Oxford Seminar 2016

I really wanted to do a weekly update while Steven and I were studying at Oxford – but obviously that didn’t happen.

It still amazes me that I studied at Oxford University this Summer!! In January, we knew that Steven was going to go.  He applied, got in and then I got the go-ahead to work at my company’s London office while Steven was at Oxford.  Everything was going perfectly.  Then in March, when I got laid off.. (AFTER we purchased our plane tickets..) I had no idea what I was going to do.  Up until Steven’s graduation every week was different. First it was “Well, I’ll just go and just tour England while you’re at Oxford.” Then it was “No, I shouldn’t go because it might not be safe traveling alone.” & then one day, Steven got an email from the lady who helped plan the Study Abroad saying that there were 3 woman spots available! I remember I was nannying Buffy & Steven was like “you wanna go?” and I was like “okay!!” So that night, I stayed up way late, sent in my application and had an interview the following day because I was going out of town for the next 2 weeks to Virginia.  I had an interview with Laura Ricks & Jonathon Wood at BYU and I was accepted right in their office!

So you’re all probably wondering – wait a minute.. you graduated 2 years ago – how are you going on a study abroad with BYU? I had to pay extra money since I graduated already. I was considered a “grad student” so I had to pay for graduate tuition and take an MBA class while I was at Oxford.  Also, the funny thing was that Steven and I couldn’t stay in the same dorm! hahaha It was okay – the buildings were super close to each other and it was only for 3 weeks.

We left the USA a week early to travel to Paris and Amsterdam (click on the links to read my blog posts about our adventures) & then stayed in London for 2 nights with our friends Kyle, Chiarra, Spencer, and Jaime who were all attending Oxford as well. We hopped on the train at Kings Cross to Oxford University and once we got there we took a taxi to our flats…. Not knowing that where the train station that we got dropped off at would be right next to the Saïd Business School where we would spend a majority of our time at Oxford!

Week 1:

On the first full day we were all together, we got on a bus and traveled to Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Bath! People said Stonehenge is overrated but when we got there, I was so amazed by those stones!! You see these things in movies, internet, etc.  But to see this in person it’s just amazing! We got there right when it opened so it wasn’t crowded at all and we took some good pics.  Salisbury Cathedral was HUGE and amazing to walk through. But, what I loved the most about that day was Bath, England.  It’s the cutest little town – think Paris meets London.  It’s super clean, amazing architecture, yummy ice cream everywhere, and the town is just picturesque. We had the chance to tour the Roman Baths. We went through it pretty quick & the bath water was super green so they don’t let you touch it… Even though Kyle did hahaha. By the end of the day, everyone was so tired from jetlag!

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The first Sunday we got on a bus that traveled to London so we could go to church! It was a forever long bus ride probably about 2 hours and then a forever long walk to the church – another 45 minutes.  It was a long process, but we made it to church in time and I saw some friends that were on the Global Marketing Study Abroad! It was fast & testimony meeting that Sunday and all of the testimonies were so great and it was so cool to hear from people who were from London and grew up in England all their lives. After church, we walked forever long way back to Hyde Park and played the name game with our professor, John Hoffmire.  All 42 of us got in a circle, and we had to memorize everyone’s names! This was actually super helpful because it helped me to talk to more people once I knew their names!

The next few days – we attended the Business & Poverty Conference that John Hoffmire put together. It’s a free conference and so many people from all around the world came to this conference at Oxford to learn how they can fight poverty through business.  Long story short – they were 11 hour conferences both days.  & for lunch – we had mini lunch sessions with speakers to talk about poverty (or if you were in my lunch session – about nuclear weapons and how we’re all basically going to die..) I learned a ton at this conference.  From employee ownership in companies to what we can do to fight poverty through business.  But also I was confused a ton – some words I just didn’t understand and since they only had a few minutes to talk – they didn’t explain what they were talking about because they assumed most of the people there know what they are talking about! On the 2nd day of the conference, that’s when the singing started.

We sang a ton while we were at Oxford.  John loved listening to our church hymns and we sang “Nearer My God to Thee” about 3084985 times to faculty, the cafeteria workers, people passing by, etc. It sounds like I’m complaining but honestly I loved being able to sing that song.  One girl in our group – Melissa – She has an AMAZING voice and when she would sing her solo part – I got goosebumps every time!

We also got to attend Education Weekend at Oxford.  John Hoffmire’s wife put together this weekend filled with educational speakers, thought leaders, etc.  I loved education weekend.  I think being out of school for 2 years, it became clear to me that I can always just keep learning wherever I am in my life.  There was one speaker, Sanjiv Chopra who was the Dean of Harvard Medical School spoke on happiness and leadership.  He read a lot of quotes from different leaders and also told us (a group of mormon kids) that drinking 74 cups of coffee a day could make us live longer.  HA! That was pretty funny.

Week 2:

for the 2nd week we focused solely on our big group project we were working on with John Hoffmire.  We worked on a financial literacy company! Before I came to Oxford, the group that I was in had a call with John to discuss what we had to do before we got to Oxford.  What I thought was the “Social Media Group” was actually the “build the entire curriculum for this financial literacy group.” Not going to lie, it was a LOT of work. Luckily, since both our group and John didn’t really know what to do – we worked together a ton to go from one project to the next.

On week 2 they gave us a free day! Steven & I decided to go with a group to Blenheim Palace & we fell in LOVE with that place! It’s only about a 30 minute bus ride from Oxford to the palace and it drops you right in front.  Steven was excited to go through this huge hedge maze that they had.  When we got there – I had to go use the toilet, but then everyone kept going so Steven and I did our own thing the whole day! We walked through Pleasure Gardens to get to the maze – got lost in the maze and finally found our way out! We took this cute little train back to the palace for 50 pence and then toured the palace that Winston Churchill was born in.  The Duke & Duchess of Marlborough are the main people who own the place & they eat Christmas dinner with their family each year there.  The palace reminded me of Versailles because it was GORGEOUS all around.

We also had the chance to go punting! You’re basically on a rickety boat and to steer and get the boat moving, you have a long metal pole that one person is pushing into the ground to get the boat going! It’s harder than you think hahaha and we were all laughing our heads off because one group lost their pole and almost fell in and Jaime got some HILARIOUS pics of Steven and Kyle punting.

Okay – let me back up and say that we got to eat breakfast every morning at the Christ Church Dining Hall.  It’s where the Harry Potter Dining Hall was inspired! We had croissants, fruit, cereal, eggs, mushrooms, porridge, beans and hash browns! I didn’t miss a day of breakfast!! So on one of the nights at Oxford, we had a formal dinner night at Christ Church Dining Hall.  We all got to dress up & had a 3 course meal.  SO YUMMY.

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Week 3:

The last week of Oxford was crazy busy!! We were fully involved with our group projects. My project consisted of creating 5 power points about budgeting.  I had an awesome group and we all clicked. Presentations were also happening – The first day of presentations we were in a room with no AC and we were all dying! The 2nd and third day of presentations, we moved to a lecture room with AC and all was right with the world.

I learned a ton about presentation skills and how to create a captivating power point.  It’s all about telling the right story to your audience. We presented on the 2nd day and I’m not the one who will jump right at the opportunity to present or do any type of public speaking – but with enough practice, we all felt confident during our presentation.

Because of #Brexit – the pound dropped a ton while we were at Oxford.  It was a good thing for us because BYU could put on more activities since there was extra money in the budget.  For the last night, they took us out to a Thai restaurant and we said goodbye to John Hoffmire and took a ton of photos with him. It’s bittersweet saying goodbye to a guy who helped us grow a ton in just 3 weeks.

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If you are ever wondering if you should apply for Oxford Seminar – DO IT!! It was one of the best experiences of my life! & especially with Steven!!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

 

Netherlands 2016 – Rijssen

Steven & I absolutely LOVED the Netherlands. 3 years ago on my study abroad we met an amazing bus driver named Patrick.  He was from Holland and he told all of the students as we left “If you ever come to Holland, let me know and stay with me!” I messaged Patrick on Facebook and told him that Steven & I would be going to Europe & he said “come stay with me!” So we bought plane tickets from Paris to Amsterdam!!

Patrick & his wife Evelien met us at Schipol Airport – it was so great to see people we actually know! They had plans to tour the city center in Amsterdam and then stay in a hotel near the city so we can explore more at night. We went to dinner at and then explored the city.  Patrick and Evelien took us to the city and the Red Light District (super weird!!) and we went back on the ferry to go to our hotel.  Okay, if you’re ever in the area – stay at Amsterdam Forest Hotel – it’s new and so nice and very inexpensive!! Also, it felt so nice to sleep in a hotel bed instead of our ghetto airbnb’s!!! hahaha

The next day, we went to one of the biggest flower markets in Holland! Picture an empty Costco and you’re on the upper level looking down at this huge warehouse and there are little carts driving around everywhere picking up, putting down flowers! It was crazy! Patrick & Evelien took us to a little town call Volendam and it was a town right by the lake.  It’s very touristy but everything was so cute! We ate raw fish AKA herring the Dutch way and i ate the entire fish and Steven did not! It was kind of gross but not too bad. Just super fishy.  Then we went to the Stroopwafel museum and a cheese factory.  & ate dutch mini pancakes. So much good food!

We drove an hour and a half to the city of Rijssen! It’s the cutest little town with the cutest homes and just huge farmland! Patrick & Evelien’s home is amazing.  They were some of the best hosts ever. The bed was super comfy and it just felt so good to be in a HOME. That night, Patrick invited Steven to a men’s choir that he is a part of.  There’s 150 men who sing in this choir and they perform regularly around Holland! While he was singing Dutch songs, Evelien invited me to the gym for a Dutch bootcamp and it was so fun!! & it felt good to workout! It’s cool how exercise is universal and I didn’t have to know dutch to do the workouts!!

One of the highlight of our trip to Rijssen was getting to meet all of Evelien’s students! She teaches 11-12 years olds and she invited us to come to class to speak English to them & have them meet “real life” Americans. It was so awesome. They already speak English so well because they start learning when they are young. They had the chance to ask us any questions – and they asked us fun questions like “Where do you like to shop?” or “What iPhone games do we play?” and “Do you know the Dab?” hahaha But then they asked us some serious questions like “Which Presidential candidate are you going to vote for?” and “Do you own a gun in your home?” that kind of took me back and thought wow – I wonder what they think of when they think of Americans and USA.  I love the USA but it’s sad how we are portrayed as the “gun country” or a “violent country.” Anyways – overall it was a fun time being in a classroom full of Dutch kids.  They had the chance to teach us some Dutch words!  We took some group photos outside of the school (See below)

After school, Patrick took us all around Rijssen and i love it so much! We got lunch down town, ate ice cream, walked to Oosterhof (a castle), and just enjoyed our time in a wonderful town. It was our last full day in Holland and for dinner, Patrick made us a traditional Dutch dinner! Mashed potatoes with Kale and a sausage.  So yummy! I’m so grateful for Patrick and Evelien’s hospitality.  We loved our time in the Netherlands and we will definitely be back in the future and we hope they come to America!!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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Lake Tahoe Half Marathon

So in February, my friend Brittany asked me if I wanted to do the Lake Tahoe Half Marathon with her in June! Obviously, I said YES and Steven said yes because his cousin that he hasn’t seen in forever lives in Lake Tahoe – so it was a perfect time to visit him and take a couples’ trip!

We flew from LA – SF and stayed with our friends Lucy and Jerry.  They both are newish residents of San Francisco and it was so fun to catch up with them! We had them stay with us in Provo in January, so we were really excited to see them! I can always trust Lucy to take me to the best food places and I was right! They picked us up from the airport and we went straight to the yummiest Ramen place (but the worst service…lol).

We had about a day and a half to explore SF – so the next day we went to Lombard street, toured Lucy’s work at Square, Twin Peaks and Dumplings! Touring Lucy’s work was a big highlight of our day because we were treated to free lunch, smoothie bar and ginger shots hahahah it was so fun. Maybe because I love free food but whatever!!

The next day, we went with Jerry to Seward Slides, Bi-Rite Creamery, Painted Ladies, and the iconic mosaic steps! Then we met up with Brittany and her husband Joram to road trip to Lake Tahoe! We checked into our hotel (HOTEL CHALET) & went to bed because we were so tired from the drive up and we had our race the next morning!

Joram & Steven dropped Brittany and I off at the start line for the Lake Tahoe Half Marathon! We ran the whole race together which was so nice because we could pace ourselves.  It was about 75% down hill and when it was up hill I hated it hahaha. I was feeling good from Miles 1 – 7.  At mile 8, I felt the blisters on my toes, but I kept going! I was really impressed with the snacks/drink stations at each mile. It made you look forward to each mile. Mile 10 felt like an ETERNITY! We were running most of the time on the main highway and then mile 10-11 was in the woods so I had no clue where we were.  The last mile we basically sprinted to the finish line while Brittany is holding on to a red bull from one of the drink stations hahaha It felt so good to finish!! It was so nice that this race wasn’t as big as the Nike Women’s Half because it was easier for Steven and Joram to take pics of us through out the race!

I think my favorite thing about the race is that I can eat WHATEVER I WANT!! We went to Heidi’s Pancake House and it was so yummy! We went back to the hotel to rest and shower and then we met up with Steven’s cousin Scott and his girlfriend Kayla.  Steven had not seen Scott in years so it was a great reunion for them.  We went out for fro-yo and found out that runners get free fro yo ALL WEEKEND. We definitely took advantage of that and went twice. Then we went and relaxed at the lake and ate yummy Greek food!

For our last day in Tahoe, we went to Emerald Lake and Emerald Bay.  Both, beautiful places to visit if you are in South Lake Tahoe! We drove back to SF and they dropped us off at the airport.  It was an awesome trip and another half marathon in the books! Now I’m training for the New York City Marathon happening in November – so wish me luck!!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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24 hours in Paris

Hi from Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris!! We are about to catch a flight to The Netherlands to spend time with friends in Holland and Amsterdam!!

Okay – So you only have 24 hours in Paris? Let me tell you what we did.

  1. Wake up early and get an Uber (only 30 minute drive) to Palace of Versailles! We woke up late since we didn’t get a good night sleep and left our apartment around 9:30AM.  We arrived around 10AM and since we didn’t buy tickets beforehand we had to buy tickets there but there wasn’t a long line.  But there was a long line to get into the palace (about 20 minute wait).  So I suggest you get there before Versailles opens at 9AM!
    • Go through the palace (obviously) – We saw the King’s Chamber, the famous Hall of Mirrors, all the different estates people lived in. (Get those audio phone things to listen to while you tour because everything is written in French!)
    • Go to the Jardins of Versailles! So beautiful.  It is sooooo big – honestly you could spend an entire day at the Palace of Versailles because it’s HUGE!! You can do row boats, eat lunch outside (Angelina’s hot chocolate & sandwiches), take a ton of pictures, go to the mirror fountain and watch the water show.

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3. After the Eiffel Tower we tried to get a taxi to Arc De Triomphe but the taxi driver said.. “it’s close, you can walk there!” So he drove away and on Google Maps it said we were kind close I guess.. We walked about 30 minutes I think? But, it was the most prettiest walk EVER. All of the apartments were filled with flowers on their balcony, the shop windows were to die for and it was so clean.

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4. When you get to the Arc De Triomphe – you have to go underground to get to it.  It costs 9 Euros if you are under 26 and 12 Euros if you are older to climb up to the top.  Definitely worth it and also calorie burn because you go up soooo many flight of stairs! Once you get to the top – the views are absolutely breathtaking! You have a 360 degree view of all of Paris and it wasn’t that crowded for a Saturday

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5. When you’re done with Arc de Triomphe – walk along  Avenue des Champs-Élysées where there are a ton of shops, street performers, restaurants and free wi-fi lol. We got hungry so we ate at Cafe Di Roma & embarrassing story – they gave us free bread and olive oil but no plate to put the olive oil in and then they brought a smaller dish that looked like an ash tray but I smelled it and it smelled clean hahahah so I pour the olive oil in the ash tray and the couple next to us start laughing that i’m dipping bread in oil in an ash tray… so I stopped and definitely felt embarrassed but what was i supposed to do?!

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6. While you’re walking through Avenue des Champs-Élysées you’ll pass the Grand Palace and two famous theaters, the Place De La Concorde, the ferris wheels that looks like the London Eye, the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries garden and then you’ll end at The Louvre!!

  • By this time your feet will be TIRED. So just keep going.. there’s more to see!!

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(soooo tired lol)

7. After the Louvre, I wanted to see that love lock bridge that everyone talks about – The Pont Des Art bridge over The Seine River.. But, I forgot that they cut the locks down because it was too heavy for the bridge.  There are locks in other places near it but not the one that everyone was talking about haha

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8. We walked to Notre Dame about 10 minutes away and got to go inside the Cathedral – it’s so big! & I heard you can go up to the top to see all of the gargoyles but we were so tired by then!

Okay, so we did so much stuff while we were in Paris for 24 hours! I bet you could do way more if you got up earlier though! I’m sad that I didn’t get to eat gelato at Amorino (everyone was telling me about it) and since we weren’t staying in a safe neighborhood in Paris (We were in the 18th district) – we decided to head back before it got dark just to be safe! Next time we come back we want to stay in the heart of Paris and stay up late to see the lights on the Eiffel Tower light up.

Hope you loved reading this!!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

Carlsbad Strawberry Fields

I’m dedicating an entire blog post on these Strawberry fields that Steven & I went to yesterday! WOW WOW WOW. I’ve always seen pictures of people picking apples, strawberries, raspberries – all types of fruit in a huge farm. But I’ve never done it before until YESTERDAY.

On Monday, we moved to Carlsbad, CA for 6 weeks until we go to our study abroad at Oxford University in July! So it’s our temporary home – but it’s the perfect home because you can see the ocean and we’re only ONE mile away from it! We found out that the Carlsbad Flower Fields were right next to Steven’s parents house but we just missed their season! They opened until May 8 & that’s the day we moved to Carlsbad.  But, then his mom said there were strawberry fields right next to them and there was a stand where you could buy fresh strawberries or pick them!

I googled it & found some reviews on YELP and i decided that we had to go!! The fields were only 7 minutes away from the beach house! We got there & there were about 2 cars there because it was in the middle of the day on a Wednesday – so basically we had the whole fields to ourselves!! I was so excited when we got up to the stand and I told the lady that it was my first time and I asked her where in the fields is the best place to pick the best strawberries and she said “go all the way to the top!”

We bought our bucket – Wait – here’s some advice: If you are going with your significant other or on a date buy the biggest bucket which is $20 and comes with 2 admission tickets (Valued at $5) so the $20 bucket gets two people in AND the best part is that you can eat ALL YOU CAN EAT STRAWBERRIES WHILE YOU PICK THEM. If you are going with a family with kids – I would still buy the $20 bucket and share that with 2 kids and then if you have more kids buy the smaller $10 bucket which gives you bucket and 1 person admission. There are rules though – you can’t overfill the bucket where they keep falling out – still be courteous and respectful of these fields!

There were soooooo many strawberries – I was in STRAWBERRY HEAVEN. They were so juicy and sweet and so delicious omg writing about it makes me want to eat all of the ones I picked right now (but i can’t… saving them for a cake). Steven thought picking strawberries was going to be boring but i think he had more fun than me! We filled our bucket until we could

n’t put anymore in and when we were done the lady at the stand guessed it was about 8 pounds.. 8 POUNDS OF STRAWBERRIES FOR $20 AND ALL YOU CAN EAT.

Best tips on finding the best strawberries:

  • Go alllll the way to the top
  • If you want to eat them right away – avoid white because they still need time to grow
  • LOOK FOR BUGS on the strawberries before you eat any
  • If you plan on using the strawberries a couple of days later – go for the ones that have some white on them because they will ripen in your kitchen
  • If you have bad luck finding good strawberries KEEP LOOKING cuz they are out there.

So if you’re in the Carlsbad/San Diego area from April – July… GO TO THE STRAWBERRY FIELDS!!! You won’t regret it!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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Virginia is for Lovers & cute asian babies

Hi!! I’ve been soooo busy since coming back from Virginia! Steven & I have been packing up to move to Carlsbad, California and I’ve been baking cakes everyday since I’ve been back!

So about a month ago my Mom invited me to come to Virginia with her to visit my brother Mark, his wife Imee & their daughter (my niece) Mila! Plus my mom used her sky miles so HELLO FREE TRIP. We were there from the 13th – 19th & it was the longest I’ve ever been with my mom in a long time.  We’ve been trying to plan this trip because obviously my mom wanted to see her first grand child & I wanted to see my first ever niece!!

We got to Virginia Beach, VA and basically the whole trip was eating Asian food, playing with Mila and just relaxing. My first full day there, I got to hang out with my brother and our friend Jose Zamora who lives in VA as well and was in the Navy with Mark. We bought Duck Donuts (YUM – also duck beach 2014 hhahaha) & went fishing on the pier.  It was a really windy day which made it freeeeezing so we weren’t there that long.  & we didn’t even catch anything!! So lame!! But, it was fun spending time with Mark!

My mom bought a ton of Chinese food to cook for us and I love her cooking. She doesn’t think I do because I never appreciated it when I was actually living with her before BYU but I do love it! Mark’s best friend Anthony Woo & his wife Amanda drove from Floria with their little boy Anthony Jr. to attend Mila’s baptism. It’s fun seeing all of these guys with babies and kids because 5-6 years ago we were all still living in Vegas trying to figure out our lives and now everyone is all grown up. Anthony Jr. is soooo cute and Mila is such a good baby.  She rarely cries except when I try to give her a bath. My mom loves playing with her.  If she had the choice to stay home and just play with Mila she would do that in a heart beat.

Mila’s baptism was at a Catholic church and there were 2 other babies being baptized. My mom is not religious at all and she thought it was so annoying that she had to keep standing up every 5 minutes hahaha I told her that in Mormon church you just have to sit there for 3 HOURS. Now I don’t know if she’ll ever go to church.. ha

After Mila’s baptism, we had a lunch party at this amazing all you can eat Sushi Restaurant. OMG sushi, Chinese food, Hibachi grill, Pho, everything all in one place and all you can eat. so so so so so YUMMY. We went back to Mark & Imee’s house and had desserts! I brought my cake pans and made an 8inch “pink” velvet cake for everyone! It was a long day for Mila but a very special day for her and her family.

On our last full day we toured Virginia Beach.  We had brunch at Hair of the Dog Eatery and walked along the pier at VA Beach. We saw the huge Neptune statue and got ice cream paid for by mom.  I felt like a little kid again when my mom said “ice cream’s on me!” It was actually interesting seeing my mom eat ice cream and different desserts we had while visiting VA because she NEVER eats sweets.  It was like she was finally giving in!!

Virginia Beach was a great time. I’m glad I got to spend time with my older brother and his family & my mom! I loved playing with Mila and Mark & Imee were such great hosts. I’m grateful that Mark is being taken care of by Imee and her wonderful family. I can’t wait to see Mila when she comes to Vegas this fall!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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Cheetah Girls, Cheetah Sisters!

This past weekend I had a sisters weekend with my 4 sister-in-laws! Kim & I left Provo Friday night & picked up Cheryl in St. George & then we were on our way to Vegas for Britney Spears!!!

We started planning this trip during Christmas time and it was finally happening! We stayed the night at Kelly’s house in Henderson on Friday night & on Saturday we all spent the entire day together – it was so much fun! Obviously we had to make a stop at Home Goods so I can buy some new cake stands! Then Jenn arrived from San Diego & we all went down to the Strip, ate at Shake Shack, tasted a bunch of cokes from around the world & then we got ready at our hotel while watching Crossroads!!

The concert was SOOOO AMAZING!!! Our seats were basically front row & Britney Spears was phenomenal (Check my video down below)! Definitely a show to watch if you are ever planning a trip to Vegas! She definitely Lip synched the entire time but whatever cuz she danced for straight 2 hours hahahaha

It was definitely a great weekend with my sister-in-laws.  I’m grateful that I married into an amazing family. With Steven being the only son in the family, he has learned a ton from his sisters and how to treat women. I love seeing him treat my best friends like if they were his little sisters. During the sisters weekend, we also got wayyyyy lucky with the rain and didn’t get poured on once walking outside! It was a perfect weekend!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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I love you (x 26)

Today is my husband’s 26th birthday! So here are 26 things I love about Steven Burk Johnson –

  1. Steven is SO passionate about everything!
  2. Steven is a hard worker in everything that he puts his mind to.
  3. I love that Steven loves sports (especially basketball)
  4. I love that Steven lets me be ME and doesn’t judge me when I talk in my baby voice.
  5. I love that Steven is kind to everyone!!
  6. I love that Steven is not a picky eater
  7. I love that Steven is close to his family (One of the reasons why I wanted to marry him)
  8. I love that Steven works so hard in his church callings
  9. I love that Steven likes to set goals
  10. I love that Steven likes to cook with me and cook for me 😉
  11. I love that Steven is the cutest uncle with his nieces & nephews
  12. I love that Steven goes to bed as the same time as me (10PM because i’m an old lady)
  13. I love that even though we are sometimes soooo tired to read scriptures, he reminds us that we need to at least a couple verses before we go to bed.
  14. I love that Steven doesn’t get mad when I knee him in the butt when we are sleeping hahahah
  15. I love that Steven treats my best friends as if she was his little sister he’s trying to protect
  16. I love that Steven pushes me everyday to keep going with my small cake business
  17. I love that Steven is creative and has an entrepreneurial mindset
  18. I love that Steven prays with me every day and night
  19. I love that Steven makes me laugh until my stomach hurts
  20. I love that Steven can “pivot” when things unexpectedly happen to us
  21. I love that Steven is so cuddly 🙂
  22. I love that Steven watches Grey’s Anatomy & How to Get Away With Murder with me
  23. I love that Steven dances with me in our little tiny kitchen
  24. I love it every time Steven sings in the shower
  25. I love that Steven is so loving and will jump at every opportunity to help someone in need
  26. I love that Steven will be my eternal companion forever and ever ❤

So we just got back from a little trip to Moab! A long time ago, Steven told me that he’s never been! I couldn’t believe it because he LOVES hiking. So I booked us a hotel and we were on our way to Moab.

We got to our hotel (Comfort Suites) and it was SO nice.  We were so tired of driving and it was so great to get to a hotel that is so clean and we had a king bed. (FYI we sleep on a queen bed right now and a king makes ALL the difference) The last time we were in a hotel was at our honeymoon and it felt like a 2nd mini honeymoon! We ordered Paradox Pizza and they delivered it to our room and we literally ate pizza in our bed.

Today we went to Arches National Park and ended up buying an annual pass for all the national parks in the United States so that’s pretty cool. We hiked Delicate arch and Landscape arch… so fun!! The hikes were pretty easy (which i love) and it was so fun to see Steven’s face when we got to the arches. Also, the drive is soooo pretty at the park.

I’m grateful that Steven was born 26 years ago! I’m excited to see what this year brings for the both of us and to see where we are. We’ve been talking about our future a lot and we honestly have no clue where we’ll be in 3 months – it’s all a blur to us.  So stay tuned on what we are doing in the next couple of months!! Happy Birthday Steven, I love you!!

XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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We Love Visitors!!

Last week we had a couple of visitors come visit us here in good ol’ Provo, Utah!! Our first pair of visitors was my friend Lucy Ye & her boyfriend Jerry! I met Lucy while I was interning at Hill Holliday in Boston! Lucy is originally from Boston so while I was out there Summer 2014, she showed me around some of the sites like the best ramen restaurant in Cambridge & Six Flags New England!

Lucy accepted a new job at Square in San Francisco so she made the LONG drive from Boston to SF.  She texted me a pic of her google map showing the route & the line went through Salt Lake City! I immediately texted her and told her YOU HAVE TO COME STAY WITH ME IN PROVO.  I don’t know how they drove so fast but they got to Provo in 3 days… CRAZY. They got to provo really really late and luckily we had their room set up with our handy queen air mattress for them. We let them sleep in and Lucy asks “what’s that donut place you are always posting about?!” UH HI. PROVO BAKERY!!!!!  We obviously had to take them there. After some yummy donuts & driving around downtown Provo showing them Center St, the new Provo City Temple & BYU campus we headed back to our apartment to go night skiing!

We went night skiing up at Sundance Resort & it snowed the day before and it was raining in Provo so there was SO MUCH fresh powder.  I’ve never skied or snowboarded in any fresh powder before.  Granted this was my 2nd time skiing.. haha I’m not the best at skiing but Sundance was so much fun and Steven is a good teacher 😉 We skied mostly greens but our last run was a blue and we did it!! I only fell once! After skiing we were STARVED and Lucy & Jerry have never been to In&Out before so we took them there!!

They decided to stay another night in Provo and while Steven & I had school & work, they went to SLC and visited Temple Square! When we got back we drove to the Midway Ice castles! I’ve never driven through a blizzard and in Provo Canyon I could not see the road in front of me.  It was SO scary! I had my hazard lights on and I went like 15 mph.  It was my first time at the ice castles and it was a ton of fun! Cold, but fun!  Going back home was scary also… sooo much snow! I was driving slow but some other cars passed me super fast and 25 min later they drove in a snow bank… SAD. We are so grateful that we made it home safely.  We loved having Lucy & Jerry stay with us in Provo and we can’t wait to hang out them again soon!

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This past weekend we had my stepsister Dana and her boyfriend Cole come visit us! During Christmas, Dana was talking about how she really wanted to go to Sundance Film Festival end of January and when tickets went on sale, I texted her and asked her if she really wanted to come! Luckily, everything worked out and her & Cole came up Saturday night and met up with us at Tower Theatre in SLC and we watched one of the Shorts Program movies. You never know what you’re going to get at Sundance because nothing is rated hahaha Shorts Program is where they compile 5-6 different short movies into one program. The cool thing about the movie was that all of the directors were there to do a Q&A! It was super cool to be there!

After the movie, we made reservations to Market Street Grill because a ton of my friends RAVE about it. But, I wasn’t a big fan.  It was good food but WAY expensive. We ordered the clam chowder and Steven ordered a fish & chips meal.  Dinner was a good time to catch up with Dana & Cole. It was weird actually having her up here because usually she is up here with our parents for a special occasion or something! After dinner, we drove to Park City to walk on Main St. We literally drove through a blizzard to get there but made it there safely! There were a ton of people because it was a Saturday night.  I think I saw someone famous and I think we looked at each other because he was about to get in a black SUV and all of his body guards were like “you good, man?” But, I didn’t recognize his face hahaha

We had so much fun with Lucy/Jerry & Dana/Cole! I’m grateful for amazing friends and family.  It’s crazy how I interned with Lucy in Boston and a year and a half later she’s here with us in Provo! I try and make an effort to not lose contact with people that I meet because you never know if they need a place to stay on their long drives from the east coast to the west coast!! Sorry for the long post!! Thanks for reading!

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XOXO,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

 

Quick Trip to Arizona!

This past weekend I flew from Provo, Utah to Mesa, Arizona to visit my best friend Lindsay Murray & her family! I bought my tickets on Allegiant a month ago because I just felt like it’s been too long since I haven’t seen Lindsay! But, then we saw her, Luke & Bentley in Coronado, California over Winter break!

I arrived at the Mesa airport Friday night & Lindsay, Luke & Bentley picked me up and brought yummy pizza from MOD Pizza.. YUM! It was a pretty chill night and it was nice to just catch up with all of them.  I love LOVE playing with Bentley.  I don’t think he remembered me from Coronado but slowly he caught on that I wasn’t some crazy Asian lady always wanting to hold him. Lindsay and I stayed up late and just chatted about our lives and how crazy life has been since we were little freshmen at the Helaman Halls together. So, Lindsay and I were roommates Freshmen year at the dorms and then Fall semester at Liberty Square! Then she got married to Luke and now has Bentley!! I’m honestly so grateful for a best friend like Lindsay because without her I don’t know where i’d be without her freshmen year!!

On Saturday, it was honestly just a chill day! We went to run some errands in the morning, saw the new Gilbert LDS temple, fed ducks at the park, picked oranges at Lindsay’s family’s farm and ate dinner at Joe’s Farm Grill! It was an awesome time hanging out with Lindsay and Bentley.

On Sunday, I got breakfast with my friends Nolan and Stephen! I met them at my days at King Henry and now they live in Mesa. It was awesome catching up with them.  I don’t know how I got so lucky in the friend department. I’m also grateful that I’ve kept in touch with so many people throughout my time at BYU.  I was excited to get back to Provo because it was my first time away from my hubby! We’ve been together every day since who knows when!! Now you can stop reading and enjoy the photos!

Xoxo,

Lizzie Lin Johnson

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