2013: A Year in Review

I know everyone is posting these, but there's something nice about completing your year by looking back on everything that happened. 2013 was probably one of my craziest years yet, so for your and mostly my enjoyment, here are my top ten moments from 2013:

10. Became obsessed with making movies and made movies for weddings, trips, and other fun stuff.

9. Went to the Taylor Swift concert, met Taylor's mom, and went from nosebleed seats to the pit.

8. Planned and went to bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings in May for Kelsey and Talya, two of my best friends and roommates.

7. Took a road trip to California with my roommates Katie, Heidi, and Meghan and a trip to Moab with my family at the beginning of July (still haven't blogged about that)

6. Took a trip to Boston and New York at the beginning of December (yet to be blogged about)

5. Lost the best roommates I ever had (because they graduated, moved away, or got married), but got some new great ones.

4. Got my current job at the daycare, which I love.

3. Shared my eating disorder story on my blog, which was one of the scariest, yet most fulfilling things I have ever done. I still can't believe I did that. :)

2. Took a break from school, which caused a crazy and intense year for me filled with a lot of changes. But I found out that not being in school was exactly was I needed, and I also realized that it's okay to follow my own time table and not everyone else's.

1. Designed my first collection and did my first fashion show at BYU in February. Best, happiest, and funnest day of my life thus far!

Yep. Crazy year. And definitely one of the best! I learned that you really can never know what life will throw at you. You can plan as much as you want, but sometimes plans just don't go quite how we want them too. And I also learned that that's totally okay. Because God often has better plans in store for us. :)

Happy new year! I can't wait to see what 2014 brings for us all.


Merry Christmas!

I hope your holiday was filled with presents, good food, snow, picture-taking, filled stockings, love with whoever you spent it with, and thoughts of what it's all really about. I just wanted to say merry Christmas from me to you, and also to say that I am already making a goal for the new year to keep up this blog!
Jonas Manuel Photography

Merry Christmas, and happy new year!


The Horizons of Autumn

Utah is in its' golden time of year right now...literally. The orange and yellow leaves litter the ground and the sky, while the sun gives everything a perfect fall glow. The weather is chilled enough that you can wear a sweater and boots and not sweat, but still warm enough to not have to wear a coat and cover it all up. It really is a nice time, and the good thing is that when it all goes away, none of us are too sad because it means Christmas is around the corner.

I haven't done an outfit post in a while, but I was looking at old pictures the other day and thought "hey, that was fun, I should do that again." So I did, and it was fun. Sometimes it's nice to just capture days and their moments....what you were wearing, how you were feeling, what the weather was like that day. I took these pictures right before the sun set just at a fence that surrounded a field of grazing cows (and I was thinking...what exactly does grazing mean? Is it just a beautiful word for eating grass?) near the daycare I work at. I think the one thing that could have completed this outfit would have been a slouchy beanie, and I almost went to go find and buy one before I took these pictures, but then I decided that was cheating and didn't.

You know, there is something really positive and wonderful in capturing beauty. Beauty in nature, people, smiles, emotions, the things we can create and build, our capacity to do incredible things...it's all beautiful. And when we catch a glimpse of it, we have to stop and contemplate, because beauty is something that just can't be ignored.


RAW Artists Fashion Show--June 20, 2013

In June, I got the awesome opportunity to participate in a RAW artists show and showcase my spring 2013 collection (the same collection I showed at the BYU show in February) again. It was held at the Complex in SLC and was super fun! RAW is a nationwide organization that lets artists get their work out there, meet other artists, and show their work in a professional atmosphere. I actually only showed six of the seven outfits, because I didn't have time to find another model, but I think it worked out pretty well.

We were told to get there pretty early, so my models and I had a lot of down time that we spent doing makeup, hanging out and talking in the dressing room, and walking around the Complex looking at all the other work by the artists.
My models and I (not in their outfits). Are they gorgeous?!

I'm so lucky to have awesome support in my designing and fashion shows. This show was $15 so I knew it was little pricey for people to come, but I was so happy they did. Some of my roommates and friends came, as well as my parents and sister, Sidney (my sister Carina was modeling in the show). They are the best for being there and giving their support, it seriously meant the world to me.
(l to r) my roommates Heidi and Katie, our friend Sergio, and me

I would just love to say how much fun it is to have models around...I feel like they don't get enough credit for what they do (which is more than walking on a runway in cute clothes and heels--and let me tell you that walking in heels is definitely a talent). I had a lot of fun with my models at the BYU fashion show and I had fun with them at this one too. They were so much fun and being crazy and made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable than stressful. Fashion shows (for me at least) would be so boring if all they were was putting your clothes on a mannequin. Models bring life to the garments, have to be willing to put up with what you want them to do, and need to be able to be relaxed and easy going, since fashion shows are usually the opposite of that. I just wanted to give a shout out to my models and thank them, because the shows I do would be way less fun without them!

And they sure can walk that runway, am I right?

It was such a fun night and I'm glad I got to be a part of it! Thanks to RAW, my friends and family, all the artists, and my models for helping to make it the great night that it was. I love what I do. :)

[thank you RAW for the runway photos! Check out their facebook page and website if you are interested or want to show with them]


Media Monday

movie to watch:
The Butler. It's been in theaters for a little while now, but it's soooo good. It's based on the true story of black man who is a butler in the white house and serves seven presidents in the time that he works there. It takes place through all the civil rights events and is just an awesome story. It has some big names like Oprah Winfrey playing the butler's wife, and people like Robin William and James Marsden playing some of the presidents, and I have to say that they all did a great job.This was definitely one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

movie to look forward to this week:
Enders Game, coming out this Friday, November 1st! I just reread the book this week and am way excited for this movie. I hope they do it justice, because the book is awesome. We shall see....

current favorite thing to watch on youtube:
Studio C! (especially this video)

book I just finished:
My Story, by Elizabeth Smart. It's basically about her whole kidnapping and captivity. Crazy story, really sad when you see how she was treated and think of how hard it must have been, and also very inspiring. She is really strong and she always kept surviving. I thought it was coolest how she always saw God's hand in her life and never blamed Him for what was happening to her. Instead she tried to find things to be grateful for. She's now on my list of inspiring people I admire and want to meet someday.

book I'm about to start reading:
Allegiant, by Veronica Roth (the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy)
I just bought the ebook today and man, oh man am I excited for this! I just reread Divergent and Insurgent two weeks ago, which was a good refresher since I had forgotten a lot, and they made really excited for this book and also for the movie coming out in March. These books are good, people. Read them, if you haven't already.

song I am loving right now:
"New York City," by Among Savages, partially because I really want to go to New York lately.

TV show I'm currently loving the most:
"How I Met Your Mother" (although lately it's been a little bit slow). If you are looking for a new show to see, this is it. It is hilarious and filled with funny twists. I love it and the sense of humor on this show. The 9th and final season is airing now, and all the other seasons are on Netflix. Here's a taste of how funny and great it is:


The RED Tour

On June 1, 2013, Taylor Swift came to Utah for a concert that sold out in the PRESALE. Yes, the presale (which I signed up for a long time ago, but somehow never got a code for it). So when my sisters and I tried getting on the absolute instant tickets went on sale to the public, we got none. I was pretty sad about it, because I love Taylor Swift. She is my second favorite singer to Carrie Underwood and she puts on amazing concerts. I went to her Fearless tour like 4 years ago and loved it. So my sisters and I were all sad when we didn't get tickets. And I got over it (kind of) but a little while later, my old roommate Jenna had an extra ticket to the concert and asked me if I wanted to go. Um, YES. I was so excited! I was sad I wasn't going with my sisters, but Jenna is super fun, and I couldn't turn down a ticket to the T-Swift concert.

June 1 came, and we had a splendid day. We spent the day in Salt Lake City, since Jenna and her sister Molly's (who was also going to the concert, along with their cousin Mariah who met up with us later) friend Allison was visiting and wanted to see the sites. We ate at Kneaders in City Creek, went to the Capitol building (which is gorgeous btw), and took a tour of temple square.

We also went to Target to make posters and then took up about five tables in the City Creek food court and worked on our posters ha ha. All our posters had references to Taylor Swift songs and lyrics. Mine said: the BEST day: 6-1-13 ("The Best Day" is one of her songs).

We made posters for the sole reason (besides the fact that it was fun) that we really wanted to get into Club Red, which is a party Taylor has after the concert for the super fans, so you get to meet and hang out with Taylor. They pick them during the concert by seeing your posters and how you're dressed up and everything.

Unfortunately, we were up in the nosebleeds, aka the highest section, and from seeing all the other posters, signs, and lights, we could tell that our chances of getting picked for Club Red, much less our chances of even getting seen, were next to nothing. But we decided to make the best of it and have a good time.
so high up!

While Ed Sheeran (who was the opening act, and yes, amazing) was playing, I looked down at the section entrance and was like "Isn't that Taylor's mom?" I was almost positive it was, because I recognized her from a Taylor Swift documentary I'd seen. We held up our signs and started cheering, even though the people behind us were clearly annoyed. Taylor's mom walked back out, so Jenna ran down the stairs after her. 30 seconds later, she came back up and was like, "Guys, get your stuff. We're going!" I didn't even know where we were going, but I didn't care. We walked back out and lo and behold, there was the woman who birthed and raised Taylor Swift, standing right before me. We joined a group of about 10-12 other super happy, ecstatic girls just like us, who also didn't have much of an idea of what was going on, but were just excited to be there with Taylor Swift's mother. Andrea (that's her name), led us to the elevator, and told the elevator guy to take us all the way down.

Excitement increased..

When we got down there, Andrea explained that this wasn't for Club Red, but that they had pit and front row seat tickets. Um what?! Yes, this was reality! Because there weren't enough front row seats, our group got split up, so Molly and Mariah got the front row seats (Molly is a big fan, probably equivalent to how much of a fan I am of Carrie Underwood, so we definitely thought she deserved to sit front row) and Jenna and I went to the pit. We walked out (and ironically had to put our posters off to the side, so they were almost for nothing, except they were really for everything!) and there was Ed Sheeran right there singing A-team on the stage. It was UNREAL. Lights were flashing from cell phones and cameras everywhere around me and I was on the floor. How did I get to not even having tickets to this concert to being in the pit? I don't know, but I was lucky. Blessed.
Andrea Swift!
Pretty darn happy, I was.
my pit bracelet. It said "pit" on the other side (because I know you were wondering that).
Needless to say, the concert was amazing. She opened with "State of Grace" (my favorite--from the RED album, at least) and closed with "We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together" (the funnest). New and old songs graced the stage, like "Our Song," "Love Story," "Treacherous," and "All Too Well." Taylor Swift is an amazing singer, but she's also a really great entertainer. She makes the concert a whole production, with tons of costume changes and dancers, and she really knows how to engage an audience. I also really admire Taylor Swift because she uses her fame and influence over girls for good, unlike several other celebrities. I mean, the worst thing she has on her record is a bunch of break-ups--which really isn't that big of a deal, especially when you look at what the rest of Hollywood has done. It may have been the best concerts I have ever been to, only second to my first Carrie Underwood concert (on November 19, 2008). It was so amazing to be in the pit and see Taylor right there. It was kind of a dream and I felt so lucky to have gotten to experienced it. Because of that concert, I became an even bigger fan. See for yourself how wonderful it was!
It's okay if you're jealous. :)

[P.S. Molly wrote a great post on the whole concert the day after it happened so if you want you should go read that here.]
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