Wednesday, February 29, 2012


while browsing this here internet earlier today, i came across this list of ways to boost your creativity. just the thing for a person with a resolution to be more creative, wouldn't you say?

and the tips are...

1. make lists
2. carry a notebook everywhere
3. try free writing
4. get away from the computer (ironic, since i found this list on the computer...)
5. quit beating yourself up
6. take breaks
7. sing in the shower
8. drink coffee (maybe diet coke counts?)
9. listen to new music
10. be open
11. surround yourself with creative people
12. get feedback
13. collaborate
14. don't give up
15. practice, practice, practice
16. allow yourself to make mistakes
17. go somewhere new
18. count your blessings
19. get lots of rest
20. take risks
21. break the rules
22. don't force it
23. read a page of the dictionary
24. create a framework (any ideas what this means...?)
25. stop trying to be someone else's perfect
26. got an idea? write it down
27. clean your workspace
28. have fun
29. finish something

i think there's some pretty good advice in there, don't you? maybe i'll start with the diet coke and see where it takes me...

Friday, February 24, 2012

go long

it's been a crazy times week with lots of extra hours clocked at the ol' office, so sorry for the radio silence up in here.

but, i am happy to report that i was able to break away for two immensely important events.

first, the sacramento kings vs. washington wizards starring everyone's favorite byu alum, jimmer! (can you see him?)

we even witnessed the famous long shot. and then we saw three players trip over the own feet and fall face first onto the court. totally true, and totally worth it.

second, the downtown abbey season finale. how i loved it. and how depressed i am that it's over.

luckily, we have this arrested development/downton abbey mash-up meme, and this ryan gosling-knock off "hey lady" meme to get us through until september.

a few particular favorites.

this one:

and this one:

happy weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

the happiness project

we hosted a rousing meeting of the monthly bennett cousin discussion group earlier this week.

it is such a treat to have family near by, even more of a treat to get to see them often, and the best treat of all to get together to talk about interesting this. i was in charge of the article this month and after much and lengthy deliberation, i finally settled on this piece by lori gottlieb about how helicopter parenting can ruin your kid's life.

we all had plenty to say about it, as i am sure you can imagine, but here are a few things that stuck out to me.

1. "happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing. but happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster."

i think this is a lesson we learn particularly well as members of the LDS faith. when you follow the commandments, the promptings of the spirit and make good choices and you are blessed and blessings make you happy, so you learn to see happiness as (to steal from the quote above) a "byproduct of living your life."

i find this an enormously helpful concept because it means that a) if i am not feeling happy as a byproduct of my life, i can change the things i am doing in my life and experience positive results, making me the master of my own fate which is at the same time a remarkably comforting and somewhat terrifying concept and b) i can be happy even if bad things are happening to me as long as i continue to live my life in a way that brings me good things.

2. "you have to be exposed to pathogens or your body won't know how to respond to an attack. kids also need exposure to discomfort, failure and struggle."

the value of failure, we concluded, is that once you have experienced it once, when it comes again you know you can handle it. you've been through that hard thing once, so you can certainly get through it again. and how much better to learn that lesson on the ultimately inconsequential failures of childhood, than on what can be much more shaking failures in adulthood.

3. "the irony is that measures of self-esteem are poor predictors of how content a person will be, especially if the self-esteem comes from constant accommodation and praise rather than earned accomplishment."

there is no feeling in the world that can beat the feeling of working hard for something and getting it, whether it's a game, a paper, a job, a talent or a relationship. the list really is endless. and if you don't work hard but you get something anyway, how can you really feel confident in yourself and happy about your efforts? everything that means the most to me is something i have worked hard for or hard at, and those are also the things i feel very best about.

4. "our children are not our masterpieces."

one thing i appreciate more and more about my parents the older i get is that they were always proud and supportive of me, but they also let me develop into my own unique personality and they had their own lives and interests and triumphs outside of their children. i think that was just the right way to do it.

and, i also think that the "right" way is different for every parent and every child and every circumstance. just like my recent realization that there is no magic bullet piece of advice or formula for getting married, it seems that the same must be true of parenting. which is, i imagine, what makes it so terrifying, but also what makes it so wonderful.

though, if you're looking for a model, you might consider the french.

Friday, February 17, 2012


some friends of ours had a film festival on valentine's day and, even though we couldn't go, we submitted a little movie.

it was super fun to make it, and we owe a big thanks to sarita bonita for directing us and filming everything. and a big thanks to AWD who was both a good sport and hilarious. i have watched this movie a couple times a day every day since we finished it just because i think he's so funny and adorable.

and i hope you think so, too.

happy friday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

teenage dream

i am taking a social media certification course at georgetown university and today was my first class. and let me tell you something, it might as well have been my first day in seventh grade for how nervous and insecure i felt.

i guess it goes to show you can take the girl out of awkward tween but you can't take the awkward tween out of the girl. or something.

i was so worried about saying the wrong thing, and about whether the cool kids would like me. and it didn't help that i am so overwhelmed and, frankly confused, by all these crazy, new-fangled social media platforms (mashable? gov loop? four square? what?!?) but i am a grown-up professional woman for sobbing out loud. it was a little ridiculous.

and the whole time i felt like just standing up and shouting: i am cool! like me! i am not the tongue-tied weirdo that i appear to be! give me a chance! please?!?

remember how i said it was a little ridiculous? well, it was.

i've often wondered if we ever outgrow the trauma of our own childhoods rejections, real or perceived. after today, i think the answer is no. but i also think that might be OK.

and i think i can win those cool kids over eventually.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


happy valentine's day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

we bought a zoo

while we were in san diego we stayed with sallee and nathan and no-longer-a-baby claire, which was totally fun for a number of reasons, one of which was that sallee and i escaped for a kid-and-husband-free trip to the nail salon, and another one of which was a trip to the san diego zoo.

good friends, good nails and good animals. doesn't get much better than that.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

animal style

for in-n-out first-timers, i'd say we did it up pretty well.

though i'm not going to lie, i thought all this advice about asking for our burgers "animal style" was just a trick to get us to look stupid at the cash register.

good news. it wasn't. and animal style is delish.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

then comes marriage

miss angela is mrs. angela now and it was a beautiful wedding all around.

(it was also a little windy there on the beach.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

welcome to miami (bienvenidos)

key largo snorkeling was replaced with south beach exploring.

i would say it was a fair trade.

Friday, February 3, 2012

key largo, baby why don't we go

our plan was to snorkel on the reef while we were in key largo but the weather turned blustery when we got there and the trips were cancelled, so we just ate buttermilk biscuits as big as our heads at harriette's...

... and then headed to john pennekamp state park and walked through the mangrove swamp instead.

which was, we think, equally lovely and did not make anyone seasick.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

coast to coast

because one coast in one week is not enough, we are off to san diego later today for miss angela and eric's wedding, followed by a flurry of friend visits all through southern california.

i think it is going to be a blast. february is a little bit of a dreary month, i think, so i like to spice it up with as many adventures as i can.

don't you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

keyed in

i have a particular soft spot for beach towns, and key west hit it spot-on. i'd like to go back some day for longer and just hole up in a beach shack and rent a bike with a basket and spend endless days peddling around.

but, for the three short days we had, dana and i did the keys up right.

a summary.

conch fritters at alabama jack's where we ate by the water and also saw kathie lee gifford, who has a mansion nearby. it's one of her favorite places.

robbie's pier where we bought a bucket of bait fish and hand-fed them to the enormous and frankly terrifying tarpon. though not actually hand-fed because we always chickened out and dropped the bait as soon as their enormous jaws were coming towards us.

plus we saw a manatee!

beach time at bahia (pronounced bah-ya) honda state park, including a stellar view of the old railroad bridge.

sunset in mallory square on key west and cuban food for dinner at el meson de pepe.

the next morning we started at the southernmost point of the continental u.s.

except that the real southernmost point is on this restricted navy base a few inlets over. but that doesn't matter, right?

we saw hundreds of gorgeous butterflies at the butterfly conservatory.

and dozens of six-toed cats, including a gray one named frances, at the ernest hemingway house.

and street after street of charming houses.

we ate chocolate-dipped key lime pie on a stick.

i toured harry truman's favorite vacation home, the little white house, while dana read on the beach.

and that was all on sunday!

sunday night we headed back to key largo, with a stop to watch the sunset over seven mile bridge.

it was perfect. and it was just the beginning.