Christmas Fun in Jackson Hole

Ahhhhh December.

The month of poinsetta! Of eggnog and candy canes! Of mid-afternoon sugar crashes because I ate a whole box of these:

In ONE sitting. Jealous?

What a glorious month it is! People bustling around with shopping bags, gingerbread baking hot in the oven and me – drinking vodka gimlets while singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, Will Ferrell style. What a visual.

Other haps?

It was -12 degrees today! Definitely makes you want to sing Ding Dong Merrily on High.

Bryan and I went to the Christmas tree lighting in Town Square and saw none other than…Santa Clause! He made his grand entrance on a dog sled. Sooo Jackson Hole of him, really. Then we strolled through the shops in Gas Light Alley and grabbed hot toddies at the Caddy with our pals Josh and Katie. These are the times when living in a ski resort town is quite fun, I must say.

I bought this adorable Christmas Hello Kitty plush from Albertsons. How could I say no to this sweetness?

Also, Bry and I constructed a lovely gingerbread house from scratch a box. Look how cute!

Complete with Bryan's Booty in the Background

And currently I am obsessed with the following:

  • Sephora.com.  Not sure what brought on this spontaneous need to purchase non-grocery store makeup but I am relishing it, as I have indulged in products like this:

The Sephora Favorites Glitz and Glam Pack

So long Wet n Wild. Natalie’s classin it up.

  • Clif Kids Ropes in Strawberry.  Have you tried one of these? One of the most delicious things you can put in your mouth. Bible. TWSS.

  • PINTEREST. If you don’t know what this is than please get off my blog. Seriously. Actually just shut down your computer all together. Kidding, a little :-).
  • My new Xbox Kinect! Bry gave me this godly piece of equipment as an early birthday present. It has been earth shattering. Using the Kinect, where your own body is the controller is the most fun I’ve had with a video game since Maniac Mansion or even Oregon Trail. Another amazingly cool feature of the Xbox Kinect (or Shirley as I’ve appropriately named her) is that she takes pictures while you play! Here are some highlights:

I’m loving these captions! What a sweet job that would be, inventing the names for the captions on Xbox Kinect game-pictures. Can you major in this? Further research is needed.

Also notice how we have to scrunch up all of our furniture (which sadly includes a tiny loveseat and even tinier coffee table) to make room for our vigorous play. Right now, we only have one game that came with the system which includes 5 different activities to choose from. I’d say “Reflex Ridge” is by far the most challenging. Moving side to side, jumping up and ducking down to avoid obstacles make you SWEAT while playing this. What a great ski fitness game!

I’m getting the Black Eyed Peas dance party game next. Anyone feel like throwin on some spandex and sweating to some Fergie with me?

Lastly, check out the gorgeous sky the other night.  I took these right off our balcony.

The sky was pink. So obviously, God did it all for me ;-).

Spencer + Jillian’s Wedding

Howdy chicas!

Btw, I used to start ALL my notes to friends in high school like that. I thought I was like, so cool.

I’m back and better than ever. Or maybe just tanner than ever. But in my book tanner is better so I deem this a win-win.

We actually returned from Mexico last week,  but due to working every day, volleyball practice and baking delicious pumpkin-oatmeal chocolate chip cookies the blog post suddenly became my last priority. The truth hurts.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

The first portion of the trip was a weekend in Seattle. We flew in on a Friday night and enjoyed a deeeelicious dinner cooked lovingly by Bryan’s mom along with vino and dessert. I felt like the Queen of England only tanner and more fabulous. We fell fast asleep that night and awoke the next morning to what else, but rain. Despite the gloom, we managed to pull on our tennie runners and hit the pavement for a quick 2-miler. Bryan alerted me that he could walk as fast as I was running. I think he was just jealous of my glamor-pace.

After showering we headed out to Kirkland to meet up with my mom, sister Megan, Auntie Connie and Aunt Judy for a late breakfast. They were 45 minutes late. They came in the door yelling. Everyone one hugged Bryan instantly. I love my family.

That night we went to Bryan’s “little bro” (frat term) Spencer’s wedding and were lucky enough to attend with awesome friends which made it all the better.

Before the wedding at Bryan's house

I know. I look like a glass of peach iced tea.

The wedding took place at the Annie Wright School in Tacoma. The wedding was held in the school’s chapel and it was really cool and interesting to walk through the halls of this historic school to the chapel. The reception was at the Washington State History Museum. Yes, another educational and interesting venue. It was held in the lobby section of the museum but guests were also welcome to wander through the exhibits.

The Dress Up Exhibit

Coppin a Feelskie

Warming my hands by the "fire"

We ended up finding a table nestled in it’s own little corner where Bryan, Kyle, Melissa and other friends could really drink our hearts out catch up. After the buffet dinner, I anxiously awaited the cake-cutting.

*Note: If I ever attend your wedding and you notice that I am lovingly watching you and your honey slowly cut your wedding cake and happily feed it to one another, know this: I am actually not watching you in adoration. I am thinking “cut that GD cake now and get outta my way so I can get a corner piece. THANKS”. All with a smile on my face.

After housing two pieces a normal serving of wedding cake, it was time for some bubbly and my fave – dancing. Bryan, myself and all his buddies quickly found ourselves on the dance floor so I made sure to snap a pic while I could.

Frat Bros

Bros Fo Life

Hey!

Needing Lipstick

After one too many glasses of wine and getting my song request rejected by the DJ, I thought it was high-time we skedaddle. Melissa was lovely enough to DD for the evening and I thank her endlessly for giving Bryan and I a lift home.

PS- What kind of DJ doesn’t play “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus?!

The next day we awoke fresh as daisies. Hungover daisies, but still daisies.We went out to Issaquah for lunch to visit more with my mom, sister Megan, Auntie Connie, Cousin Mike and his wife Karen. I like saying “sister Megan” and “cousin mike”. I think I’ve read too many Berenstein Bear books…

My Personal BB Fave

We sat around the table with a smorgasbord of goodies, including my favorite Yiddish treat, boyos. Boyos are kindof like a cheese-cracker except on acid. These babies are highly addicting. I love having Jewish relatives!

After lunch, we headed back to Bryan’s and prepared a pizza as an appetizer for Bryan’s dinner birthday party! Bryan’s mom Mary made champagne chicken and it was to die for. We also had a decadent chocolate dessert and of course, plenty of vino. Not only did Kyle and Melissa join us for dinner, but also LeAnne and Joe and Bry’s real bro, KC. It was a real treat hearing about all the funny stories from WSU and Bryan’s fraternity. Although I’m not a Coug, I feel like an honorary one when I’m around this group.

The next morning we awoke around 4 am to make our 6 am flight to San Diego connecting to Cabo! Yippee! B’s Dad Greg was sweet enough to be our shuttle driver for this trip so we didn’t have to worry about parking.

After getting through security we settled down to enjoy my favorite Seattle establishment.

The Bux

After downing a large coffee we boarded the plane and we off to our magical trip in Cabo!

Up next – Our amazing 7 day trip in Mexico!!

Stay tuned y’all.

Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Book Review

This post has nothing to do with Kentucky Fried Chicken. I just wanted to type it.

Remember those summer reading programs in elementary school? Where if you read enough books, you won a limo ride to McDonalds with the principal? Sidenote – WTF kind of prize is that?! I’ll admit, at the time, I pined for that prize and sadly couldn’t churn out enough Box Car Children chapter books to make the cut. The good news? Turns out, the real prize is the passion I have acquired for reading books of all kinds. Cheesy, yes. And true.

As of late, I have devoured many an awesome book – so if you’re looking for an amazing summer read, look no further.

1.) The Help

This book really needs no introduction. Pick it up, read the first couple pages and you’ll be hooked. Like I am to Teen Mom.

2.) The Lovely Bones

This book was strange and beautiful. It satiated the part of me that loves both deeply emotional books about people (in this case, pain and healing) and also serial killers. Although the killer in this novel is no John Wayne Gacy, he is super-creepy.

3.) American Wife

Per a reading suggestion from this gal, I picked this little gem up at the Browse n’ Buy thrift store and was blown away. Curtis Sittenfeld, who also wrote another favorite, Prep, hit it outta the park for me with her stunningly accurate depiction of the life of a first lady. Loosely based on the life of Laura Bush, this book was so awesome because she made the main character (Alice) come alive and seem completely real.

4.) Born to Run

This book was given to me by Bryan. It goes into many aspects of running, like ultra-marathons, footwear and injury. The majority of the book is devoted to the Tarahumara tribe, who live in Northern Mexico and run like a grillion miles a day. Seriously. It is fascinating, motivating and makes you want to go for a run.

Other awesome reads:

  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Her Name was Lola

Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m a sunoholic.

I was also born in the wrong era. But that's neither here nor there.

I enjoying being tan. Snooki tan.

Heart You Nicole

I know, I know. I live in Jackson, where temps dip as low as -18 degrees. And you don’t see consistent sun until July. Yes, July. Did I do my research before I decided to move here? No. Was I blind-sighted by the Tetons, abundance of mellow, Patagonia-clad people and the prospect of getting out of the ‘Kane? Certainly.

Jackson Lake

I’m ok with it.

While the weather here is not for us sun goddesses, the other amazing attributes make Jackson one of the most beautiful places on earth. For a true account of the power this place holds, not to mention absolutely gorgeous writing, please check out my bestie Carey’s blog post here.

So about 2 months ago, B took pity on me and indulged my hard-core sun addiction by suggesting we plan a trip to the land of sun, sin and foot-long margs. No, it’s not Sprague, Washington! Good guess though.

VEEEEEGGGGGGGAAAAAAASSSSSSSS

Both Bryan and I have been there multiple times, which means this trip we won’t be making those classic mistakes, such as:

  • Staying in a sh*tty ass hotel at the end of the strip because it was only $49 a night.
  • Strutting around the strip in skimpy clothes we bought at Rave that later break when we’re dancing too hard to “My Humps”.
  • Going inside EVERY casino and catching all those free shows you have to see as a Vegas-virgin.
  • Puking. Period.
  • Not reserving a hotel for the last night we’ll be there and booking a flight out at 5 am. Since, like, we’ll totally be partying until then at a kickin’ night club when really we’ll end up sitting around a 24-hour diner eating cold stuffed mushrooms while my false eyelash dangles off my glitter-crusted eyelid. Or, was this just me, Meg, Holly, Carey and Bekah (the besties)?

    It's Game Time B*tches

Instead, Bryan and I are taking the classy route. Although our trip is indeed ridonculously cheap, we are planning some pretty sweet stuff. Consisting of, but not limited to:

  • A 3-night stay at the luxurious hotel + casino, The Mirage.
  • 2 tickets to LOVE (Cirque du Soliel’s Beatles show) SO pumped for this guys.
  • Ridiculous amounts of pool-time.

    The Pool at the Mirage

Ok, so you know that Fantasy Football thing? Well here is my fantasy Vegas team:

  1. Holly Madison –  Former GND. Current Vegas head-liner. Adore.
  2. Bill Cosby – I hear he’ll be in Vegas. “Theeeooo likes the swirrly puddin popsss…” (That was my Cosby)
  3. Bobby Flay – He has a restaurant in Vegas called Mesa. He’s a ginger. Need I say more?
  4. Barry Manilow – Confession: Not really a fan other than Copa Cabana.
  5. Criss Angel –  Magician and mind freak. Duh.

We leave in two weeks. Tally ho!

Stretch Question:

What is your favorite thing to do in Vegas?

All My Sistas

From Left: Bekah, Me, Carey, Holly

 Tomorrow evening something epic is taking place. And no, it’s not the premier of the Real Housewives of Jackson Hole. I WISH.

Drumroll please…All my besties are coming to Jackson!! In the form of Bekah and Carey. And as an added bonus Carey is brining her FIANCE Chirs and my precious “nephew” Jackson. What makes this so epic? Well, for starters we haven’t all been in the same room for 2-ish years. Bananas.

To commemorate such a wildly exciting, momentous occasion I deem it only appropriate to celebrate with photos. Hot ones. Obv.