Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reminds me of Europe/IMAGINE

This reminds me of the enchanting streets of Europe. How I loved the trip! 
It comes from a girl's blog that I just discovered. I love her blog ( She has a gift for writing and imagination. 
Tonight I watched Bridge to Terabithea at Dan's parents home and I cried the worst I have in any movie EVER. I love Leslie! I always saw a lot of myself in her and wanted to be like her. The movie takes you back to being a kid (not to mention that I read the book when I was a kid) and you see how kids use their imagination. I want to be like that; Dan brings that out in me and we almost create a little world of our own with funny voices and he flips me upside down and I scream and flail. It's quite fun! I hope we imagine together all of our lives. One thing I really want to do in my life is paint a room gold like they did. I think it would be spectacular to watch the sun set in the room. For Ivory homes I get to design a home---any home I'd like---from start to finish! And nope, there's no set buyer. I design the floor plan and colors and EVERYTHING! Maybe I'll experiment with it there. I also want to do murals on the walls with my children. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

IVORY HOMES! Let the adventure begin!

I'm ready to embrace an AWESOME opportunity!
I walked into the office at Ivory and left their employee off to begin pursuing a real estate license.
Talking to Steve was so impressive. When I walked into the office he had already decided to hire me and those were the first words out of his mouth! We skipped the typical "go over the resume" process and he asked about how I felt about doing the mundane, everyday work that leads to the sale.

Throughout the "interview" I found that not only did he want to hire me, but he wanted to hire me for the position I'd dreamed of: "Sales Consultant." Last night I told my parents I think he's hiring me for this job but out of these four, I'd wish to be a sales consultant. As he told me about the job, he cleared up every worry I thought of (e.g. the commute) without me mentioning it!

He told me about his years at Franklin Covey and we happily discussed principles from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This type of a "stretching" that comes from changing my life to encompass "character ethics" rather than "personality ethics" was so important for me --- and really what I was hoping to learn in the next year. As explained by Stephen Covey, "The Character Ethic taught that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character." In contrast, Personality Ethics taught that "success [was] more a function of personality, of public image, of attitudes and behaviors, skills, and techniques, that lubricate the processes of human interaction" (e.g. "smiling wins more friends that frowning" and "your attitude determines your altitude." I believe that success in life comes from humility as C.S. Lewis talked about it --- genuinely caring about others. For this new year that is what I want to focus on! This relates so well to character living that I want to integrate these principles into my character even better than before. This means taking time for people. It means spending the weekend with Dan's parents and really focusing on people when I'm on the phone with them instead of using that time to check my gmail.

I guess that's a bit of the reason I'd like the job; in addition, it matches my personality SO well!
Dan wants me to write this part as he says it:
"This is Dan's opinion so I'm not being prideful. I learned from working with Wilson's, RPM, and now Ivory that professionals see an innate ability to sell and 'a one in a million girl.' Mr. Wilson said I have a mix of bubbly personality, ability to relate to others, but with savvy to see it through.
Second, I have grown up in real estate. It's what my dad's entire side of the family does. Every one of my uncles is an appraiser (not to mention my grandma, grandpa, and dad)! I grew up loving business trips with my father and we talked about finances and investing the entire time.
When I was 14 I invested in mobile homes and LOVED working with people in the housing business, showing and finding a buyer for the mobile homes :)
It's been my passion! In the week since I dropped my classes, reading about investing and getting passive income from properties is what I've devoted my time to. That's my true interest and talent so this is the perfect way to develop it and use it to bless us."
That was all Dan's wording. I haven't ever completely excelled in one specific thing (e.g. dance, oil painting, running) but I have a personality that flips between activities and is completely devoted to them but just for a short while. I found this was very good in dating but bad for a profession like being a professor where you're an expert in one field for the rest of your life. I was wondering the other day how a professor could ever possibly find something and commit to it and stick to it for the rest of their life! However, this is an advantage to Real Estate because I meet new people every day and they each have a unique story and I can relate to many situations (e.g travel, kids with illnesses or special needs, business, law etc.) really well because I have a surface knowledge of so many experiences.
Also, it allows me to make a lot of money early in a career without a ton of schooling so Dan and I can fulfill our passive income goals.

I am so incredibly blessed! Just when I was so ready for life to be figured out the Lord brought into my life this great job! I could not have imagined a better fit for Dan and me. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My my how life changes in an afternoon...

Today I was walking up to campus and felt like I wasn't sure what path to take and like I was regretting telling Wilson's I wouldn't work for them. I called my parents who helped me realize that working as a diamond salesman wouldn't be the best long-term project (I've realized this many many times over in the last few weeks but couldn't get it off of my mind).
I went to the career fair for Dan to look for Merrill Lynch who wasn't there. As I turned the corner I saw Ivory Homes and everything made sense! I have this little game I play with myself where I become incredibly enthused with something and wonder if I can convince these people that I'm just the person for the job (which I truly believe, mind you). Well they promised me an interview next week and said "you've got everything we're looking for!"
I realized how much happier I'd be getting a real estate license through Ivory and actually getting paid to do something I'm interested in. And it will be fun to have a new challenge more than doing the Hall Advisor job where I need to stay home all day. I think this job would still be 40 hours a week.
Then I went to RPM (the people Danny's interning for) and talked to their representative and I have an interview tomorrow! It would be really fun to learn how to evaluate companies and help them improve their businesses! So that would be 20 hours a week (unpaid though).
Then I went to the financial aid office and met the wife of one of the guys who is interning in Moscow over the summer. So now I have a connection and friend there---and we may spend all day learning Russian and trying to find our way around Russia together this summer!
Well, we'll see what happens but I'm excited to begin something new and fun!
Just when things seem foggy they seem to come together!

I won!

For once, blog-stalking paid off!
I won five great notepads: my favorite is the library kit. I've always wanted one of the cool date stampers and I remember "checking out" library books to my brothers and sisters. I love this!

Thanks Penelope! (

I have become happy with me

There is this process that I've recognized in myself (and I think others go through it too). It used to happen when I went to school and then came home to be home schooled: I went from every moment of my life being dictated to having discretionary time.

After filling my life with minutia and tasks that I think "have to" be done (such as decorating again) and feeling hopeless. . . I then realize that my time is my own; I choose to be happy. I think about what I really want in life. I do what I love. And I am happy just being me; no outward applause, just content.

The process of having no job and only one class in the life of Alyssa Holbrook:
Though I can choose what to do each moment the things I love suddenly don't have meaning. For me I wonder what's the purpose of doing my beautiful paintings if no one else will enjoy them?
Then I began to clean and organize and decorate but spending money isn't all that fun (so yes, I'm returning all the new pillows I bought).
Then I began to see that I didn't have to make a forever long to-do list; I can fill my time with anything I like! So I read rich dad poor dad books and 7 habits of highly effective people. I realized that my time was my own and I could choose to do anything as long as it made me happy. I FOUND HAPPINESS in being home; in NOT achieving a long-term outwardly aplaudable goal.

I filled my time with the things I love and find joy in.

I thought about what I really want to do in life.

And I found that I really love being busy, the feeling of accomplishment, and I cook meals for the whole week all at once anyway.

Its like the Lord wanted me to appreciate freedom and to become happy at home.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A couple great quotes i came across

"The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way... The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attidtude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goals for the new year inspired by good scholars

Yesterday at Sports Hero day we heard a speech from Jimmer Fridette who told us that we need to set goals. When he was young his brother brought him a piece of paper that said, "I, Jimmer will do all that is necessary to play for the NBA." It is important to write them down and have a plan for how we will actually achieve them. For Jimmer, that paper is next to his bed every night. Then the QB Heaps told us that we need to make our actions match those goals. 
As Dan and I walked home we set goals to have passive income.
In my quest for knowledge of investing I found this quote that applies to much more of our lives than just finances:
 "What if you spend much of your time thinking about a lot of issues that concern you? You will spend less time taking action to solve those problems." --The Millionaire Next Door

New Photographers

Michael McRae
Erik Ostling
Aria Photography
Blue Lily Photography

My cute cousins!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I love change.
This is ironic because when I was little I had nightmares about moving and told my family "no thanks on the moving thing, I'll live with my grandparents."
I decided I could never marry someone in the military for that reason (though I GREATLY appreciate the sacrifices they made).
But I love change in life! I love beginning new years, starting new projects, having new interests etc.
Well today I finally had an urge to completely devote my life to something and to become an expert in _______.
The only problem is I have 60 ideas of what that could be!
I would love teaching art, piano, school; being an oil painter, colored pencil portrait painter, art historian, graphic designer, portrait photographer, wedding photographer, florist, cook, organizer, service guru, tutor, blogger, real estate agent, art connoisseur, violinist, concert pianist, dancer, investor etc.
Today I felt in limbo not doing school or work and I saw my most impressive professor who knows everything there is to know about photography and the gospel but devotes his life to it and I felt discouraged. I am mediocre at a lot of things ---- and that's super fun for a social life and a fun lifestyle but what would it be like to be an expert at one thing? So far if I chose one thing for that "expert thing" it would be talking to parents of kids with life-threatening illnesses and helping them network and providing services for them.
I might choose to invest the most time for the next 10 years (besides being a mom of course) to learning about investing and passive income....but that's just for tonight so I'd better be ready for a change! :)


I love hanging out with people but I hate meetings.
Tonight we had a fun "hang-out" meeting with 5 couples. We accomplished all we needed to, but before everyone even showed up we could have completed what we did in two hours.
I love two person meetings or getting it accomplished much more efficiently and then hanging out with friends without the "agenda" in the back of my mind because that makes me antsy when we take fun tangents.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Lord Knows Best

I can't get my scholarship no matter what BUT...
Classes were waived from my major so that I only have one class left to graduate!!!
I will take Art History 201.
I have no job currently --- but to be a Hall Advisor you must have 6 credits or less (and I now do!!!).
Also, because I am still a student (taking 3 credits) we may still be eligible for Pell Grants!
The Lord knows what He's doing.

I know some things I will do for sure...and unbelievably this is EVERYTHING I'm committed to!
1. LOVE DANNY (of course)
2. Work with Make A Wish families
3. Work with Paint A Wish families
4. Help Kirt learn logic 
5. Start a family
6. Fulfill my church calling
7. Do temple work
8. Come closer to the Lord this semester
9. Exercise
10.Complete Americorps (300 hours of service since September...I'm almost done!)
11.HOPEFULLY become a Hall Advisor

But the question is WHAT ELSE WILL I DO? I thought of everything I might love doing and that could possibly make money.
1. Learn from Dan's uncle Donny
2. Work for/shadow a photographer
3. Go to Val's classes
4. Collect art to sell in Monterey (My PERSONAL FAVORITE)
5. Earn Americorps again
6. Apply for FAFSA
7. Alice Lane Home
8. Do Raylene's photography class
9. Do colored pencil drawings for families
10.Learn to oil paint
11.Photograph for a magazine (interiors)/ for people in Park City
12.Manage apartments
13.Get a realtor's license (call Shelley Tripp/ Ivory homes)
14.Begin a floral design business (I've always thought that would be fun)
15.Party it up with Lexi and Greg in New York 
16.Do Dan's internship with him
17.Learn everything I can about sales/investing
18.Substitute teach
19.Clean peoples' homes (surprisingly I think I would actually like this job!)
20.Volunteer at the MTC learning discussions

Any other ideas????

Friday, January 14, 2011

Magazine "Adore"

I thought this was a really fun magazine!

A Series of Fortunate Events

1. DAN FOUND HIS WEDDING RING! Yay! Now he won't get hit on wherever he goes. It's been lost for months!
2. I was hired at Wilson's Diamonds
3. I posted a review of Wilson's (good or bad) and took it in for a free 10.00 coupon to Cafe Rio
(I was going to pick up Dan from campus at 9:15 and he hadn't had dinner so I went to Cafe Rio)
4. They were closing the doors but let me buy food anyway so they made it HUGE and
5. Gave me free mochata, which was a super good drink.
6. Eva came over and read through my entire honors thesis in under 1.5 hours so I'm just putting the finishing touches on and then I'M DONE WITH HONORS!!!!! (after 72 great work events, hundreds of pages of writing, and hours of reading).
I love life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One of my favorite rooms

Ok, in finding my design style I am finding that I love anything white or anything that looks like a temple. Dan and I both love the maps that are framed in this one...

All that glitters

I have been looking into selling engagement rings with Wilson's Diamonds.
For my follow-up interview today I was supposed to sell cameras but I asked Dan if I would really be able to sell diamonds.
He replied, "just study diamonds for a few hours and then you'll be able to."
It's true, what I study I love.


I have been so frustrated this last hour about some scholarship confusion and how much school costs that I just felt like crying.
I decided to call our new little wish kid, Jiselle, to see if that would cheer me up. I spoke with her father who is in the hospital right now as they do surgery removing tumors. It is such a scary surgery! It was just really helpful because a few thousand dollars had me down but how hard would it be to have my daughter's life in jeopardy?
I am so grateful for things like that that put life into perspective. 

 "He who has led the humble life has guidance in his heart."

Another one of those things was a movie we watched last night called "Captain Abu Raed." Little children think he's a pilot and he begins to tell them stories from his "travels."
He begins helping these little children. One little boy has to sell so many wafers a day so Captain would come buy them all so the little boy could go to school.
Then when another child is beaten by his father, Captain helps the children and mother escape and is killed in the process of helping them find a better life.
This was such an inspiring story because we too can dedicate our lives to helping others and even "live for others."

Thoughts on Winter

I saw this posted by one of my friends on facebook right as I was feeling so so cold...

Excuse me while I indulge for a moment. I'm growing a bit tired of hearing people complain about winter and about how much they hate it. YES, winter is bitter cold and undeniably less awesome than summer.  In fact, in my estimation, summer is at least 3.4 times awesomer than any other season.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I thrive in summer. Really; I have my fair share of fun when the sun is out. But come ON! Unless you get rich/lazy and move somewhere dreamy, upwards of 30%-50% of your life will be spent in non-summer months... Are you really resigning yourself to the fate of being MISERABLE for 30%-50% of the rest of your life? You're really going to give in that easily? Why not tell Old Man Winter that he doesn't OWN you and find things you LOVE about winter instead?

Like the fact that winter is perfect for reading that book you've been putting off since...summer? Or, that winter is ideal for catching up on your favorite television show while snuggling under a blanket with Mr./Ms. Dreamboat?  Or, for spending more time at the gym since you're not so busy with laying out at the pool and doing nothing? Or, perhaps for (gasp) working/studying and getting things done?  Or even for breaking a nasty habit and replacing it with a better one?

Or maybe doing something new - Enjoy local world-class skiing/snowboarding, build an igloo up the canyon and sleep in it, learn to curl/cross-country-ski, go snowshoeing or snowmobiling to a cabin, go sledding down a snow-covered road, watch Olympic-qualifier half-pipe, skiing, and bobsled competitions, go bobsledding (yes, on the Olympic track), play ice broomball, or stalk celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival?

Oh, you say that you hate being cold?

Well, maybe you could catch up on your scrapbook/journal, learn to cook a new meal or bake a new dessert, throw a party for no reason at all, go hot tubbing (it's even more satisfying in the winter), cook dinner for someone you care about, go dancing with friends, start a blog, go shopping, stay up-to-date on politics/world events, learn/develop your skills on a musical instrument, go to a play/the symphony, call an old friend, write a letter to your mom, ask someone on a date, have a Mariokart/Halo tournament, volunteer at the soup kitchen/the hospital/wherever, go to a restaurant you've never been to, visit the dueling piano bar, celebrate Festivus, go bowling, go to a BYU/Jazz basketball game, attend the rugby Sevens tournament in Vegas, watch the sunset from your heated car, kiss someone, kiss them again, catch up on sleep, build a pillow/blanket fort, play a board game, put a puzzle together, learn to fly an airplane, go to the climbing gym, go indoor paint balling, try out archery, go to the arcade, play roller hockey in a parking garage, have a Nerf war in your apartment, paint along with Bob Ross, find something novel to do with junk at DI, go to a midnight mass, go to a yoga/Zumba/kickboxing/MMA class...

OR, if you exhaust this entire list and decide that you still hate winter...I guess then you can at least say it with conviction!

(There's got to be SOMETHING you love about winter.  Tell me in a comment below, and I'll love you forever.  Or at least until summertime.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A lover of chairs???

In my Interior Design class we learn about chairs...for 6 hours a week I learn about chairs! And I love it! I find myself paying attention to chairs and wondering who created them and why and what time period they were in. Yesterday in class we learned about Vienna Cafe #18 by Michael Thonet. This was one of many "bentwood" chairs (literally bent wood). They were the first really mass produced chairs and over 40 million were sold by 1886! They work with country, fancy, artsy styles and in a library, shop, and museum. 
Well today I am organizing all day. And I was reading Penelope loves lists (one of my favorite inspirational blogs) and I found this picture and LOVED IT!!! And then I realized Vienna Cafe chair #18 and thought---I know that chair!!!
I am becoming a lover of chairs!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I heard a sister bear testimony of the glory of motherhood. It is the nearest experience to the atonement as a mother gives her life and body to another. Though stretch marks do not go away, they like the Savior's nail marks on His hands can be evidence of sacrifice.

Thinking back....