december 2017

the holiday season is such a blur, this year was no different. i mean, maybe it was a bit blurred because i went back to night shift halfway thorough the month…?

bi-annual haircut happened this month. haha thank you, lex. and! i got to hang out with the world’s current cutest baby with the best cheeks. hanukah this year was celebrated in style in the kimball household. lox and eggs on homemade latkes. good enough to turn you jewish! this next photo was the christmas tree at work. the place was decked out, and one of my coworkers even made a rubber glove tree. that there is dedication. tyler’s family came to visit for a weekend and brought a new chair for my niece. as soon as she opened it up, the first thing she did was pose on it. HA! and, of course this year we got our tree from harmons… because they are the cutest ones, and just barely too tall, which i find endearing. we promptly strung popcorn and it was the cutest tree, imo.

also, here’s a picture of a biscuit i ate and my biscuit date. the restaurant smelled so heavily of bacon that after we left, MY HAIR SMELLED LIKE BACON. vegetarian nightmare. also, i opened all my christmas gifts early from my parents. because that is what you do as an impulsive adult. here i am, smugly modeling my new hat and sweater to send to my mom. she was not impressed 🙂 AND this weird awkward foot photo is one of my favorites because it signifies that both tyler and i were home at the same time during the EVENING and those events are far and few between these days, thanks to very opposite schedules. sigh.

this year we spent christmas in santa barbara. my first california christmas! it was so nice to have no snow or cold. and sun! and beaches! december ravaged southern california with the thomas fire right up until christmas. in fact, tyler’s family was under mandatory evacuation until a few short days before we arrived. of course, they all acted like it was nothing? just a little ash on the cars and “THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!” signs everywhere. if it was me, i would have been a nervous wreck. guess that’s the california lifestyle? haha

christmas was great. have you seen that meme that is like, “december 1-26 you’re full of christmas spirit. december 27-january1 you’re full of cheese. thereafter you’re just fat”. we LIVED that meme. and we ate so much cheese. tyler and i put together a pretty great charcuterie on christmas, it was awesome. new traditions! i even got new cheese knives from my inlaws.

most of our time was spent hanging out together. here we have some mistletoe hanging, christmas morning action shots, tyler and his new tools (seriously spoiled by milwaukee santa), and my favorite shot of my child husband. isn’t he objectively the cutest?? also, this last photo is my sister in law and my father in law… the photo is of my father in law as a young man and his dad. so, ya know. four generations and the SAME JACKET!  i guess this just proves you should never throw away ANY clothing?

and then i made us go outside. christmas walk! and the beach at montecito. this is the area that was completely ravaged by the mud slides last week. it is the most beautiful area, we are so sad. 😦

and that’s it, folks. all of 2017 has been accounted for. thanks for reading and sorry for the foot photos.

oh wait- i went to LA

so before the impending radio silence that comes with school starting, i give you one final trip of the summer.

los angeles!

one of my good friends from the byu days is now a super cool photo assistant (almost main personal assistant! boss lady!) for a photographer in LA, and i guess as she now knows, and so all of you for the future living in cool places know, when you tell me to “come visit anytime!” i take you up on your offers. (also a hat tip to allegiant for having 40$ fares to LA from boise- i mean, you never know if you’re actually going to make it with that airline, but hey, when it goes off without a hitch, you forget about all the horror stories!) 

i arrived on a thursday, and in true good hostess brooke fashion, we had a full weekend of things planned. she had made lists and agendas and schedules with variations, heavy on the vegan restaurants and NOT VEGAN dessert places (she knows me). she also chartered me a ride from the airport by one of her friends who works from home, and she conned him into hanging out with me for hours while she was on a shoot. bless them all, really.

so we toured around and saw the cool parts of the city; the tar pits and the iconic lamp posts (pictured here) at the LACMA, hollywood, beverly hills, etc. we also went to the hollywood bowl for a really amazing concert by the LA philharmonic (right??) where there wasn’t a bad seat in the house, and i was in heaven eating my takeout pad thai under the stars, enjoying everything from bach to bluegrass. (no i didn’t think that up, that was the name of the show. it was a little heavy on the bach and lacking in the bluegrass though, IMO. more banjos! more mandolins!).

also that ice cream? salt and straw creamery; they are based out of portland, but they have a few locations in LA now and it was wonderful. they have quirky flavors, like this avocado and strawberry. it was so good.  

i don’t care where it is, if there are palm trees, i am way into it.

the venice canals. in previous LA trips, i’ve only ever gone to the venice beach boardwalk, which is kind of filthy and mostly just medical marajuana shops, so going inland to the neighborhood to see the canals was so juxtaposed! new life goals include a house off dell ave!

LA is just so…. LA. this is us on hollywood blvd eating froyo that is actually pressed juice masquerading as froyo? it is some weird health-crazed inception. some of it tasted like the aftertaste of vomit, but you do that kind of stuff because healthy and trendy. also, we ate it next to a soulcycle studio where there was a dog outside drinking out of a five dollar water bottle. also, a sign above our heads warned us that sitting on the bench meant we could be filmed without consent for a new series called, “sweat in the city”. have i checked off all the LA stereotypes yet??

so i had the bright idea of hiking up the hollywood sign, because HELLO hiking. i brought a heat wave to the city, so we did this hike in 104 degree weather, so if you were wondering why we are holding our water bottles like they’re academy awards, well it is because we managed to forget water, and the park rangers saved us with these free water bottles. bless you.

behind the LA sign! guys it is pretty up there, but a million degrees and hello smog city.

brunch at TOAST. even if the food ended up just being a bit “meh”, i’m a sucker for a good stuffed bananas foster french toast. and crispy potatoes.

hi hollywood, again. 

a few more photos from the venice beach boardwalk, contemplating getting a medical marijuana consultation or some undies that say “brian’s b*tch” … hehhhhh

oh! left lower- that line we are standing in? upright citizens’ brigade. for those not familiar, this is a comedy show with a troupe of hilarious people, some you might know if you’re into the likes of amy poehler. no, she wasn’t there the night we went, but the guy from baby mama who plays the husband in the gay couple who cries and says, “it’s just gonna be me and two fatties!!” definitely was, and he was hilarious. and if you’re wondering about that obscure reference, well, i do not apologize. the show was hilarious. improv forever!

we went to the getty villa, which is a fancy house museum on a hill. it was pretty and i was obsessed with the pictured floor, mosaic, architecture, and groping. i mean, hey when the sign says PLEASE TOUCH and there are exposed breasts, i mean what are we supposed to do? 

mo getty, mo groping. 

and then we went to the beach! santa monica, to be precise. geez there are a lot of people down there. i guess they all know something we don’t- oh! that CALIFORNIA IS AMAZING. also, the pacific highway is the real deal. 

we brought a cooler of fruit and sandwiches from bay cities, a deli near the beach touting a million cool foods and a million crazy shoppers. my sandwich was pretty good, but the favorite for me was the sign above the line for pick up sandwiches warning customers, “DO NOT ASK WHEN YOUR SANDWICH WILL BE READY. IT WILL BE DONE WHEN IT IS ON THIS SHELF”. fair enough. before my red eye flight back to dc, we hit up the getty museum just in time for sunset. geez, that place! it lovely and modern with clean lines and class. basically, it is everything that i am not. also, there was a big pink moon we got to watch rise up over the city and let me tell you, it was really something.

two of my favorite works; jesus coming into brussels, which i am pretty sure was supposed to be satire, but whatever i like the colors. also, van gogh. ANYTHING van gogh. this one was of lillies he painted in the courtyard of his rehab center. he didn’t intend for this to a work, but more of a sketch. ARTISTS, I TELL YA!

one more of getty at sunset. this one didn’t really bring in the instagram likes. WOMP WOMP WOMP 😉

anyway, believe it or not, all this stuff and all this food was eaten in less than about fifty hours, and all made possible thanks to brooke and her big blow up mattress.

now…. who am i coming to visit next?

down in the bay pt 3.

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on our last day in california we headed to monterey to check out the town, ride bikes along the 17 mile drive, and ooh and awe at the ocean and larger than life estates that pop up everywhere. oh! and we ate deli sandwiches at a grocery store that turned out to be some of the best in my life. also that tree up there is the lone cypress, AKA the longest living tree in the whole place… so naturally we tree posed next to that lonely tree out there. and the asian tourists gathered and snapped some pics. DSC_0047 DSC_0057 DSC_0060 DSC_0063 DSC_0065 DSC_0067

and then we had a bonfire in santa cruz! shane’s family has a secret beach down on the coast, and in the pitch blackness thanks to no moon and all thanks to iphone flashlight and headlamps, we made it to the cliff and literally had to sort of repel and scale that cliff to get down to our spot below. it was hairy… but totally worth it! let me tell you! after we’d set up camp we explored the tide pools and found all sorts of marine-y things like crabs and starfish, sea anemones and FLIES. my cool friends who live in coastal regions taught me how to grab crabs, roast em, and eat em! coolest experience ever. however does this make me a…. hunter? (shudder).

and as quickly as we dove into the fun, it was over and time to go back to utah. back to dry heat and sno cone shacks, back to work and reality. but really… this was one of the top ten weekends on my life thanks to cool friends who like adventures and experiences. i rate a trip by the goodness of the friends, the food, and the laughs. our little californian gaunt housed them all. this is what life is all about, folks!

down in the bay pt 2.

DSC_1176 DSC_1186 DSC_1192 DSC_1195 DSC_1196 DSC_1199 DSC_1203 DSC_1206 DSC_1207 DSC_1211 DSC_1212 DSC_1213 DSC_1214 DSC_1215 DSC_1216 DSC_1217 DSC_1218 DSC_1219 DSC_1226 DSC_1229 DSC_1232 DSC_1240 DSC_1242 DSC_1247 DSC_1257 DSC_1259IMG_5254on day two of our adventure, we called up some of my recently married friends who live in the area to have them come out to spend the day with us. we started out by fueling up at homeroom, a restaurant dedicated to gourmet mac and cheese in oakland. um wow. we all got different kinds and had a little “sampling” (mostly i just hoarded my goat mac and cheese, though. let’s be real.) also, honorable mentions go to the gilroy garlic and the truffle mac. after stuffing ourselves  we set out for a hike at alamere falls near stinson beach. the “four mile” hike shane promised actually turned into eight, but every mile was awesome. you think waterfalls and oceans are cool apart? imagine seeing them together. it is the kind of experience that leaves you rubbing your eyes intermittently to see if it is all really just a dream.

after our hike we went into the city to catch an andy milonakis art show (!! if you’re thinking WHAT THE, well, so were we. if you don’t get it, just google the andy milonakis show and you’ll remember) and shane got a pic with him! believe it! we then hit up tacos from tacolicious, and they were just that! i will be dreaming of cod and that spicy salsa from now til forever.


down in the bay pt 1.

remember when allegiant totally messed up on our flight to hawaii during round one? well, the airline sent some vouchers for flights and whatnot, so i jumped right on that and automatically purchased a flight to san francisco to visit one of my pals, shane. can i take a minute to brag about shane for a minute? he’s a really good egg. when he found out i was coming, he made perfect itineraries, took us to all the best places to eat, and navigated the city and our other day trips like a CHAMP. plus his family is the best for letting us crash with them for the weekend. usually on vacations the red side of my personality really kicks it in full force and i take charge of maps, directions, and urban spoon recommendations (diana you feel me). however, this time shane took the reigns and i pleasantly resigned my position as crazy control freak. it was nice to be led around and told what to do for once!

anyway, we were there 3 days so naturally we are dragging this series out into three different posts. and go.


shane picked us up and took us to treasure island for a good lookout of the city. and it is safe to say that we sort of forgot what anything under 95 degrees feels like. (aka we were cold)DSC_1135IMG_5207

for lunch we hit up galette 88, a restuarant that has the best buckwheat crepes ever. wow. mine was full of caramelized onions and mushrooms along with mozzarella and asiago cheese. wow. will be making these soon.



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after eating we headed out to see the sights along the water… you know, fisherman’s wharf, pier 39, the ferry building, ghirradeli square (free chocolate!) and the oxygen bar, of course. IMG_5224

brooke had always wanted to try this place out and couldn’t stop talking about it. i took one whiff of the oxygen coming off that thing and wanted to gag, so i left her to her “oxygen” and explored a little myself. she says she felt a hundred times better when everything was said and done… i say THE PLACEBO EFFECT AT ITS FINEST.IMG_5237

when shane got off work he took us to see the sights! lombard street, then mrs. doubtfire’s house (well, on the second try. he took us to one house, brooke looked it up, and sure enough. we were at the wrong house. GOOD TRY!) next we went to the painted ladies AKA full house houses! i had this great idea of taking a picnic-y picture, and when i told the guy taking the picture what we wanted, he told me he had some beers in his backpack if we wanted to have them. OF COURSE WE DID! i feel like they really enhance the photo, right? IMG_5239

one of my musts was bi-rite creamery for salted caramel ice cream. i didn’t dissapoint. neither did eating it in dolores park and getting offered illicit drugs for the first time of the night. DSC_1150

we spent the night eating burgers in castro, getting obscene shaped macaroons at hot cookie (lets just say that once you go black you don’t go back 😉 and then headed to see the sutro baths and hike around in the caves, see the views of the city at the COIT tower, and then check out haight ashbury.

we don’t know what this means, but it is probably something drug related, seeing as we once again got offered more goods right after the shutter clicked. DSC_1157

i call this one the ghost of haight ashbury.

and the bay bridge! the lights flicker all night, kind of reminiscent of the eiffel tower. but really not at all.

such a great day in the city! san fran, we like you.

this time change got me all messed up

1:40 am.
not tired. at all.
we made it safely back to ut from our adventures down to ca, and it was a great time! now that i’m back i am a little overwhelmed about what to write…. so expect many a california post, okay? i gained a couple of obsessions over the last seven days. let me tell you of them
1. the beach. i snapped this down at venice beach- those are my sisters running around (and most likely acting like weirdies making bird caw noises or something) but yeah, it was just so pretty. and so cold. but so pretty nonetheless.

 2. this shirt. so remember “honey i shrunk the audience” at disneyland? the 3d movie where mice run across your feet and stuff? well it is gone, sadly, but was replaced with something about tenfold better… a 20 year old 3d movie/dance directed by george lucas and starring the king himself, mj. it was so. weird.  and so strangely enjoyable. the best moment? when michael comes on screen and a little boy up a couple rows from me in the audience said rather loudly, “MOM IS THAT A GIRL OR A BOY?”. awesome. anyways, i just had to pick up a shirt to commemorate the experience.

and my dad’s face when i showed it to him. (or maybe that look had something to do with waiting in line at space mountain for 2 hours?)

 3. san diego temple. i’ve seen it in pictures, heard all the hoopla about it being the best, and well folks, i am now a believer. it’s so big and white!

 4. trader joe’s. TRADER JOE’S. after bugging my dad about a trillion times and sneaking it into the gps a time or two, i finally got my fix. oh, and did i mention that i kind of fell in love, too? cuz i did. i need that place here in utah. or idaho. i’m not picky- i would buy a jet just to fly there weekly or monthly or something just to stockpile their smashed s’mores and lentil chips. it’s that good. this salad completed me.

 5. mission beach. falling asleep to crashing waves, navy seals running right out into the ocean, homeless guys checking out my mom, watching my fish sister master boogie boarding, getting sunburned in the most awkward ways (think sunglasses tan to the maximum)  it was just all so awesome. as i was falling asleep i was planning my next trip down there. get there!

and every post needs some not so awesome things to counteract the euphoria you may be experiencing, right?
the list of not awesome things:
1. seaworld and the zoo. as much as i dislike animals, i dislike it more when they are caged up in little spaces and look weirdly sedated. not my style. the dolphins were cool though- i’ll give seaworld that. but real talk- don’t even try to tell me this lackadaisical heap is a happy and healthy functioning gorilla.

2. hotels that don’t have continental breakfast. if i become president of the us my first order of business is writing this into hotel legislature. there is nothing worse that smelling delicious smells coming from the lobby only to be stopped by a sign that says, “seat yourselves!” then “all you can eat breakfast- $11.95.” joykill. i will go back upstairs and enjoy another bar. or cheerios. or peanut m&ms. (okay so maybe these were just our treats from disneyland… but some mornings breakfast looked pretty dang similar)

3. eating it hard on a morning run. yeah, i may have taken a tumble and gotten a nasty cut up elbow in disneyland. my arm was sore for like 2 days. oh well, when you’re running in a place like this, it’s a small price to pay.

4. mean parents. honestly i saw some of the most biznachy moms at disneyland. your kid is at the happiest place on earth! play your part and stop yelling! my parents were definitely not those kind. (thanks, parents… and hi that’s my finger)

5. comic book conventions killing my dreams of experiencing downtown sd. alright, i hesitated putting this one on here because it was kind of awesome to see flocks of nerds running around in capes all over downtown. okay, really awesome.

yep it was a great trip. loved spending some time with my family and breaking away from my usual life! good times, let’s do it again soon. hasta luego, ca.

ain’t easy being green

i have hardly any apps on my phone. it is kind of pathetic.
however, i do use urbanspoon religiously. in fact, whenever i go somewhere new i am always urbanspooning to find out where the best place to eat is. 
it’s both a curse and a blessing
anyways, san diego has about a trillion restaurants, so when i found a listing for a well rated vegan restaurant called “evolution” in hillcrest, i was stoked. i was so ravenously hungry and excited to eat, i didn’t snap too many good pics. i guess you can say that when i am truly hungry, deliciousness of food is inversely proportional to the quality of my photography. 
or something? does that even make sense? i’m too tired and sunburned to make any sense!
anyways, i got a santa fe black bean burger full of lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, and guac with a side of sweet potato fries and homemade ketchup. my whole family came in to order with me. they all stood around looking all supportive and interested in the menu and food on display. it was a tender moment
 and then as soon as my order was ready they were promptly across the street ordering nice juicy burgers (that i am sure were definitely not grass fed) at five guys. 
and while they enjoyed their burgers, i hopped across the street to peruse through whole foods.
oh this family of mine.