Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Olive Us Giveaway

I've mentioned my love of Design Mom's blog before, but I haven't introduced you to the charming little videos they produce on Olive Us.

Each of these videos is roughly three to five minutes and gives a snapshot into a moment in time--whether it's How to Be 2, How to Buy Eggs from a French Farmer (my personal favorite), or making Shadow Puppets--while teaching a lesson or value. All I can say is that these videos make you want to carry your camera everywhere and capture everything!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Celebrating with Tea

I know some of you will find this hard to believe, but I've never had afternoon tea (feel free to insert gasps). I've had tea and scones in some charming little shops in England, and one day plan on having high tea at the Ritz or the Savoy but that's the closets I've gotten.

But after afternoon tea at the Grand America I realize how right Henry James is. Very few things are more lovely than afternoon tea with friends--especially ones that will allow you to attach ridiculous fascinators to their heads.


These lovely ladies are some of the dearest friends a girl could wish for. Not long after I moved to Salt Lake,  I joined a dinner group and what a dinner group it was. These ladies not only provided some yummy food, but filled a gap in friendship I needed after leaving Provo.

Plus, we're kind of ridiculous. When we got into the elevator we all checked our hats out in the mirror.  Of course which meant that we needed to document it and had to ride it for a few times as we tried to get a good shot (harder to do in a moving elevator than you may imagine).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adventures in March, April, May

Yes, I understand that June ends in exactly 5 days and that maybe I should wait until then to post an update that includes June. As I've been so good about updating, I know that if I wait a whole five days it'll be August before it gets up and suddenly you're inundated with a four month wrap up that's too long for its own good.

Sister Orton is going to be AMAZING and the people of Ecquador are so lucky (even if she didn't want to go somewhere hot, with bugs, and third world conditions)!

Here's looking at the future Dr. Orton!

There's very little I enjoy more than seeing a good play/movie/TV with family and friends. New love--Duck Dynasty (don't judge until you've watched).

If you didn't get to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang you missed out. One of my favorite all time productions. 

First time at the colors festival and it was crazy!

Isn't a sunburn in equal proportion to the amount of fun had?


Due to a recent surgery (I'm looking at you Lousia) we were not able to make a last minute trip to Disneyland before Laura returned to Germany. We tried to lessen the blow with the following Disney Activities--Disney on Ice and a Disney Themed Party.

Chocolate dipped sugar cookies, Monte Cristcos, Pinneaple Whips, and our Disney craft
Mom was lucky enough to be asked to speak at BYU Women's Conference and gave an inspired talk on the family and it's purpose in the church. And it wouldn't be a function without some last minute dress drama. Added bonus: two days with one of my most favorite people and bestest friend, Melanie.

All the incredible family who came to support.  Best friends. Sisters!
It was great to have Laura for six extra months (even if she did miss her husband) and before she left we had to celebrate with some Orton traditions--food, games, and ice cream!

Bocce. Can I just say how much I love my family and we really are related. Just look at the matching faces we pull!

When you only get to see the niece and nephew every couple of months and they're only four hours away instead of a much great distance? What do you you? You make a day trip to St. George. They were worth the drive because who doesn't want to have more of these two in their life?

The sweetest, most content, most beautiful Clairebear

And this guy just had my heart! 

There is the most amazing bond between Drew and Bryce. It's never I want to see Grandpa, Grandma or the rest of us. No, it's always I want to go to Bryce's house and where's Bryce.

Hiking over the Lava Fields in Snow Canyon State Park.

No we did not plan the whole strip business. #sisters #wedressalike #notonpurpose

And a trip to St. George wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Mountain Meadows Massacre Memorial Site as it's kind of taken over dad's life for way too many years.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


This weekend had some good funnies.

First, this cartoon.

Second, seeing Jurassic Park and having an older man snore through the whole entire thing. And this wasn't some quiet reverberation, nope, this was he's-snoring-louder-than-the-movie-and-everybody can hear him type.

Third, Bryce in asking why we have ward conference said "Isn't it just a fancy name for an ordinary meeting?" Almost, buddy. Almost.

Fourth, listening to Bryce quote "Lobster Bisque" from Studio C over and over again.

Fifth,  on my normally quiet ride home Sunday night it was a guy with a cast resting his leg on the side mirror. A car completely covered in newspaper instead of paint. And a car painted in cameo,  DIY style, complete with camouflage netting and other survivalist gear.  I don't even want to know why he thinks that it's all vital.

Sixth, speaking of cars. I stopped following It Just Gets Stranger last fall and missed this doozy of a car story.  It's one of those stories that needs to be incorporated into a movie because it just seems too good to be real.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One year wiser

If you can't tell by the glow coming from the cake, I celebrated another birthday. Downside to adding another year--more candles. Getting them all on the first go so I'm not adding 7-years-of-bad-luck is now more of a challenge-but thankfully I got them all. :)

In the middle of all the birthday celebrations, I kept being asked what the highlight from the last year was. Each time I had to think about it. It wasn't that their weren't great moments, rather it was a super hard year and those moments kind of overshadowed all that was good in the year.

While I'm hoping that this year will be less terrible, even if it isn't, I don't want to reach another birthday and feel the way I did this year. I want to be happy with--and celebrate--all that is good in my life. Because, I truly have so much to celebrate.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Kind of want

Thinking this maybe should be my birthday present to myself. It's kind of awesome!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


What did I learn this week? The phrase being hit by a semi is a very apt description. Who knew you could ache in your fingers and toes?  Car wrecks make you a little gun-shy when it you finally start driving again. Having multiple episodes of Duck Dynasty recorded is they only plus to hours on a couch. Messing up your inner ear means you're dizzy and nauseated for a week and a half straight. That it should have been a lot worse but it wasn't because you were somehow protected. Yeah, feeling blessed. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I'm the queen of half-written, almost done blog posts. I've got more than I care to admit--cough, cough, 65--drafts just waiting for the world to read them. And they should be read because most of them are good. Really good actually.

I didn't used to be like this. Leaving things half finished. . . . well, at least not to this extent. But as I've become an adult and more and more things have required my time,  I've found myself saying "I'll get around to that later." But life happens and later become six months or six years and I'm nowhere closer to starting or finishing those things I wanted to do. This feeling that things that I have to do in life--clean the car, pay bills, grocery shopping, dating--are getting in the way of things I want in life--making memories, more time with friends and family, and becoming a better person--are some of the reasons why I decided this year to "go on an adventure."

As of today, I'm a third of the way through this year's adventure. What?!! Really?!! The calendar is lying, right?!! I don't want to be a third of the way through this adventure. There is still so much I want to do and I'm not sure if I'll ever have another opportunity for such intense focus. It's been made very apparent that the life I want requires me to jump at opportunities. To do that something right away instead of wishing and worrying, and regretting. To be bold. To have courage. To be willing to be strong--and to be vunerable. Some are coming along better than others.

This type of life also means that I to have to let go.  As some of the most important things I want in my life are not within my grasp, I've held tighter to the ones that are.  To realize that I'll never get around to tailoring that bag of clothes sitting on my closet floor and that's ok. That not doing a project that's staring me in the face doesn't make me a bad person. To let go of the guilt I feel when I choose to catch up with a friend instead of attending another fireside. Or, heaven forbid skipping FHE to do laundry so that I can attend a ward temple night. Learning to let go is a lot harder than I thought it would be--but it's been liberating. You all should try it.

Gandhi's Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World are just as applicable to changing oneself--and I love them. It perfectly sums up what I'm not only wanting to do with my corner of the world, but even more important what I want to do with myself. To take control, to live for the moment, to let insensitive comment roll off my back, and to try to remember that we're all evolving and growing and as such we aren't going to be perfect.

Being unfinished is exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. It's doing what we can to change, but more importantly it's allowing Him to help us to grow and to become our true self. One that's free from doubt and fear and longing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oh, to wander

Who else has a secret desire to be on the Amazing Race? I've decided that in my "auditioning" for a husband, I need to make it a requirement. :)

The downside to Amazing Race  is that it makes me want to travel. Like A. Lot. More. So creative measures have been undertaken to fulfill my travel bug.

Here is the best things I've come across recently.

Surprise, surprise. I follow A LOT of British sites on Twitter and love the little glimpses of home I get on a daily basis. So you can see why I feel in love with this London vs NYC infographic from expedia.co.uk.

As I'm a read-everything-I-can-about-a-place-before-I-go type of girl, having someone else decides where I'm going would be such an adventure! GetGoing narrows down two choices based on price, dates, and what you like and then books for you! You don't know where you're going until AFTER the non-refundable trip is booked. Do you know how much I want to do this?

But the best thing I've come across recently was Virtual Photo Walks. This project restores your faith in humanity. It was started to allow those who can't travel due to age or health issues to be able to experience the world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tell It To Me Tuesday

There is still so much good in the world--even if yesterday's events in Boston would have us think otherwise.  How do I know? Because I saw much yesterday that reminded me of the goodness of human nature. Those small moments reminded me that no matter how dark it is, the bright stars of human kindness and compassion are going to continue to shine. Heros who rushed to aid. The #prayforboston hashtag on twitter. Those Bostonian who opened their homes to complete strangers. The reference to light, goodness, and God. And all of us who got out of bed this morning determined not to let the horror of these events rob us of the life we know.

Image from Nicole's Classes. And you can download it free from http://nicolesclasses.com/stars-shine-brightest-free-download/

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Tell It To Me Tuesday

image via http://gemgoode.deviantart.com/
Gemgoode has the most beautiful illustrated quotes and posts a new one every day!

After a beautiful Easter weekend, this quote seemed more than appropriate. Despite my trials and weaknesses, I still have hope and some days that is enough. Hope brought through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Love Affairs

 No torrid details here, just a declaration of my love affair with white pants. I dream of spending an entire summer on Martha's Vineyard  regaled in white pants--skinny, cropped, wide-legged, shorts, and skirts--ala Jackie O.

We've been on a little separation due to the whole not being compatible with bucketload of snow, but that ended this morning. Hallelujah!! 
Don't you want to know some of the other things I have a "love affair" with?

Cadbury Mini Eggs. 
Thank you world for this guilty pleasure. Which I seem to have no will power against. 

Especially when paired with chocolate. 

The smell. The taste. The color. Happiness.

The awesomeness of yellow and pink paired together.

Beautiful typography.
image via ohsobeautifulpaper.com

Men in bowties. They kind of make me want to swoon. As will any well dressed man.
Photo via Jameypricephoto.com

Letterpress.  Thick paper, beautiful indentations, and the smell of ink. Heaven.
Image via BeastPieces.com

Emeralds. A girl can dream of "one day."

Toes in the sand. Why, oh, why, don't I live near the beach?