Chapter 32: I hopped off the plane at L.A.X With a dream and my cardigan

So Steven is going to be mostly writing this post, as his week was much more interesting than mine. Short recap of my week though: Steven left for a work trip to LA on Monday, and I suddenly had a ton of time on my hands! It was kind of awesome. I went shopping Monday after work and then walked around the city to get home rather than take metro, which was lovely. I listened to some great audiobooks, practised flute for the first time in a decade, had dinner with Mendenhalls on Tuesday and watched the Bachelorette haha, Wednesday I had team bonding drinks with work people, and Thursday I spent watching Moana while I painted. Its been a long time since I had the time to paint, and It was great to get back to my roots. Painting and watching a movie about a little girl who loves her island and the sea, it was a good reminder of the things that I love and where I come from. My new favourite song is "Shiny", it's really the most amazing thing. I spent my long weekend day Friday painting and watching like half a season of Friends haha! I pretty much wanted so many of their clothes, its funny how much of it is back in style. Could their clothes BE any cuter? Haha! anyways, I waited up and Steven got home around 12:30 am, and it was so good to see him again. His beard is HUGE! A week in the California sun seems to have made it spring up like a weed. Anyways, I had a ball on my own, (the house was so clean!!!) but I missed his shaggy kisses and funny stories. He gives me a lot of courage and confidence to try new things and I'm so glad he's back beside me. Heather

PS ("the audiobook I loved this week is called "100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson. Super funny and cute, like Forest Gump meets Dirk Gentlys wholistic detective agency. Read/listen to it)

This week was a pretty incredible week as it commemorated my very first business trip! As Heather said before, I was in LA for a business trip. I left Monday flying business class with Air Canada and I've gotta say, flying with leg room is a completely different experience! I mean, RLS is a thing of the past if you can stretch out while watching Parks and Recreation and eating salmon as your in flight meal. I can die happy knowing I've flown business class once.

I was down in California with my bosses, Andy and Mich, and my colleague Donnie. The purpose of the trip was to film a music video or two for Mich (his project is entitled Oh Mic! You can see some of the lyric videos I made for him here) and some lifestyle videos for Andy's brand. We've been looking at new gear for our production company for a while now so we decided to rent a bunch of it for the trip. We rented the Sony a7sii mirrorless camera which is amazing at shooting low-light photos and video (because we were going to be shooting in the evening/night time) along with a couple lenses and a stabilizing gimbal (which really came in handy).

We were shooting a video for Mich's song WTH? and for the video we had him driving around LA in a 1965 Blue Mustang. To get the shots we wanted I saddled up in the back of a jeep with the gimbal and filmed poking out of the trunk. So I'm filming from the trunk of a jeep carrying nearly $6000 worth of camera gear filming Mich in a vintage Mustang and funniest part was that it really didn't seem odd to anybody. Classic LA. I guess it's totally normal to see stuff like that in Hollywood hills. Stay tuned, the video is gonna be coming out shortly.

We filmed a bunch of other stuff during the week including part of a second music video, a boat and of course the beach. I love the ocean! We hit up Venice beach as well as Malibu beach. We met up with an awesome photographer named Jacob Fischer who joined us for our boat shoot as well as Malibu beach. On the way down to the beach there were a bunch of clouds that blew in so by the time we got to the beach it was completely overcast and the tide was right up to the cliffs. We had planned to film in the caves at the base of the cliffs but they were flooded but we decided to head down to see what we could find. Jacob took some drone footage of the cliffs which looked incredible so that alone made it worth while but as we were walking down to the beach we stumbled upon a marriage proposal. Just as we rounded the corner the guy was kneeling down and we just happened to have our cameras on hand so we snapped a bunch for them. He had a GoPro set up to capture the moment but he got lucky that a couple of pro photographers happened to stumble upon their special moment.

The waves were crashing so hard at the waterfront so we got some epic footage for Andy's stuff but as we were filming Donnie's sandals got swept off of the stairs and we spent a good 15 minutes searching for his sandals amongst the waves. He would have given up pretty quick but he found the first sandal so he was flooded with a moment of hope. Within a few moments we spotted the second sandal but it kept getting pulled out to where the rocks were. After a few minutes Donnie caught sight of it and made a break for it but when he reached it he realized it was a different sandal and it was roughly 5 sizes too small. He never found the second one but it was hilarious while we stood back and watched.

All in all, it was an awesome adventure and I'm really looking forward to editing the

footage.

Till next week, Steven

Oh! Yesterday we bought a house plant and a basil plant and the basil plant is GORGEOUS!!!!! It's BAE day!

Chapter 27: Teeth Whitening with Charcoal

Heather and I are still going strong on our resolve to go one month with out eating anything with added or refined sugars. It's been really good in increasing accountability in the things that we eat. We have been more aware of the ingredients that go into our bodies as well as on how creative we need to be with our snacks. Although, the saddest thing has happened...SPICY CHEETOS HAVE SUGAR IN THEM!!!!!!! If you haven't had them before, there are spicy cheetos which up till recently I believed were only available in the US but a friend sent me a picture of those very spicy cheetos in a convenient store 15 minutes from my work. I bought 3 bags. Shortly after getting on the bus with my treasure in hand I pulled them out with an afterthought that I should check to make sure they didn't have added sugar and to my horror they did. I'll have to wait till cheat day. This week Heather has been a champ. She's at the end of production on the movie she's assigned to and is one of the few members of her department who were kept on to put the finishing touches on the last few shots. But with that she's been putting in some crazy hours. She had to work Saturday and perhaps leaving me alone was not the wisest of things. Every now and again you get that urge to do something. A force other than yourself driving you. That happened to me yesterday...with cooking. I texted Heather and 9:30am saying, I want to cook. She thought I was going to make lunch for myself or something of that nature. She was wrong. Instead she came home to a macaroni casserole, a lasagne, a Lebanese garlic sauce and all the ingredients for sushi. Needless to say, LUNCH FOR DAYS!!!!!!!

Have you heard of that new fad of using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth? Look it up, you'll find an insane number of pictures of people who look like they've got mouths of Uruk-hai orcs from Lord of the Rings. Activated charcoal has some incredibly absorbent qualities. There are stories of people taking fatal doses of poison with activated charcoal and surviving because the charcoal absorbs the toxins. It's also good to have around if ever you get food poisoning #lifehack. So the idea with the teeth whitening is you put the charcoal on your toothbrush and brush for 5 minutes and the charcoal is supposed to remove stains from your teeth. Heather and I both tried it and saw a noticeable difference after 2 uses. Only downside though, it tends to leave your gums pretty raw afterwards. 5 minutes is quite long to be brushing anything. Next time we might try the method of brushing and letting the charcoal sit instead of brushing the whole 5 minutes.

We were pretty social this week, like, much more than usual. Heather helped some friends move and had girls night, I had band practice and then we went over to a couple from church's place today for dinner/General Conference. We had a lot of fun. They had invited a ton of people over to their place for dinner before General Conference and they cooked dinner for everyone! It was great food too. We ate way too much. Good food, good people, good General Conference, good week.

Till next week, -Steven

Chapter 26: Butterflies Go Free!

So this week is supposed to be Steven's week, but I have him working on something more important. You get me! Unfortunately I don't have a ton to say about this week. I've mainly been working a lot of over time!

I came home super hungry Thursday night, and Steven had some mac and cheese on the stove. I don't know the last time I had that stuff, so I was pretty excited, until he said it wasn't done, he was trying something he had seen online...

Instant scepticism.

This was what he was attempting: craft dinner, and cheddar cheese waffles. Sounds intriguing right? Well DON'T LET IT LIE TO YOU. This was vicious trap. drawing us in with promises of golden crispy cheese. We were powerless, and It made such fools out of us. The cheese instantly bonded with the waffle maker, and became near impossible to remove. When we opened the waffle maker, instead of a waffle, we had two half waffles, glued - nay - cemented to the waffle iron. We felt hunger and shame as we chipped it off, and will be more wary of food that sounds too good to be true in future...

Well that was the low part of our week, but this is definitely the high point: BUTTERFLIES GO FREE!

We went to the botanical gardens with Amber and Devin Saturday morning to go see the butterflies in one part of the greenhouses. It was just on a whim, and even though I was working that afternoon we were somehow able to squeeze it in last minute. I was determined to see those butterflies! We didn't get to stay as long as I would have liked though. I would have happily stayed all day long. We spent way too long in the other parts of the green house before we finally found the butterfly green house. Its a two story building with plants around the walls and a courtyard in the centre. As we walked through the doors my jaw literally dropped open. The air was thick with all different types and colours of butterflies! Tiny black and green ones, ones with wings that beat 4 times faster than others, massive brown ones, white ones, golden monarchs, and azure blue ones. Amber and I were in such heaven. I didn't think I would be quite as excited as I was, and when we had butterflies landing on us of their own will, we pretty much had gone to heaven. We think the key to it for next time is wear red, orange or hot pink (the colour of flowers) and cover yourself in fruit juice. We will be irresistible to those beauties! Muahaha...

Eventually I pulled myself away to get to back to work, but I definitely feel like I need to go back!

https://youtu.be/m4BRFGsUkX0

Today after church Steven saw a recipe for home made fried chicken in a cast iron pan, and decided he had to try it. Luckily we had vegetable shortening for some unknown reason, and he went to town. It was crispy and delicious! As we were eating it he kept saying "Wow! This is great!" I'm like: "Yes sweetie it is, you did a great job." "I know! I'm so surprised and impressed with myself!" haha silly guy

We decided to make cookies after dinner, but had no chocolate chips. We had no oatmeal, no coconut, and no nuts. So... We now have raisin spice cookies. They were really yummy, but they might have been yummier than they deserved credit for. We have been off refined sugar all week. Mostly we just felt really bloated and nasty and wanted a bit of a detox. A month was the original goal, but one week nearly killed us. Maybe one week is doable, if we get cheat days. Maybe we can have sugar on weekdays, or if it is in something we have made ourselves? I'm not sure. We will see how we feel tomorrow.

love,

Heather (and Steven. The video is his contribution!)