend Lover's sister's wedding. Janel and her husband, Jacques, decided they were going to elope, and I was flattered that they wanted me to be there as a part of the event. "Elope" isn't the right word. Everyone knew they were getting married, but the families couldn't make it and the two J's wanted a small event so it ended up just being the four of us. In fact, Lover and I were the ones to witness the ceremony so our signatures are forever on the wedding certificate. Way awesome.

 The ceremony was perfect. J+J got married in a small town so the mayor was able to spend some time beforehand getting to know us and giving some very poignant advice. He spoke from the heart in counseling them to cherish the difficult times as much as the good times because those times allow a couple to bond in ways no other can.

After they got married and we spent some time taking pictures and talking we put all their stuff in our three little cars (a miracle, really, that we got it all in one trip) and moved them into their new apartment. We then had celebratory dinner at Texas Roadhouse where we could all get to know each other.

It was a totally a-typical wedding but it was a perfect marriage. It's comforting to watch two people who are not only completely in love, but are a perfect match for each other.


Requiem for a Rabbit

This week has been unbelievably exhausting. I won't get into the deeper issues right now, but I do want to get some of these feelings out, so I'll tell you about what just happened. Today, my rabbit died. Lover and I pet him as he died, trying to make him comfortable as faded away. 
His name was Jovi. Last year Lover and I broke up for lots of different reasons so I bought a bunny. We were a rabbit family growing up, so it felt right to get a furry little one to love on and play with. He was awesome. He was beautiful, a shiny brown coat with black tipped ears and a patch of red on the back of his neck. He never bit. When I fed him I would stand at his open cage watching him hop around checking everything out. Unless you've had a rabbit it's hard to understand how fun they are to watch, and Jovi had a huge personality. He became our little-one in a lot of ways when Lover built him a hutch this winter.

Jov, I'm sorry I wasn't better. I love you.

First picture when I picked him up.

Introducing him to my family. He fit in my sweatshirt pocket.

Mom and Dad bought him a leash.

Taking him for a walk in the snow.

Just chilling in my room.

Enjoying the summer grass.


something blue

This is a picture I took. It sums up my feelings right now. A little weird, really exciting and just plain awesome.

In other news: I'm in love.


Focusing on Finishing

I've been thinking a lot lately about being a finisher. I am a really driven person, but I want to be a better finisher. Someone who is as excited at the end of the project as at the beginning. I am that person when I am involved with a lot of things so I am constantly staying busy, but I want to be that way no matter what. I'm using my job application process to begin that change. It's feeling really good.

Speaking of job applications: I am so excited for the next step! My interview last week went pretty well. I don't have all my eggs in one basket though, so I am constantly on the look out for anything exciting!

My parents came out this weekend. Two of my cousins are moving away so we had a family get-together. It was so much fun to be with everyone! Except, (warning: mean cousin ahead) I made my cousin cry. He's three and he was really tired and he lives in San Diego so he doesn't remember me well. Anyway, I grabbed him and tickled him and he started to cry! That was a first for me. It made me feel bad. Thankfully his mom just told him to stop being a baby. This was after she grabbed my butt as a hello, so you get the idea of what my family's like. (Awesome, is the correct answer.)

Yesterday, lover made pizza.

Traditional, margarita pizza. We were at the store and we found this mozzarella cheese that is made in a sheet then rolled like a cinnamon bun. So, I unrolled it, put the tomatoes and basil in the cheese, rolled it up, cut it into wrap-like rolls and put them on the pizza. Sadly, you can't see it in the finished product, but it made me feel sophisticated. 

Put some oil and salt (see below) in a bowl then dip your pizza as you go along, you will change your perspective on traditional Italian cooking.

Today we went American. We are trying to get rid of food we have stored in the house, so we used our cornmeal to make baked corn dogs. Obviously it doesn't look the same, but they were delicious none-the-less.

(hahaha. Every time I look at this picture I laugh.)

Life is great! For reals.


for the bibliophile's entertainment

Basorexia - an overwhelming desire to neck or kiss
Lygerastia - the condition of one who is only amorous when the lights are out
Brontide - the low rumbling of distant thunder
Dactylion - the tip of a middle finger
Nudiustertian - pertaining to the day before yesterday
Gargalesthesia - the sensation caused by tickling
Petrichor - the smell of rain on dry ground
- worship of trees
Lethologica - the inability to recall a precise word for something
Psithurism - a whispering sound, i.e: the sound of wind in trees, or rustling leaves
Witzelsucht - a feeble attempt at humour
Epeolatry - worship of words
Woundy - excessively; extremely
Tacenda - things not to be mentioned
Naupathia - sea sickness
Baisemain - a kiss on the hand
Acosmist - one who believes that nothing exists
Paralian - a person who lives near the sea
Aureate - pertaining to the fancy or flowery words used by poets 
Dwale - to wander about deliriously
Sabaism - the worship of stars
Dysphoria - an unwell feeling
Aubade - a love song which is sung at dawn


Better late than never. . . right?

For all nine of my followers, who may or may not even read this blog, I apologize for gap. I had a family vacation in the Yucatan, Mexico and I've been tying loose ends together for graduation. Hallelujah.

Anyway, here are some pictures from my trip.

I'm home and I'll inundate your computers with more life musings later.

p.s. I have a phone interview for a job I'm stoked about. Can't even say.

I am the fishing master. I taught the boys a thing or two.

Baby crocodile I held. Amazing how much power is in a two-foot animal.

Mayan Ruins of Chichén Itzá. 
(or as my sister thought someone said, "Chicken pizza".)

Brother-in-law and brother behind our house.

The siblings.


Apple Bread

I have a passion for creating. One of the ways that comes to life is with food. Why not? You get to create, then eat. A solid combination.
Side note: My roommate and I had a discussion about the difference between artistic and crafty. I am the latter, with strong appreciation for the former. I come from a family of artists of media, fashion, music, you name it. Example: Hannah at Hannah Explains it All. And back in.

My newest creation was inspired by this from Eat, Live, Run via Pinterest.
I made my bread from my favorite Challah recipe, and though it was a little undercooked I was proud of the monstrosity I created.
If you're interested in a fun, and impressive recipe, give it a shot. It was actually really easy.

Happy creating (baking)!