The Dancing Crane

Sunday, March 15, 2015

From last weekend: After breakfast, Percie and I picked up our lovers and drove over to the Dancing Crane to take a look at all of the wonderful imported treasures.

There is a little cafe to the left of the entrance when you walk in where they serve coffee drinks and small meals. We bought a chili pepper brownie and bottled kombucha and sat at the counter where four o'clock sun was pouring in from the windows.

A lovely weekend spent with a lovely couple.

A Saturday at Sage's

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Last week, my friend Percie and I met up and drove over to Sage's Cafe, a vegan diner on the West side of downtown Salt Lake City. We basked in the sunshine and caught up on going-ons in our lives while eating comforting breakfast food. It was a good Saturday, and made my resolve to spend more time with my friends even stronger.

Antoinette's on Broadway

Sunday, March 1, 2015

When Trent and I decided to get engaged, Antoinette's was our first stop for the ring. I love vintage jewelry, and Antoinette's has especially beautiful diamonds.

Located just above state street on Broadway, Antoinette's is a quaint shop with a small, attentive staff. We tried on dozens of rings before we settled on one I loved, and they were patient and helpful the entire time.

This place will always have a special place in my heart. Trent bought my engagement ring for me before our five year anniversary trip to Salida, Colorado where he proposed, and he was able to get it re-sized in time for our trip.

Engagement and weddings rings aside, this shop is so full of gorgeous, sparkly jewels, and I never get tired of pretending to be rich enough to buy jewelry of that quality on a whim.

Thai Lotus

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A stop at one of our favorite Thai restaurants in Salt Lake.

Not pictured is the two tiny bowls of peanut dressing-covered salad with shaved carrots that were served to us before our meal came.

I love the friendliness of the staff here (they gave us a parting gift!)

Funny story- as we were waiting for our food to arrive, we watched a gentleman in a Mercedes SUV pull up to the curb and attempt to park, hit the car in front of it, park, and then stumble out holding a New Yorker magazine and walk into the Italian restaurant next door. He was obviously inebriated, and didn't even check to see if he had caused any damage to the car.

Trent and I debated getting involved, but ultimately we decided to report it. Personally, I'd rather not share the road with someone who can't walk straight.

Les Madeleines

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Les Madeleine's- a pastry and cafe located at 5th South and 216 East, across the street from the downtown library- and another stop on our Valentines Day greatest hits list.

I love the atmosphere in this place. This light is bright, the pastries are delicious, and the people watching is prime from the counter seats set beneath the street-facing windows.

The treats are a tad expensive, so we limited ourselves to a strawberry button (a macaron), and the Vegas cupcake (a chocolate cupcake topped with a perfect peak of creamy white frosting.)

We were in and out in a few minutes, and the place was bustling with other Valentine's Day treat-eaters, but I'm already itching to visit again.

Valentines Day at The Salt Lake City Library

Friday, February 20, 2015

This Valentines Day, Trent proposed the idea of having a Trent and Audrey's "greatest hits" roundup of all of our favorite places we've ever visited in our city as a couple.

Our agenda looked a little bit like this:

1. The Winter's Farmers Market at the Rio grand to pick up our favorites (local bacon and fresh eggs.)
2. Breakfast at The Original Pancake House (It was our breakfast spot while we lived in Sugarhouse.)
3. Visit the Tracy Bird Aviary at Liberty Park.
4. Visit the Salt Lake City Library.
5. Have dinner at our favorite restaurant, Squatters Pub and Brewery.
6. Catch a movie at Jordan Commons (Kingsmen.)
7. Come home and relax.

In retrospect, it was a lot to do in one day. We got as far as the library before our plan fell apart. We did end up at our movie, but the rest of the day was all over the place, which is very much more our style anyway.

Of the places we were able to get to, this was my favorite. The calm I felt in this place was so comforting. We rode that buttery-smooth elevator up to the graphic novels section an spent the better part of an hour soaking in the silence and reading to our hearts content.

I feel so lucky to have this place so near us. It really is an incredible place with a profound amount of attention to detail. I feel refreshed after spending time here, and have made a new promise to myself to come back often.

Sunday Breakfast

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

These photos are from the Sunday before Valentines Day when we pulled out the griddle and made pancakes, bacon, hash browns, and coffee, then sat down to a marathon of House of Cards (Season three starts next Friday!)

It's 70 degrees in February, so we've been opening the windows and turning up the music. Spring is so close, I can feel it.

These are Things: Bohem

Monday, February 2, 2015

Off a busy intersection in downtown Salt Lake, I stepped inside a capsule of pretty light and melancholy music where incense burned from the counter. The floors are hardwood and the walls a reflective shade of white, creating the perfect atmosphere to weave between displays and touch the beautiful fabrics and objects that hung from the ceiling. 

It's easy to get lost in the sensation of want in this place- and every object seemed to have an aura of stillness. It is a home and you are a guest, but everything can be bought for a price. I brought a little bit of Bohem home with me in the form of a wooden brush holder and a candle that smelled like campfire in a mason jar. Stores like this give you an experience, and the special objects you buy are mementos.

I read in the owners' biography that they are frequent travelers, and every inch of this space proved it. I walked away inspired to get out more and to be more present.

Bohem is located at 623 South State Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. The have an online shop where they sell their pretty things, and an Instagram account where they occasionally post beautiful, light-filled photos. 

A New Year, A New Job

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I am so excited to be able to share the news that as of tomorrow, I'll be working for an accounting firm called Davies + Allen. The decision to move back to an office job was not an easy one, and I had a lot of internal and external conflict about it. When it came down to it, the physical stress and lack of consistant hours in the retail world was wearing me down fast. I was on track to be moved to full-time hours, something I had discussed with my manager, and was told that my commission goals would be nearly doubled in order to get it. It was discouraging, and I was getting worn out quickly. Despite being part-time, I was quickly losing track of my outside life. I had still been pursuing other opportunities outside of Dillard's during this time, and even had an outside interview, but none of it led to anything promising. One evening though, I got a call from my dad to meet up downtown where he was dining out with my step-mom for their anniversary to exchange a gift and a hello. My step-mom told me about an amazing company she had just interviewed for that did accounting and tax preparation work, and while she didn't feel it was a good fit for her, thought it would be a perfect fit with my past office work experience. I was hesitant, but followed through. 

The very next morning, at 6 AM, to be exact, I was scheduled to meet with Wendy, the office manager for an interview. It happened very, very quickly, and even though I was scared, I knew I had nothing to lose. The first interview went well. She discussed the work involved, the office culture there, and what I would need to expect. She let me know she would text me to set up a second interview with one of the partners to discuss pay, and that was that. It was like a snap of fingers and it was done. The very next day, I put in my two weeks with Dillard's. A two weeks that would include working Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's day, the busiest day of the year for Dillard's. I worked very hard for those two weeks, and it was some of the hardest, physically demanding work I have ever done. I will never look at a retail worker the same again.

I can't help but feel like this was the plan all along. The timing was so perfect, I could cry. I was let go from my job at Zions right before Halloween, and was hired on to Dillard's just as my severance pay-period ended. I never stopped looking for better work, but was so grateful to be making any money at all. My wonderful future mother-in-law was to thank for helping me land the position I had at Dillard's, and I poured my heart into it. I feel proud and fulfilled. My word is my honor, and it would have been so easy to just quit and begin my new job right away, but it was important to me and important to the reputation of the people around me that I follow through. Coincidentally, the day that I put in my two weeks at Dillard's perfectly aligned with the end of my written schedule. It was as if it had been planned all along.

I can't express with words how grateful I feel. The feelings of loss and rejection were so strong when I lost my job, and even though I was deeply unhappy there, I felt that I had lost control over the situation. I've learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of since then, and I feel a new conviction to never settle for anything less than I feel I deserve.

I just want to say again how grateful I am for my friends and family, and especially the love of my life, Trent, without whom I would be nowhere near the person I am today.

Happy New Year, friends. I can't think of a better way to start it.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

So much feels up in the air right now. My thoughts have been scattered, and I have circles under my eyes from more than a few sleepless nights.

I was laid off from my job at Zions Bank on October 29th, two days before Halloween. Time off had been requested, plans had been made- I was completely unprepared and utterly shocked when it happened. Thankfully, I was offered a severance package to ensure I had the time needed to find a new job. I immediately got to work applying for jobs and signed on with a staffing agency. Less than two weeks later, I interviewed and was hired on as a sales associate at Dillard's by referral of Trent's mom, a store manager of a Kansas City location. The job is in the contemporary clothing section, and I sell brands such as Vince Camuto, Gianni Bini, Lucky Brand, and Buffalo.

I am so grateful to be working so soon after being let go, but the job is part time, and pays a lot less than I am used to. The change has been hard, and I am doing my best to make the most of my situation despite the challenges. Working part time has been a blessing because it has given me time to reassess where I want to be and the quality of life I want to have. I've also had the time to delve into house projects.

In three weeks, I have been able to sort out the mess in my office, paint our living room a lovely shade of light blue, and reorganize some drawers and other miscellaneous projects. Creatively, I feel very alive, but the other side, the instability, has been so stressful. I'm trying to imagine that this is what life is like for a real creative, jobs that have a timeline, not knowing when the next paycheck is coming in, but having the freedom to delve and jump into new and exciting projects.

I have an interview with another company tomorrow for a position similar to the one I was let go from as an administrative assistant. I'm not sure if I will accept it if they offer it to me, as it is only temporary. One of their employees is going on maternity leave for three months. It would be nice to have an office job again, but simultaneously I am really enjoying the retail world. It's fun, and every day is different. I get to interact with a lot of different types of people, and trying to meet my sales goals challenge me in a way that I've never experienced before. Working with clothes all day and a nice discount don't hurt either. I'll also have the opportunity to move to full time in as little as a month. It's a difficult decision, and I'm relying on my gut to make the right choice.

As for home improvement, the new desk in my office is absolutely perfect. We traded in our $20 thrift store desk for this desk from Overstock, and I couldn't be happier. It's going to look beautiful underneath the Mac desktop (!) we ordered on Black Friday for my school needs next year.

I try to remind myself every day that there are always things to look forward to and work on, even when major life decisions are still unmade and up in the air. We are so, so lucky, even though what happened what less than ideal. I know that for certain.

Little Orange Tree

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My little orange tree. We bought it from a Home Depot as an afterthought with a few other home improvement items when we first moved into our 2nd West apartment. It had two tiny oranges on a bottom branch that clung on for a few weeks and then eventually dropped and rolled off the stoop on our front porch. After the loss, I buckled down and bought a pot and replanted it, moving it from the front porch to the corner of our dining nook. I carefully watered it every week and dusted off its leaves when they became too congested. Green shoots appeared, and branches began to expand. In a month, it was a foot taller and began to flower. Out of the blooms, a green orb appeared and grew into what will soon be a ripe orange.
The growth was so encouraging. I've grown fond of it, and consider it one of my favorite things in the house aside from our kitties. It brings so much life and good energy to our home.

Having livings plants in the home is important. It reminds us that a lot of things depend on our actions in order for them to thrive. They also keep the air clean by converting the co2 in the air into oxygen. A beautiful mutualistic relationship.

New Starts

Friday, November 14, 2014

I suppose the present is as good a time as any to begin again, isn't it?

I've come to a new turning point in my life, and I've begun to feel that familiar pull to write it all down and document it.

As of late, I have:

- Begun school
- Moved into a new home
- Been let go from my job
- Found a new job
- Paid off some debts
- Accumulated some new (good) debts
- Painted walls and generally put some love into our home
- Celebrated a 6th year with Trent

There is so much I want to say and do, and these past few weeks between jobs has been such a blessing in giving me quiet time with my thoughts, something I have not had in years. It had been nearly nine months since I had taken a vacation before this, and it was hardly a vacation. I was informed of the death of a very dear friend as we were walking out the door with our packed bags, and those seven days in Kansas City were full of sadness of distraction. It has been a very turbulent year, and such a big part of me wants to ignore the trauma and focus on the good, but I don't think I've been able to properly process it all until now.

So, hello again, world. And hello again, words. Much of my communicating has been done through pictures, mostly over Instagram, and definitely not as often as I wanted.

With this new beginning, I'd like to make a new commitment to stay in touch, both with the outside world and with myself, and I'd love to do it in this space- this space I created back in 2009 during another new beginning.

Five Year- Salida, Colorado Part III

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Five Year- Salida, Colorado Part II

Five Year - Salida, Colorado Part I

The Small Things

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lately on Instagram 9-25-13
Lately it's all about the small things.

The smell of a campfire while eating fire-roasted chicken and handmade chocolate ice cream.

Some unexpected back-alley art on a walk back to the car.

Gorgeous varieties of late-summer/autumn fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market.

A thrifted treasure with sexy legs.

The perseverance of nature, and the decay of seemingly solid things.

New furniture, which makes you feel grown-up and almost put together. Almost.

If you aren't already, please follow me on Instagram and shoot me a hello.

The End of Summer

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lately on Instagram Aug- Sep 13

Top Row:

1. The weather is so beautiful in September. I can smell fall coming in the crisp breezes, and mornings are foggy with from rain storms. I'm looking forward to activities like Oktoberfest, farmers markets, tall boots, leaves on the sidewalks, and warm foods.
2. A new pair of shoes to bring in the new season. These are Oxfords made by Nine West.
3. A pregnant pause at a gas station on our way to see my Dad one Sunday afternoon.

Bottom Row:

4. I've been making some pretty radical changes to my diet the last month or so. More fresh fruits, vegetables, less bread, sugar, and pretty much no dairy. It's been difficult, but I'm finding myself cooking more often and making more conscious food choices.
5. One of the many, many neighborhood cats in our apartment complex. This one is Tanuki, and he's by far the most brazen.
5. Beauty in simple things. I'm finding myself drawn to soft greys, pinks and peaches right now.

Lately on Instagram

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lately on Instagram

So much has happened in such a small amount of time. For a few weeks there, I felt uncomfortable, tired, over-worked, and generally pretty miserable, if we're being honest.

Moving is hard work, and despite nearly a month's worth of weekends, our new place is anything but settled.

I wanted to pop in and focus on a few going-ons in my life aside from the move from August.

Top Row:

1. A visit to this years' Craft Lake City, where I visited the booth of Malinda Fisher of Desert Rose. She has some beautiful jewelry designs that will leave you with thoughts of wide open road and desert sunsets.
2. From my daily morning walks to work in the morning- the most beautiful rose gardens set against the sidewalks. They smell as beautiful as they look.
3. A snapshot of our apartment on our move-in day. If you are following me on Instagram, I am fond of showing off corners of our apartment as we continue the long process of decorating and making it home.

Bottom Row:

4. Amazing leather goods from craftswoman Danielle DeLucia. She also has an online Etsy shop where she sells other beautiful leather goodies.
5. Spook, in his usual position on the floor, always getting underfoot.
6. A toasted bri and apple sandwich from Carlucci's Bakery, one of my favorite sandwich and pastry shops here in Salt Lake. They never disappoint.

There are quite a few changes going on aside from the apartment right now that is making it difficult to focus, and as a result, I'm feeling very distant. I'd love to eventually get back into a routine online, and in the meantime, please connect with  me on Instagram. It's my favorite way to stay in touch with people.

The New Place

Friday, August 9, 2013

We've been in the new apartment for a week now, and we still have boxes everywhere, but I wanted to take a minute from all the chaos to show off some pictures of the place taken right before we moved in.

The apartment building is called the Kensington, and is located on Main Street, a block directly behind the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. We're on the third floor, which, from the balcony, gives the most incredible view of downtown. At night, the whole city lights up.

The light is by far my favorite thing about this place. We have windows on all but one side, which is amazing.

Needless to say, we're completely in love, though it definitely needs some elbow grease and some small repairs (the building was constructed at the turn of the century). This article from the Capital Council is a pretty good read, if you're interested in the history.

The apartment is full of little charming details, like the yellow and mint green bathroom, the original wood floors, the elaborate moldings, and a large porcelain sink in the kitchen.

It's a dream come true for us, honestly. I'm really looking forward to filling it in with furniture- especially a dining room table, which is something that we've lived without for the last 5 years (nearly every meal we ever ate at home was at the computer desk or on the couch).

I'm pinning like crazy to my home inspiration boards and putting money into our furniture fund between spurts of sporadic unpacking and cleaning. I'm really anxious to get this place in working order so that we can move onto much more important things- like taking down those make-shift-counter shelves in the kitchen and putting up all of the art we've accumulated over the years.

A Walk - Part II

Saturday, July 27, 2013

More pictures from my walks around our soon-to-be-past neighborhood.

So much is going on right now, and my head is spinning from all the to do's that are on the list. The devil is in the details when you're doing something like moving house. Setting up new internet service and power, mail re-routing, cleaning (the new apartment AND our current apartment), and all of the things you normally do day-to-day. It's a lot, and I've found myself seeking quiet moments of solitude and naps. Lots and lots of naps.

The new place is gorgeous, albeit a little run down and in need of a lot of elbow grease and loving. I'm excited to bring my camera in for a bit of an empty house tour.

In the meantime, I am crossing my finger for another week of this cooler, rainy weather. It makes lifting heavy things much more tolerable when it's not sweltering hot.

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