Sunday, December 16, 2007

cookie exchange extravaganza

i hosted a cookie exchange on thursday night. it was great (well i had fun anyway...and how can you go wrong, really, with hundreds of cookies at your disposal?) especially considering that i realized this was the first party i've ever thrown entirely on my own. all our dessert parties at BYU were co-sponsored by roommates and whatnot. but i guess my college education paid off ("don't PR people just plan parties all day?") because it seemed like everyone had fun...

mmm...this was my contribution...

catie and halie with their yummy oatmeal treats

friends loading up!

about 2/3 of the cookies that eventually showed up

about 11 people ended up coming, which was fine because i was afraid if anyone else showed up we wouldn't fit. :) it was a lot of fun...but let me just say that christmas as a grown up is STRESS-FUL. between christmas cards, this party, work parties and gifts, family parties and gifts...i almost can't wait for it all to be over. but thanks to an awesome ward choir rendition of o holy night and the fact that i'm only one-and-a-half gifts away from being done with my shopping, i'm finally starting to get into the real christmas spirit.

in other news i spoke in church today. i think the best compliment i received was from one of the elderly crazies, who said "i usually get so bored when people get up to talk, but not with you -- i didn't even go to the bathroom while you were up there." apparently she liked that i have personality when i speak (i made air quotes with my fingers during my opening...she loved that) and i also retold the story of The Three Trees which had her riveted. hahahaha. i said, "so i did a good job?" and she said, "no, girl, you didn't do a good job -- you had it goin' on!"

we leave for utah on saturday...if i make it till then.


so i was looking for some pictures the other day and came across a whole album i took with my brother and sister in the summer of 2006...and it brought back such good memories. I LOVE MY SIBS. before i got married i lived at home for a was before my sister left for BYU-I, before my brother started driving, before everything. on sunday nights we'd take family walks to the park behind our house and one night we decided to do a myspace photo shoot (yes, all three payzant children are obsessed with the whole social networking thing). i've had these pictures on facebook for a while but they brought me so much happiness when i re-discovered them that i wanted to share :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

feliz navidad

last night we had our traditional christmas date to the grove. i love love love when it is all decorated for christmas, with the fake snow and everything. we ate at the cheesecake factory and shopped and almost froze to death (i'm a californian again...60 degrees is way too cold for me!)

other than that not much new with us. brandon started work and loves it. i did my photo shoot last week. we've been busy with christmas activities. i'm having my cookie party this week...assuming everyone can fit into my apartment. :)

two weeks till christmas!! <3

Sunday, December 2, 2007

the latest

this has been a busy weekend.

friday we decorated for christmas!!! YAY. it was almost as good as christmas morning, going through my boxes and discovering all the stuff i accumulated after last year. then we went to a singles dinner at church (still not quite sure how we got invited to that seeing as how we're married...i guess they needed filler people to help things go my mom says, we get called on to help all over the place in this ward :)

saturday i went to a relief society brunch party, to the gym, helped a woman in our ward pack up her apartment to move, watched the usc/ucla game (GO TROJANS!!) and got ready to go to my work party.

it was at this really cool club in hollywood, mood. i guess it was OUR work party seeing as how brandon will be an official GHer this wednesday. we had a great was too dark inside to take pictures but i did fit in a few myspace shots before we left.

happy december! 23 days till christmas :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

new job alert!

the big news you've all been so anxiously waiting for: brandon got a new job!! he is the newest account executive on the nintendo team at golinharris.

yes, i said golinharris. yes, that is my current workplace. no, i do not work directly with the nintendo team. we aren't even on the same floor. but yes, it is true -- brandon and i will now be co-workers.

first, a little background. let me make it quite clear that i had nothing to do with this at all. one of our mutual friends, a BYU grad on the nintendo team, ran into brandon at an awards dinner a few weeks ago and was telling him how they were looking hard for new people and said he should send in his resume. they then wanted to interview him, which caused many deep what-if discussions in the payzant-wells household, but ultimately we decided to just go for it and see what happens. bottom line: they loved him and made him a fantastic offer, and he accepted last week.

while this does have all the immediate drawbacks (like, for starters, it might be a little weird to work with all the same people as my husband, and that we'll go to the one and same christmas party every year, and that probably everyone will be trying to catch us in some awkward PDA moment -- which will NOT happen), this situation really allows us to reap unlimited benefits.

i'm sure you can all guess that a job change means you get paid more. :) not to mention he will be working on a great account for a great client. on a personal note, who WOULDN'T want to commute and go to lunch with their husband every day?

but besides that, really his job in santa monica was the only thing tying us to the west side. now that we will both be working in downtown, a VERY public-transportation-friendly area, our housing options have just exploded tenfold. glendale, pasadena, even rancho cucamonga are all possibilities for us when our renewed contract is up in march. (for those of you who aren't los angeles residents, this means we can get a WAY nicer, way newer place for so much cheaper than we are paying now.) so i guess it was actually a huge blessing for us not to be able to find a new place a few months ago when we were looking. everything always works out for the best.

i am not very good with sudden changes or life-altering moves, but so far i'm handling this one pretty well, due to all the aforementioned reasons. it all happened so fast and worked out so perfectly, even i cannot say it wasn't meant to be. i think the best things in life are these opportunities that you can't plan for or even think up yourself, but when they fall in your lap you just take them and run with it and life can only get better.

Monday, November 12, 2007

will thanksgiving never COME

all right, so a lot has been going on at the wells household lately.

a. last week i went to monterey for work. we brought two groups of journalists up to test ride the new 2008 R6 at the world-famous Laguna Seca racetrack. we stayed at a totally sweet hotel (my room not only had a fireplace but ALSO free snacks, wine and mini bar! yesss...just what i need, free wine) and things overall went well. we had three crashes, but i only had to take one victim to the hospital. he had a concussion and during the drive to the hospital he kept asking me the same questions over and over...HAHA. he was fine so i can laugh about it now, but at the time i was thinking "if this guy goes into convulsions or something with me i am going to FREAK."

b. so i got home on friday and spent the weekend trying to detox, but not really. saturday i went to a baby shower for my friend megan duzy tanner. i met megan when she moved into my neighborhood and ward when i was 15 and she was 16, and we were best friends from then on. she was like the big sister i always wanted and i loved being with fact it was mostly by her example that i chose to follow her up to BYU when i graduated from high school. we've kind of grown apart since then (she got married in 04 and is now living in san diego) but i was so so happy to go to her shower! not to mention the fact that EVERYONE i know is having kids right now and maybe i'm starting to get just a little bit baby hungry.... HAHA.

c. saturday night (literally right after i walked in the door from the shower) brandon and i volunteered at a homeless shelter here in LA with some of our ward friends. i was a little apprehensive seeing as how i usually don't do very well around crazies, but this was a super nice facility for people with "non-violen, non-drug related financial issues". We served dinner and sat and talked with the people while they ate. i met a cute little old lady who told me her whole life story; she's trying to apply for jobs right now as part of her year plan to get back on her feet so we talked about resumes and jobs and she asked me to pray for her cause she was nervous. when we brought out dessert everyone was so excited...i guess they don't get homecooked meals or dessert very often because they all asked for two pieces! i wish i had taken pictures there...sorry :( we will prob go back so i'll be sure to take some then.

d. yesterday we went to church and i had a youth fireside thing at night...i made delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that were a HIT. however, for dinner, some of our friends had invited us to their son's birthday party. these people, the canas, are super nice and we really like them but they are def your basic cholos. HAHA. the wife, carla, is awesome, but i am scared to ever make her mad because she seems like she has a whole lot of latina attitude just brimming below the surface. :) so when they asked us to come to her parents for the party i wasn't sure what to expect...we drove out to this tiny house in ghetto east LA and had a fantastic homemade meal of carne asada, spanish rice, beans, etc. this is authentic, people -- nothing from regular stores. i swear to you we were the only white people there, everyone was speaking spanish and we were in their tiny all-concrete backyard surrounded by run down cars with tarps on them...and it was soooo funny to me. HAHA i laugh even now. but the coolest part was that none of the family or friends wondered why they'd bring their gringo friends -- everyone was super nice to us, made sure we had plenty of food, and even tried to speak english to us. i got to bust out some of my high school spanish but i'm sure my conjugations were horrible...gotta brush up. so that was our cultural experience for the week!

and e. now we're in another crazy week. the only reason i even have time to blog is because brandon is home late from work...this is the only free time i'll have prob till thanksgiving! i'm already stressed thinking about it. however i will probably have some exciting news to announce soon...brandon has a new job opportunity (one that hits a little close to home for me) that we will be sharing with everyone when it's confirmed :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

a word of warning...

OMG so you seriously have to be careful what you put on the worldwide web. i had heard stories of friends getting caught blogging about work or something only to be caught by their boss, but i had my own little "gotcha" moment last week.

the previous blog below about my experience with habitat for humanity was picked up by CurbedLA, a really cool local blog about neighborhood happenings and real estate development around the city. i actually really love the site. so they were blogging about the build, and somehow found my blog, and posted some of my pictures in their story! they even cite my blog as the source (which led me to fully regret the stupid name i chose for the blog a while back and never updated).

you can see my published photos here.

as if that isn't cool enough, this week in the golinharris western region's monthly staff meeting, i won the Golinnovation award for someone who goes above and beyond with a creative idea. my coworkers and supervisors thought it was awesome that my experience proves media opportunities can come from anywhere, especially when you are just living your life and encorporating current habits into your everyday activities. how hilarious is that!!

so i would just like to let you all know that you better watch what you post...because you really don't know where it will pop up! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

habitat for humanity

today i got to do something really cool. the corporate team at work does PR for habitat for humanity, and as part of our office's pro bono work some of us volunteer to help out on the account. this week the jimmy carter work project (habitat's biggest build of the year, a weeklong thing that goes to one city each year and draws lots of celebs and stuff while the regular people build houses at various sites) is in los angeles -- two separate build sites, one in san pedro and one in south LA with various fix-it projects around the city -- and we've been pitching it for the past few weeks.

today i staffed the south LA site, working the media table. unfortch we weren't very busy as far as media (mainly because pres. carter and garth brooks were at the san pedro site) but i loved being able to go there and see all the people so happy to help. reading the stories of the families who will receive homes almost made me cry...habitat really has an amazing program. all these deserving families will get homes they need so much, and hundreds of volunteers get to help give it to them.

and i love my job, don't get me wrong, but i think one of the best parts of doing PR is being able to further the voice of a worthy cause, instead of focusing on the bottom line all the time. my favorite part of the auto team is working on toyota's philanthropy and community relations programs because i feel like i'm helping to give back. habitat allows tons of people to do that.

anyway, i got a little time today to take a look around the construction are a few pics:

the rest of the day was totally nuts and i'm wiped out now. not to mention the 405 got closed down today so for some reason it jammed up every other freeway in southern CA and made me CRAZY. i'm going to monterey next week for work, so right now i'm trying really hard to get everything ready. but tomorrow is halloween and i'm excited.

and a side note...for those of you following the apt. 1 bathroom flood drama, here's the latest update: this week brandon took off the mirror (which hung on the wall that got wet the last time the ceiling leaked) because we noticed something weird going on, and we discovered this lovely mold deposit. YUCK. basically we freaked out. all is well though, i called the landlord ASAP and they came and fixed everything :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

one more for good measure

just because i like to share when i'm proud of baking things, here are pictures of the cutest halloween cupcakes EVER (thanks to my las vegas cupcake papers :)

they are chocolate-chocolate-chip with homemade peanut butter frosting (so good in fact brandon eats them for breakfast). mmm. my young women liked them.

in other [sad] news, the LA times did a story about the boy from our ward that can read it here :(

beyond that nothing much new around here, back to work tomorrow. have a good week everyone!


so we got married on october 20, 2006. which is one year ago from yesterday. that means we celebrated ONE YEAR of marriage this weekend :)

my husband loves me.

our fancy hawaiian dinner at roy's (to commemorate our hawaiian honeymoon...get it?)

WHERE we got two fantastic desserts (one on the house)...and i kid you not when i say that molten lava cake is THE best thing i've ever eaten in my life

we followed that up with an oh-so-romantic trip to the adult session of the los angeles stake conference...what better way to spend the evening ;/...what can i say, i'm never too celebratory to skip a chance to uplift myself spiritually :)

then we came home to eat our eagerly-anticipated year-old cake top. i had started freaking out around 2 p.m. that afternoon that the cake would be covered in mold, disintegrated in a puddle, etc. etc. after i had been so looking forward to having another stab at my fabulous chocolate-mint wedding cake (made by my grandmother, who ran a highly successful cake-baking operation out of her home in north hollywood for 30 years...i'm not lying when i say i grew up on her frosting), but all was well. it was a little dry but i've already eaten two pieces ;)

and then we watched E.T. on tv because the nightmare before christmas was sold out at blockbuster.

and THAT, my friends, is how you celebrate an anniversary. <3

Thursday, October 18, 2007


so last weekend we went to las vegas. mostly to go to the byu football game but also to visit mike & angela!

on the way there we stopped in world famous baker, california...which pretty much creeped me out

that's where they sell alien-fresh beef jerky but mostly it was just scary.

when we got there we went to the "premium outlets" to wait for our friends to get off work, and had our first byu sighting of the weekend. jenna i-forget-her-last-name from our 421 class was there, apparently she moved there.

THEN we went to cafe rio!!! maybe that was the real reason we went to vegas, i'm not going to lie. of course it was fantastic.

we also visited "the strip", or basically the root of all evil in the world. all the porn, booze, cigarette smoke blown in my face, etc. made me sick. we did have a lot of fun though.

the next day was the BYU/UNLV game. which we won. of course. i also got to see tyna-minet, our friend and fellow group-member from 485. and yes, it's true everyone -- MY UTE-LOVING HUSBAND WORE BLUE. :)

we even got free food from a nice lady's tailgate. we continued my lifelong tradition of in n out-after-football-games and went back to mike & angela's to eat more pumpkin cookies. the next day we drove home! it was so fun to see our friends, get out of town for a while and be back with the cougars.

this weekend is our one year anniversary!!! everyone says the first year of marriage is the hardest but seriously it has been awesome for us. i guess anything is great compared to our engagement period ;)

then it's halloween, then another yamaha event for me, then i'm getting my hair did, then it's thanksgiving. so much to look forward to! hope you're all doing well <3

Friday, October 5, 2007


so i'm at work and i'll make this quick but hey it's friday and i deserve a break right? it's kind of cold for LA today but i'm still wearing flip flops (at my corporate office :) so i hope all my utah friends are jealous.

this has been a big week! i went to the dr. and got antibiotics for my little sickness (although i am not so good at taking it regularly, turns out). also that day i had my review with my boss and i am getting promoted! :) woo.

tonight we're going to rancho...yay. food from momma, golden spoon, and i'm getting my bangs cut. what could be better.

next weekend we are going to las vegas to visit our wonderful friends mike & angela hopefully i'll finally have some pictures to post!

the weekend AFTER is our one year anniversary!!! <3

and then...get this!...some of you might already know because i told you but let's just say if you happen to pick up an issue of real simple magazine in maybe march/april/may 08 you will see a picture of yours truly :)

that is all...have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

home sweet home

so general conference is next week :)

also looks like we will be staying in the hood for a bit longer. i can't remember if i posted about our househunting escapades but it was a little more daunting than anticipated...and then two weeks ago i was called to work with the young women in our ward. i will be teaching the 12 and 13 year old girls and i am really excited for this new opportunity. so we are least six more months.

work has been busy. i destroyed a crock pot dinner the other night. (if any of my loyal readers have tips on good crock pot meals please pass them on...i suck at it) the office starts up tonight (YAY). my one year anniversary of working at golinharris was tuesday (can you believe it's been a YEAR??). and that is all.

oh also p.s. -- i just finished a great book, the glass castle, by jeannette walls. check it out if you have time.

work can buy me breakfast any time it wants

so it has been a busy week but i just got home and i am WIPED.

the business trip went well. i arrived at the airport sunday to find my flight delayed (what else is new) and eventually cancelled; we managed to rebook but arrived in eureka, california to find that not only had my suitcase not made it on to the new plane, the rental car place was closed so we had to take a shuttle to the hotel and then come BACK the next day to get our cars. (please see my sweet minivan below :)

to make a long story short everything ended up relatively fine; when you plan an event involving ten journalists, a private jet, three hotels, and a catered lunch stop in the middle of a deserted forest something is bound to go wrong (and of course a few things did) but overall i had a good time and felt it was successful. i put about 350 miles on my little minivan and didn't sleep very much. but who am i kidding -- not only did i get to eat fantastic meals the whole time, everywhere i went they gave me free cookies!
the best part was that i got to fly on the private jet home this morning. it was soo towels (like on the wedding singer...haha), fresh fruit served on a real plate, even free gum when we disembarked. :) then as soon as we landed a fleet of private cars drove up on the tarmac to transport us each individually first time having a personal driver. lovely.

please enjoy the pictures below (sorry there's not more...i was so busy the whole time i didn't have much room for sightseeing or even documenting the trip much) while i go take a nap. four 14-hour workdays make me a little sleepy.
my pimp ride.
BAM. star motorcycles. what.
the jet in question.
just a lovely view of the redwood forest. beats sitting at a desk all day right?
in the private car.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

not much new around here

it's the halftime of the U of U/UCLA game and my husband is dutifully cleaning the bathroom. :) finally the dark cloud has been lifted from the wells' household because the utes are actually winning and brandon is happy. i'm just mad BYU couldn't play like this against UCLA last week.

things have been quiet for us lately (or rather, i don't have many pictures to illustrate our recent activities). work has been super busy for both brandon and me -- my event is only a week away, and brandon was just promoted to account executive at ruder finn. he has been celebrating this milestone by doing important things like attending pre-emmy parties on behalf of tivo and meeting all sorts of b-list celebs.

i was fortunate enough to go to utah and idaho last week to take my sister back to school. it was a super busy whirlwind trip (we had less than 24 hours to move in rachel's boxes, empty her storage unit, clean dishes & do laundry, unpack all her crap and do the infamous grocery was intense) but i had so much fun. after dropping her off my mom and i hung out in provo for a day and a half. i love utah! don't hold me to it but we really might move back there one day. i miss seasons, and friendly people, and the mountains.

even though we were so busy i was able to do a session in the SLC temple, have dinner with my MIL, visit with my grandparents and UT-residing family, shop at the BYU bookstore and lehi mill and great harvest bread (don't worry i stocked up on supplies! i think i'm set for the next year...or at least till we go back for xmas), and of course dine at the world-famous j-dawgs and cafe rio. YAY!
although i don't have many exciting pictures to represent the trip, here are a couple:
gotta love utah storms
only in idaho would you see a back of a car that looked like this (my mom contends that it represents some married children too, but i maintain that it is STILL a lot of kids)
my 87-year-old grandpa decided this year to put a fireplace in their basement. this was previously a flat wall that is now transformed into an amazing electric fireplace! (this one's for you steph :)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

fight on

yesterday was an all-around great day for college football. although i did spend maybe 8 hours of my day doing activities that involved watching football...and that is a little much for me. geez, three years ago i couldn't even sit through a whole BYU game. haha guess that's what being married to a football freak will do to you. i'm even learning things, like about conversions and tipping and lots of things that are most likely common knowledge to the rest of the planet.

hmm our K key doesn't work on this laptop and i have to bang it to get it to come up. boo.

anyway we spent the afternoon watching BYU kill Arizona (don't worry, we just added a whole extra sports package to our cable so we can watch all the Utah and BYU games...hahaha), which made me very happy but made brandon cranky. (after the U lost so bad earlier this week, i think he hated BYU even more for having a successful first game.) it is sad to cheer by yourself.

THEN we went to the Coliseum for the USC/Idaho game, which consequently USC won by a million. we were in the 16th row and it was so much fun. the trojans are an amazing team and i love how everyone gets so into it...i've never seen so much red and gold in my life.


we were right on the end zone so we had a pretty good view of the trojan touchdowns :)

just so you know, i am not a traitor or anything. i was raised a trojan fan because my grandparents are alumni and have had football season tickets for 50 years. now they live in AZ but still come out for most games...but we are the beneficiaries of any tickets they don't use :) i love my cougs but i gotta say...nothing really compares to USC.
and now i'm off to the mormon corridor (a.k.a. idaho and utah) for the week to take my sister back to school and catch up on some much-needed cafe rio time. :)