Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Names Forever Attached to Songs

The same way I can only recite the preamble to the Constitution if I'm singing it (thanks Schoolhouse Rock), there are certain names I default to singing instead of saying. These names are first and foremost associated with a particular melody in my mind--isn't it interesting how some things stick?

Jolene - Dolly Parton
Jessie (Jessie's girl) - Rick Springfield
Hey Mickey (You're so fine) - The Original Chin Chins
Diana - One Direction
Sara (Smile) - Hall & Oates
Maria - Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story

You see what I mean? Do you do this, too? I'm just grateful that my name isn't linked to one of these famous songs, because I wouldn't want people singing  in my face when they learn my name...heh heh. It's amazing what we remember. Now, if only my finance class material stuck so easily. Oh well, we can't have it all. ;) 

What song-names stick in your head?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Musical Theater YouTube Finds

Where my Broadway geeks at?! Hollaaa! I love musical theater--it is so alive, full of electric energy and takes an unbelievable amount of talent. I will never get over it. For your viewing pleasure, I've assembled this list of the performances I keep going back to of our favorite songs from the stage. Granted, most of these aren't fabulous quality, but it doesn't matter because the performances are HIGH quality! 

Okay, I watched West Side Story (1961) for the first time the other week and was blown away! I understand now why it's immortal. All the snapping, tricky melodies and greased hair is so fantastic. The classic song "Maria" from the show has been stuck in my head for weeks. It's so darling! "All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word...Maria." Hello, swoon! This performance, on the more operatic side, is powerful accompanied by a full orchestra. And, let's just say it, Julian is easy on the eyes in that old school bow tie. That last note?! Makes me hold my breath. Amazing.

This guy is a member of the Canadian Tenors, and his performance of this Les Miserables song is, hands-down, my favorite of all. His voice is silky but strong, and the emotion wraps you up in the story of a faithful father. It gives me chills, even after probably a hundred viewings. It's flawless.

I discovered Jeremy after watching The Last Five Years on Netflix earlier this year. Little did I know he's the original Jack Kelly in the Broadway production of Newsies! Dude is so talented. You can just feel his frustration when he sings "trapped where there ain't no future!" I really loved watching him get lost in this role of a New York kid who wants to get out.

If you only watch one of these, make it this one. Stephen Sondheim is a creative genius. He's famous for his complicated lyrics and unpredictable melodies, such as those found in Into the Woods. This gorgeous, captivating song was written by him and brilliantly performed by Jeremy at 54 Below. We watch as his heart is breaking and hear all the thoughts that come with it. Gah! I've watched this too many times to count. Gets me every time.

Shocker, more Jeremy! Guys, he's so versatile. This mash up of Cinderella's "Ten Minutes Ago" with "The Next Ten Minutes" from The Last Five Years is so charming (whoops, pun...I'm keeping it). It makes me grin and combines two lovely pieces. "Ella and Jaime foreva!"

Oh hey, Danny Zucco from Grease Live! Aaron Tveit is incredible at what he does, and I'm a big fan. This song is a little nostalgic for me, as I can clearly remember my choir director in high school performing it for us one day. It is hilarious and lively, then sneaks up on you in the end with all the feels. I know this song backwards and forwards, and I still tear up when he sings, "What if I start to need him...and he goes away?" My heart!

Which one is your favorite? Any suggestions of performances I've just gotta see?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Netflix Gold

Thanks to some great recommendations from like-minded friends, I have enjoyed some of the best Netflix has to offer recently, and I just have to share for your viewing pleasure.

Prison Break
I've been hearing about this show for years and finally decided to give it a go. First (and obviously most important), I gotta say that Wentworth Miller, our scheming architect-turned-prisoner is babe soda (for starters, his name is Wentworth!!). He's actually competing with JJ Redick for the spot as my number one celebrity crush. THIS IS BIG, PEOPLE. Dem blue eyes straight up distract me from the show, and I've had to rewind multiple times. Anywayyyyy...second, it's a well-written show! Not too hard to follow, definitely not predictable, and full of interesting characters. It's also a great balance between gritty and graphic. I was worried it'd be gruesome or inappropriate, but for me, it's respectfully done. I don't cringe while watching it, ya know? I'm excited to see what happens to my boy Wentworth. 

High Strung
This, this, is why we give random movies on Netflix a chance. The acting is terrible, but they're legit when it comes to their talent. He's a brooding, mysterious violin prodigy, and she's an elite ballerina. No dance doubles here. So yeah, their acting is sub-par, but I don't even care because their skills are so beautiful presented on the screen! It's a good story and entertaining AF. At the end scene, all the feelings happened. I was straight up moved by this random, unknown movie! Give it a watch, y'all. (The movie poster alone is ridiculously wonderful.)

Christian Mingle
Gretchen Weiners, I mean Gwenyth Hayden, has a materially perfect life; but, as we all do, she wants to find love! (Shocker, I know. But stay with me.) In the hopes of finding a truly decent guy, she joins online dating site Christian Mingle. Her first date with cutie Christian guy Paul goes so well that she lies to his face the whole time about her dedication to The Lord. It's cheesy and adorable and an interesting take on the typical made-for-tv romantic comedy. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Ina Garten's NYC Apartment
Oh, Ina. I love her so. She is better known as the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network and my mom and I are a liiiittle obsessed with her. Recently, she and husband Jeffrey paid a cool $4.6 Million for this Park Avenue two-bedroom and it's all sorts of dreamy (the grand piano! The built-in bookshelves!). And don't worry, they still have homes in the Hamptons and Paris. Their glamorous life is a little unsettling but mostly just swoon-worthy. Gah. (Follow the link to see what I mean!)

JCrew's Blog


It's such a unique view into the world of JCrew creativity, and it reminds me why they are such a respected, global brand. (And, honestly, it helps me understand where the higher prices come from, which I appreciate.) They do a #jcrewchallenge where a certain color or print has to be worn every day for a week, like you see in the photo. The blog often features a designer of theirs or shares different ways of styling the same item. They are an interesting organization full of diverse people and ideas, and the blog posts are charming and well-written. Let me know what you think of it!

"Chip On Your Shoulder" from Legally Blonde: The Musical
This is the ultimate pep talk in the form of a song. I truly find it so inspiring and listen to it when I need a little kick in the butt to get to work, whether at my desk or at school. (By the way, the entire musical is on YouTube. I watched and really enjoyed it!)

My Library Card
Yes, I'm being serious. A couple of weeks ago, it only took about 60 seconds to sign up for my library card downtown, which also gives me access to seven (!) other libraries in surrounding areas. I am so excited, I've been telling everyone I got a library card, haha! I mean, I can rent books (I currently have the book pictured, by the same author who wrote The Devil Wears Prada), movies, ebooks and more for free. The checkout/return process is a dang breeze with touch screen kiosks, taking less than 30 seconds, and I can return items to any of the seven branches. I highly recommend getting one! Did I mention it's free?! I really like free, so I thought you might too. ;) I never want to pay for a RedBox again!

Hamilton: An American Musical
Yeah, I know, me and the rest of the world. BUT FOR GOOD REASON! Please excuse the all caps, it's just the only way I know how to express my love for it. I have been listening to it constantly on Spotify Premium (told you it was worth it) and am endlessly impressed by it. That Lin-Manuel is brilliant, clever, and entertaining. Give it a chance if you haven't already! If you already love it, what are your favorite songs?! Let's geek out together, please!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Worth It

No, this is not a Fifth Harmony song. These are a few things I've either paid a little extra money for or tried out and ended up loving. On the off chance any of you are on the fence about products like these, I'm tellin' ya, they're worth it.

Now, I am one of those women that buys most of her makeup at the drug store and seriously thinks twice if anything is more than $7. But, this product is the exception. It is worth every pretty penny (coming in at $20), because the small tube will last a long time and it works like a charm. No more eyeshadow creases! It works all day and I love it. 

2. Spotify Premium
No. More. Ads. Need I say more?! You can listen to the Hamilton soundtrack or Frank Ocean's new album straight through without interruption. What's more, you can select any song instead of always shuffling them, and even make your playlists available offline so you can still listen without a connection. Bonus, as a student, Premium is half off! I've had it for a few months now and I'm never going back. 

3. The 7-Eleven App

Yeah, I'm being serious. They scan the free app every time you get a beverage, and the seventh one is free! I might as well be rewarded for the frequent hot chocolate and occasional Gatorade runs I make there. Also, their Big Gulp cups right now have a promo code for a free RedBox. Yes, please!

Like I said, WORTH IT!

Friday, August 19, 2016

23 To Do Before I'm 23

I want to take advantage of precious Saturday mornings instead of sleeping through them. I want to feel the best kind of tired--where I can't keep my eyes open after a day full of fun, laughter, and adventure. Sun up to sun down, I want to learn, be brave, and let go.

Well, it's time to make it happen! My goal is to accomplish this bucket list before my 23rd birthday next summer, and create a year full of sweet, new memories. Join me, won't you?  I think it helps keep those smudges off of our rose colored glasses.
  1. Ride green bikes downtown
  2. Tour the Utah Capitol building (I've never been inside!)
  3. Go to the Farmer's Market
  4. Go to the State Fair
  5. Explore a corn maze (Idaho girl, over here)
  6. See a performance by Ballet West
  7. Attend a Utah football game
  8. Volunteer twice
  9. Go horseback riding (really excited about this one)
  10. Visit the lavender fields in Mona
  11. Go snowboarding (for the first time ever!)
  12. See the Church History Museum
  13. Host and cook for a dinner guest 
  14. Go to a drive-in movie
  15. Use the free week at CorePower Yoga
  16. Get a pedicure
  17. Finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  18. Go to Jackson Hole
  19. Hike the Bonneville Shoreline trail
  20. Take a road trip
  21. Try paddle boarding
  22. Go to a concert
  23. Get a massage 
#RCG23ToDo           You comin'?

22 To Do Before I'm 22: The Results

Back in January, I posted a bucket list that used my 22nd birthday as a deadline (#RCG22todo). Many of you were there along the way as I checked things off, and we made some lovely memories! Most I achieved, some were bumped to 23 To Do Before I'm 23, and a few are in progress. Here's my check-in:
  1. Eat at Lucky 13 (because I'm 21 and they'll let me in now...)
    • They really do make a dang good burger. I want to try every single one.
  2. Take a spin class 
    • I took a few at the student life center at school and loved it!
  3. Buy some cowboy boots
    • I have a pair picked out and plan to have them by the end of the month! 
  4. Create a gallery wall in my room
    • I have a designated pile of things I want on the gallery wall, I just haven't framed and hung them all yet. I do, though, have two friends who are basically expert gallery wall creators, who are coming up to help me assemble it. I'm so excited to see it come together!
  5. Run a 5k race
    • While I have run 3.1 miles in the last seven months, I haven't paid to do so in a race setting. 
  6. Get a manicure
    • "Hmm, I wanna keep to that list...twist my arm, I'll get a manicure." ;) I got pretty white gel and it was just perfect for the wedding I attended. It felt luxurious and fancy to have nice nails.
  7. Take a road trip
    • My road trip buddy and I left at 2:30am on a Friday for the 11 hour drive to California for our friend's wedding. We explored Vegas a little, jammed to Styx and Billy Joel, and had pillow fights in the gas station parking lot. Some of my favorite summer memories.
  8. Go sledding 
    • I went with a bunch of friends around February, including a gal from Guatemala who was sledding for the first time ever! It was adorable, and she was a natural.
  9. Practice basic calligraphy
    •  I  have a friend that shares this interest, and she has graciously offered to share her cool supplies with me soon and teach me the basics. My snail mail is about to get prettier. 
  10. Meet my new niece
    • Correction: obsess over my new niece! I finally met her at 3 months old and she's perfect.
  11. Go on a hike
    • We hiked along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and it was so beautiful.
  12. Eat at a new restaurant (Lucky 13 excluded)
    • Art City Trolley in Springville. Delicious food and a cool set up. 
  13. Go camping
    • I had never been on a proper camping trip, and I thought it was about time to try. We camped for 4 days and 3 nights in West Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. I loved it so much more than I thought I would and look forward to going again. (We went canoeing, too; see photo.)
  14. Visit home 
    • I went home to Idaho to see my youngest brother graduate high school. In true big sister fashion, I squealed about 10 times over how cute and grown up he was in that cap and gown. 
  15. Read 2 books (NOT textbooks!)
    • Edenbrooke and Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, and My Story by Elizabeth Smart. 
  16. Buy the order behind me in a drive-thru 
    • I bought the Dr. Pepper for the woman behind me at McDonald's one afternoon. :)
  17. Volunteer somewhere
    • I always ended up being out of town for the events I had in mind, so I plan to make up for it in the next year. 
  18. Go stargazing 
    • A favorite summer memory contender: we gals talked late into the night around the fire at our Jenny Lake campground, slouched back in our chairs to look at the stars, and listened to R&B. We hadn't a care in the world and that was beautiful.
  19. Go to a drive-in movie
    • Well, this didn't happen, so it's bumped to the next list!
  20. Go to a ballet
    • By the time I had a free enough schedule and money to go, the Ballet West season was over. This year, though, I'll be prepared!
  21. Shadow an attorney
    • I went to court alongside the three attorneys I work for and geeked out the whole time. Very cool and informative.
  22. Go to a Jazz game
    • This was the first thing I accomplished after posting the list. We played the Lakers that night, so I saw Kobe play! 

All in all, I loved having this list as a guide. It gave me purpose and pushed me to explore the world that awaited me outside of my comfort zone (looking at you, camping). Taking the time to write down what I wanted to do and see, even simple things like getting a manicure, made them real and held me accountable. As a result, I had a really fun 7 months of new experiences, big and small, that made me feel alive. To cap it all off, I enjoyed the most wonderful backyard birthday party (gingham-themed, of course) with sweet friends who spoiled me. I felt like the coolest girl in the world and was so so happy. Thanks for following along. Now let's go crush the next list together!

Here's to being 22!