What Kylie Loves

I'm basically drooling over this week's "What Kylie Loves."
I'll give you a hint: it in involves chocolate.
End of story.

In all seriousness, this week's feature is brought to you by my amazing husband,
who sometimes likes to bring home treats for me.
He'd talked these up quite a bit. And was I surprised when he brought them home.
Unfortunately, the first taste was a little disappointing because I was sick and couldn't smell (therefore, I couldn't really taste). But, ladies and gentleman, I soon realized the error of my ways and am now a proud addict. I mean, the 2 lb bag just might be almost halfway gone.

Behold:

These little beauties are the perfect chocolate snack. They have a chewy and berrylicious center. They have a rich and smooth dark chocolate coating. They are divine. It takes so much self control not to eat them by the handful. (But it's OK if I do, right? I mean, the bag says they're a natural source of antioxidants, and stuff.)

(Apologies for the blurry picture....I'm still working on the manual settings.)

These are one of the many perks of a bulk-foods store. Unfortunately, they are sold at the bulk-foods store that is not in my area: Costco. It makes me very sad. 

(Just how did TJ get these then, you might ask? Well, here's just how *sweet* he is. His coworker was the person who introduced him to this delight. Upon her next trip to the valley, he asked said coworker pick up a bag for his adoring wife. He then paid said coworker and brought home said bag to said adoring wife.)

Please, do yourself a favor, and go to your nearest Costco to partake of this delicious delicacy.
And if you don't have a membership, beg your friend or family member who does. You won't regret it.
And, if you please, send me a bag. Chances are I'll be out soon.

somewhat boring.

Tonight was somewhat boring.
Our night began with a delicious dinner with the missionaries (pulled pork tacos.....I used the recipe found here). After they left, we just hung out and snuggled and talked, when TJ fell asleep.
While he took a little nap (those late nights at work really take it out of him), I made the brownies that we forgot to make for the missionaries (don't worry, we promised to bring them some on Sunday).
Um....they were turtle brownies. Need I say more? Divine. The pan is half gone. With two of us eating them.

Anywho. TJ woke up after his dad called him, and by that time it was too late to leave for the movie on campus we were maybe going to see. So began our search. We scoured Netflix, to no avail. Our personal collection held no interest. TJ was too out of it to go to the Redbox, and my suggestions just weren't clicking for him. I will admit I got kind of frustrated. There wasn't anything on TV that both of us wanted to watch. So I wound up on my computer (even though I'd already read everything in my reader) and TJ played some Xbox. 

Well, I got bored on the comp real fast....then I had a brilliant idea! TJ's hair was due for the buzzers about two weeks ago, but we haven't gotten around to it. It was the perfect length to play with! I broke out the gel and hairspray, and started playing. Other than the fumes and complaints of getting hairspray on his arm (?) he rather enjoyed the comb and my fingers running through his hair. Documented proof:

His game face.

 I did many different styles. This is just one.

Weapons of choice.

Tender.

 Self-timer, out-of-focus, self portrait. Hair stylist of the hour. (Oh look! Vitamins and spices!)

And that, my friends, is how I entertain myself on a somewhat boring Friday night.
(And overuse parenthesis in a blog post.)

(Disclaimer: I love being with TJ no matter what we're doing. Tonight was just not very eventful.)
(That's life.)

What Kylie Loves

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their sweet comments on the giveaway post.
This blog has come to be a part of me, and I'm so glad that it accomplishes what I hope it does.
I'm truly flattered and humbled and honored to be friends with such amazing people.

I hope you're all along for the ride, because I've decided to add a new series. This series will be a weekly post, done either on Thursday or Friday, featuring what I'm currently lovin' on. Be it a person, place, restaurant, blog, website.....

This blog is called "Love Always," right?? So I'm showing some things that I love, and maybe you'll love them too. Maybe, if my hopes and dreams come true, I'll be able to have a favorite blogger do a guest post sometime. So, without further ado, I present the first "What Kylie Loves" feature post--thing.

*** * ***

Recently, I've found a new addiction. That addiction is HGTV, the Home & Garden Network.
I mean, just look at this screen shot from their website....I love the web design, first of all. Second, look at all of the ideas! DIY headboards? Those are all over design blogs right now. And quick & easy ways to redo your bathroom. It makes me want a house of my own. Right. Now.

I've found that I have a few favorite shows. Those are the ones focusing on interior decorating. I love decorating. I was so excited to have my own apartment to decorate (and slightly disappointed by that apartment). In fact, the fabric wall-art I made was inspired by a show I saw on HGTV. 

If you have cable (we only do because we live on campus), here are some of my favorite shows you should check out:

This show gives a lucky person a "cheap" room makeover...and lots of tips for viewers!

Not only is she gorgeous and gracious and I would love to meet her, but she has amazing design ideas. She also gives lots of tips, and some budget-friendly ideas.

This guy really thinks about how color impacts the mood of a room. I like his approach to his clients' projects, and I almost always love his room makeovers. Lots to do with how paint affects a room. (And if you didn't know, paint is usually the cheapest way to drastically change a room.)

House Hunters
It's fun to see the different houses and think about what I would choose. 

If you don't have cable, click on the links and still get tons of inspiration! They have lots of video clips and pictures. I hope you find something you love :)

perfection.

The first few shots were good, but then I realized my hair was sticking out weird.
They were kind of blurry, too.
The next few were even blurrier, mostly because TJ decided to be himself and I pretended I was mature.
He, being tired of pictures, stuck a straw in his mouth. I tried to yank it out.
All for the sake of the perfect picture.
This one happened to be the least blurry.

And it is perfect...


....because it is completely us.

spring break.

Our break started with a little trip down to Mesa. Partly to see my family, partly to go to Rachel's wedding. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 







It was so good to see family and old friends. When we came home, we got to bring little sister Kyndra with us. Except I can't really call her little, since she's taller than me now. 
*sigh*

The weather was really nice for most of the week. We ate lunch outside. She doesn't like to make normal faces in pictures....wonder where she gets it.

Mmm....chicken salad and Doritos.


We had fun hanging out, watching movies on Netflix, and crafting. TJ didn't get to join many of our adventures because of work. We missed him lots, but we did have fun girl time.

Our week ended with a little adventure out of town....but that is for another post. :)

room decor.

Our apartment consists mainly of brick walls. We aren't allowed to drill into said walls, which makes decorating somewhat difficult. Even picture-hanging strips don't stick well....it takes twice as many as it should to hold things up because the bricks are porous.

Apartments = Annoying

This situation has forced me to get creative. Our bedroom was previously the barest room in our home. I decided to do a picture collage between the two windows. I cut the monogram out of scrapbook paper on my mom's Cricut. Then I mounted 4x6 and 5x7 photos on foam poster board (so it would be lightweight). I then stuck everything to the wall using Elmer's tack (it's orange, sticky clay-like stuff). 




The wall above our bed is the largest space, and while this project didn't fill the space, I think it brings a nice splash of color into our room, and ties in with our beautiful handmade wedding quilt, which I will post a picture of shortly. For this one, I took a 12x12 square of foam poster board and glued a double-layered 10x10 square in the middle, to create a beveled edge. Then I wrapped them and stapled the fabric to the back. These I did use 3M picture strips to hang, but since they're so light I figured they would hold pretty well (I only used one per square).



Do any of you have cute ideas for decorating an apartment?

(PS, why yes I did use my new camera for these!)

more changes.

If you didn't notice, I changed my layout.
I like the white space. I think it looks less crowded.

I also added "pages" just under my header.
If you're new, you can read our story and learn other things about me.
I will be adding more shortly.

All of these changes are in preparation for a bigger change that I'm really excited about.
I won a giveaway on The Coterie Blog for a custom blog header from Fifth & Hazel.
This is the first giveaway I've ever won (even if only 4 people entered).
I'm in correspondence with them, and I'm not sure how soon it will happen,
but it will be soon.

Yay(!)

bangs.

Sometimes, you feel like a change, so you get bangs.
I haven't had straight-across bangs since I was, oh, about 8.
This time though, I don't rat them to staggering heights. Gotta love the '90s.
I like the change, but I'm still getting used to the fringe in my eyes.

In other news, I just finished reading my third novel of the year. I had a goal to read six.
I really should know myself better, and should've set a higher number,
But at least I'll feel good about myself when I exceed my goals!

The book I just finished is called Meg's Melody.
It's written by LDS author Kaylee Baldwin, who happened to grow up in Mesa.
A really good, fairly fast read (started it this morning at work, finished it tonight, not reading non-stop).
It's not your typical LDS novel, even if some of the characters can be cliche at times.
I actually loved, and it had a lot of emotion. I [like] emotion.

I have some other exciting news.
I got a new (used) camera! I'm having lots of fun with it, but I still need to get a memory card reader.
That's why the above picture is from a webcam, and there haven't been any new pictures lately.
I will update with lots of photos soon, hopefully!
(The camera is a Canon 20D, if anyone cares to know.)

That's all.

pondering.

I contemplate who I am, and where I'm going.
I think about who I want to be, and where I've been.
I have dreams for my future. I cling to my past.
Sometimes the hardest part of life, is to live in the moment
To appreciate what is, right now.
I'm slowly learning how to live for today.
Because tomorrow is unattainable.
I'm learning how to step back, and [breathe].
I'm getting to know me better, my spirit.
It's not easy, taking a time out from everything.
But it is so worth it.


happy birthday.


This man turned 46 today. This man is my father. The man I'm named after, and the man who raised me (alongside my mother). This man used to sing me to sleep with "You Are My Sunshine" and called me his Angel. This man has taught me so much, and continues to teach me. He has taught me the value of hard work, and how to be true to myself. He's one of the greatest men I know. I'm glad I get to be with him for forever.

Dad,
You are one of the greatest examples to me and I know I wouldn't be half of who I am if it weren't for you being the father you are. I love you!
Kylie

construction ahead.


"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of--throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."

-CS Lewis, retelling a parable by George MacDonald

images via google.