Friday, February 6, 2015

for fun

Every time I meet a new person, specifically of the male variety, there's one question that I always dread:

"What do you do for fun?"

For whatever reason, this question gives me great anxiety because I have no idea how to answer it. I want to come off as this incredibly interesting person- unlike anyone you've ever met before! So original! So exotic!- but that would all be a lie.

Because, you see, the things I do for fun are incredibly average. But that's the thing- I have a lot of fun doing absolutely nothing.

If you want to catch Alyssa in the wild, you would most likely find her doing two things: a. Reading, or b. Watching TV. If I'm feeling really extreme, maybe you'll find me at 11:00 Bingo with a few friends (don't bring this up to my mom unless you want to have a whole debate on whether or not bingo is gambling. By the way, it's not. Hi mom!).

That's it! That's all she (I?) wrote! Aren't I so interesting and exotic and so very unlike anyone you've ever met?! How am I supposed to change the fact that I would rather watch a Real Housewives marathon than go hiking or restore furniture or make crafts?

A few months ago, one of my brother's mission companions came in town and I had to entertain him for the night. He was from Germany and had never been to Las Vegas before, so the pressure was on... and it didn't hurt that he was tall and handsome and had a very charming accent. You know how I feel about those type of guys.

Anyway, I think he was intrigued by a single LDS girl living in Las Vegas. I figured I should jump the gun and ask him the dreaded question, so I could by myself some time to think of a proper response. What do you do for fun, handsome European stranger?

You guys... he had so many cool answers to this question that it's not even funny. The best one was that he likes to go salsa dancing. Seriously?! This 6'5 skinny white guy goes salsa dancing! How am I supposed to compete with that?! I'm pretty sure I dodged the question when he asked it, most likely with my head hung in shame.

I just really like books. I just have a full DVR all the time that doesn't like to be neglected. Doesn't that count as a hobby?

Next time I'm gonna say that I enjoy entering high-stakes poker tournaments or base jumping. That'll be a hit for sure.

So yeah... what do you do for fun?

Friday, January 9, 2015

cafe and the girls

I just got back from a Cafe Rio lunch with some of my best girl friends. We frequently find ourselves at Cafe (as we so lovingly call it) in some combination, every week or so. Lately it's just me and Becca but once in awhile the stars will align and the whole crew will squeeze at a table and we'll all order the same things we've always ordered and for an hour, it's like time hasn't passed at all.

I was lucky enough to find most of my girlfriends in high school or before. They've known me since I had braces and couldn't quite tame my curly mane (can I tame my mane? That's up for debate). They've seen me cry over dumb boys and they've made me laugh till I cry, countless times. The 6 of us lived together in various combinations during our Provo years and those are some of my favorite times. They wore shirts with my face on them for my 20th birthday... only the best friends do that.

There's been 5 weddings and 3.5 kids and now we're separated by 3 states and hundreds of miles. Today it hit me that there were 2 babies with us this time and it felt like I'd time traveled or something. Aren't we still 20 years old, meeting up at cafe in between classes? Where did the babies and the husbands and the college degrees and real life jobs come from?

You would think this would make me sad, but it actually made me very very happy. My friends are still beautiful and accomplished and now they are wonderful mothers and spouses and that's so inspiring to me. I can't wait to follow in their footsteps.

But I'm also grateful that there will always be the 6 of us, and there will always be Cafe.

Monday, January 5, 2015

let's try this again.

Its been close to a year since I fired up the ol' blogger account. I thought I had hung up my blogging shoes for good this time... I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say or any audience to say it to. Not that I need an audience, but a big part of writing something is having someone read it, no? As I was reflecting on my year, I realized that I missed documenting things. I wish I was a better journal writer, but that only happens about twice a year, unfortunately. I also really really like pictures but ain't nobody got time for scrapbooking these days. Blogging seems to be the best marriage between the two. So, without further adieu, welcome my latest and greatest attempt at bloggism. And yes, I did just made up the work bloggism.

Let's talk about 2014 for a hot second. If you were to check out my beginning of the year post, you would see that I dedicated 2014 to progress. I'm happy to say that I feel like I progressed quite a bit during the last year and I'm so much better off for it.

I finished both semesters on the Dean's List and got straight A's for this first time in my lengthy and legendary college career.

I completed my first Practicum with rave reviews and got to work at a school that I could only dream of working at when I'm an actual teacher.

I moved out of my parents house (!!!) and into my very own place. Yep, just me, all alone, and I couldn't love it more.

I went through the temple for the first time and started teaching Sunday School. One of those is a great thing, the other not so much.

I continued to work two jobs and go to school full time. This is probably a good explanation as to why my social life hasn't progressed much, but there's still time to work on that!

So this post has turned into one giant humblebrag... whoops! I'm just really proud of the giant leaps I've taken this last year and I needed to document that feeling for when I inevitably feel like a slacker and a total loser at some point. Bottom line: Progress is doable and life goes by really fast and as long as you are doing your absolute best, you will be just fine. Also, blog more.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

where i ramble.

I discovered tonight that one of the girls at Cafe Rio has my order memorized. It's a very particular order too, so I was quite impressed. Should I be proud of this or embarrassed? Grilled chicken tostada forevs.

You guys, I like Juan Pablo, and I feel like I'm the only one who does. Yes, he's kind of boring, but he's sweet and genuine and his accent makes everything adorable. Can we stop hating on him and just let him find love already?!

Also, this is a little controversial, but I think I'm Team Claire. Go get your man, girl! Who cares if all the other girls are jealous! But next time you want a little ocean make out sesh, make sure the cameras aren't rolling. Drama: eliminated. You're welcome.

I may or may not have a legitimate stalker situation on my hands. Like, legitimately scary. Hopefully it becomes funnier someday and I can tell you all about it. PS this is not to brag about myself... just to warn all you single ladies out there to not let guys push you around.

Let's switch gears. I have a new man in my life! He's 12 years old and the sweetest kid I've ever met and I'm lucky enough to be his nanny. We mostly drive to all his activities and chat and laugh and sometimes play Sorry. It couldn't be a more perfect situation!

I now have a constant craving for cherry dipped cones from Dairy Queen. It's bad. I've gone by myself twice this week (and I feel like I shouldn't have just admitted that).

Currently reading the Divergent series. Oh man, I was SUCH a doubter but everyone kept telling me to read them and EVERYONE WAS RIGHT! So. Good. Can't wait for the movie.

I signed up for an institute class on a whim because I had an hour and a half between classes. It was a seriously inspired move because a. I'm learning more about the BOM than I ever have in my whole 25 years of life and b. there is a seriously beautiful man that sits next to me. The Lord is watching over me, ya'll! Now He needs to help me talk to this guy because I've suddenly become shy...

Taylor Swift's Grammy dress!!!!!!!! That is all.

OMG stop everything because I made the Dean's List last semester!!!! It only took me 7 years!

Nothing can top that. Tomorrow I'm going on a little vacay and I can't wait! More on that later. xo.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

can I interest you in an NYC mega-post?

Don't even mind that it's mid-January and I'm just now getting around to blogging about my pre-thanksgiving NYC trip... it's totally fine.

Are you prepared for this super long post? Yes? Good. Let's dive right in.

Backstory: My dad had meetings in NYC and he was planning on taking my mom for a birthday present. Then he was somehow divinely inspired to use Southwest points to bring his delightful daughters too so the diva wouldn't be bored while he was in meetings all day. Win for us!

We flew in on Wednesday night... here is your obligatory "NYC from the plane" picture.

We went to our hotel, dropped our stuff off and headed out in search of a good late-night meal. We walked maybe 10 steps outside of our hotel before we ran into a big crowd taking pictures. We pushed into the crowd and found ourselves face to face with none other than the gorgeous Orlando Bloom himself! He was performing in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway and he came out of the theater to sign autographs and stuff. It was divine and made for an amazing start to our trip!

Lucky for us, Shake Shack was only a couple blocks away. You guys... Shake Shack!!!! I can't even start on this. It lived up to the hype and BEYOND. 

Inspired by the divine spirit of celebrity encounters, we found ourselves at the grand opening for the new H&M flagship in Times Square. Lady Gaga was cutting the ribbon in this picture... just pretend you see something cool.

Padre had meetings all day on Thursday, so us girls got to spend the day exploring the city on our own. One of our cab drivers LOVED my mom... he called her "yummy". So there's that. I mean, just look at her face...

We did the NBC Experience tour at 30 Rock, which was super fun. The coolest part was seeing them set up the SNL stage for Lady Gaga. It was a very Gaga weekend, you guys. She couldn't get enough of us!

We went to lunch at The Meatball Shop and it was DIVINE. Might have been my favorite meal in New York. It's quaint and delicious and I highly recommend it!

When we came out of our tour at Rockefeller Center some girls offered us tickets to see Jimmy Fallon rehearse his monologue. He rehearses in front of an audience everyday to decide which jokes he should use on the show. It was SO fun! Jimmy is our favorite and he was so charming. It was really intimate and super cool to see the set and everything. This was super fun because it was only about 20 mins long, so it doesn't take up a ton of your day. If you love Jimmy, do this!!

After Jimmy Fallon, we went to the Top of the Rock. It was perfect timing... the sun was just setting and it was so beautiful! 

We finished the day off with some John's Pizza and dessert and Big Gay Ice Cream. The ice cream was fantastic... I got the salty pimp. Look it up. 

Friday morning was spent navigating the subway to the 9/11 memorial. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Such a great tribute. 

We ran into a beautiful old church that my mom insisted on photographing...

...and then went exploring in Soho! And by exploring, I mean shopping. We discovered some amazing places (why has no one told me about C. Wonder?!) and ran into a fantastic sale at Madewell. We made out pretty good...

That night was quite possibly my favorite part of the trip... NEWSIES on Broadway. I can't even express how much I loved this!! We were in the third row and it was incredible. The guy who played Jack Kelly is a BABE and I may or may not follow him on instagram now. I grew up loving this movie and the play was everything I loved and more! EVERYONE GO SEE IT PLEASE. Take me with you.

 Are you ready for a ridiculous amount of pictures from Central Park? We did a bike tour of the park on Saturday. The weather was so perfect and I'm so happy that there were still glimpses of fall in the park. Our tour guide was awesome and he showed us all kinds of places in the park that I didn't even know existed.


Seriously? This park. This view. This weather.

This was at Strawberry Fields so we were doing peace signs and sad faces in memory of John Lennon, of course.

This picture just makes me think of Maid in Manhattan when she's walking the dog in the white outfit. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

That night we saw Matilda on Broadway. I loved it, I thought it was funny and different and so creative! My parents weren't so into it, but they've never seen the movie so I don't think they got it. I'm pretty confident that if you liked the movie, you would like the play.

And Sunday we had to go home and it was so sad. It was seriously such a great trip. Usually at the end of a trip I'm ready to go home, but this time I didn't want to leave! I could have done another week, there was so much more I still wanted to do. My heart is already wanting to return to NYC soon!!

How's that for world's longest post? If you made it to the end, you deserve an NYC trip. Go treat yourself!

Saturday, January 4, 2014


It's a brand new year and all I have to say about that is HALLELUJAH!

2013 was a doozy for me. I'm sure in the future I will think back on these times with fondness and nostalgia, but for now it's a giant good riddance to the last year.

I'm all about fresh starts, and with this new year comes a lot of changes for me. In the next few weeks I'll start not one, but two new jobs, both of which I'm excited to tell you about at some point. One of them I've been planning for awhile while the other just came out of nowhere. I'm pretty sure it was a very tangible answer to my prayers, because it literally just plopped right into my lap and appears to work out perfectly. I'm feeling very blessed in this new year!

I'm not really one for resolutions because, let's be honest, they never really work out that well... at least for me. Instead I've just decided to focus on one thing this year, and that's progress.

Progress in my education for sure. But we've already discussed that at length :)

Progress in my financial well-being. AKA saving and not taking as many trips to the mall (which usually happens out of boredom... whoops)

Progress in becoming more independent in all aspects of my life.

Most especially, spiritual progress in taking a few steps that just feel right at this point. A little scary, but a million times great.

Am I allowed to say progress in my dating life? Because YES. please.

Maybe I'll finally catch up in my journal writing and read more books and learn how to take pretty pictures. Hopefully I'll find adventure and lots of good surprises. And travel, please and thank you.

2014 is gonna be a good one, guys. I can feel it. We're all gonna be good.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

12 things that make me terribly happy.

image via
1. Smelling old perfume that brings back great memories
2. Long baths before bed
3. Not having to set an alarm
4. Birthday cake
5. Seat heaters in cars
6. Unexpectedly good hair days
7. Photo Booths
8. Rainy Days
9. The smell of the air when you first arrive at the beach
10. Christmas cards
11. Putting my music on shuffle and having the perfect song come on
12. My Hunter boots