About Krista

Krista Maurer is writing her way through life as she dives head first into her 30s, learns how to survive [read: pay the bills] without a "day job," and looks for the man of her dreams. She reads the dictionary for fun, collects globes and maps, often confuses Williams-Sonoma with Mecca, and still remembers the thrill of meeting Alex Trebek when she was 10. Oh yeah, and she's the boss/owner of this here site, so please ask permission before reposting any content (pictures included) anywhere else. Thanks mucho!

Smells Like Summer: 5 Ways to Enjoy the Season

On Saturday, Frit and I went for a morning swim (cuz the triathlon is in like oh … 26 days [ack!]) and then to run errands. You know, just your standard sunny-Saturday errands: a quick good-will drop off, gathering of supplies needed for the lessons we were teaching at Church on Sunday, purchasing a new lawn trimmer AND edger as well as finding a cage to go over the outside dryer vent because the d$*% birds built a nest inside it last week (and let me tell you, the men at Lowe’s were in awe of us hauling all our “goods” around the store), picking up some potting soil, and acquiring a tanning pass so our legs don’t blind any of the other racers on triathlon day.

Anyhow. On the way home from our productive morning, we had the windows down and the radio cranked. We looked at each other and smiled as we rounded the corner to home and Frit said, “It smells like summer.” And oh boy howdy! Did it ever!

In honor of this sunny weather, I’d like to make a few suggestions on how to get the most out of this blessed season. They’re things I do to make the warm months stretch and the days seem even brighter than they already are.

1. Breath deep. Right now our back yard smells of fresh cut grass and tulips and in a few weeks the wisteria, poppies, and basil will linger on the air. Go put that sniffer to good use and take in the scents. There’s nothing like the smell of sunshine, blue skies, BBQs, & Coppertone. Trust me. Tip: closing your eyes helps.

2. Wear flip-flops if shoes are required. If not…go barefoot as much as possible…especially in the yard. Cool grass underfoot does a body good.

3. Keep a roll of quarters in your car. It’s lemonade stand season friends! I am certain the karma for supporting lemonade stands is 10 times bigger and better than any other good deed you could possibly do. Tip: Pay double what they’re charging. The look on their faces when you tell them to “keep the change” is priceless.

4. Get dirty. Whether it’s sand in your toes, dirt under your fingernails, or grass stains on your pants–just do it. Get dirty. It grounds you. It connects you to the Earth. And a little sweat never killed anyone. In fact, I think it’s good for the skin (that’s the gospel according to Krista).

5. Put your face in the sun. The heat burns away any bad you might be feeling (even if just for a little while) and warms the soul. Plus it’s a way better way to get your Vitamin D than popping a nasty, smelly tablet every morning.

Happy Summering!

Seamstress for Hire: 5 Bridesmaid Dresses Complete

A couple months ago a darling bride (Kate) hired me to sew her five bridesmaids’ dresses. Well. The dresses are d.u.n. And I’m super pleased with how they turned out. The girls looked so darling in them and the colors just make me happy.

Kate: I hope your wedding weekend is sunny and beautiful and that your life with Garrett is full of joy and love.

Next project: Miss Ella’s Baptism Dress…which I’m super excited about since I’m not only sewing it, I’m designing it! Sketches to follow soon.

Do you need something sewn, designed, or created? Email me. I’d love to help!

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The Buddhist Flutist

A conversation I had with Frit a la 5 minutes ago…

Me: I have a lunch meeting today with that flutist that I’m doing some consulting for, so I might not make it to the baby shower.

Frit: What Buddhist?

Me: [laughing so hard I almost peed my pants] Did you say “Buddhist”?

Frit: Yeah.

Me: No, it’s the flutist.

Frit: Oh. Well. Rub her belly for good luck will ya?

I’ve Got Moves You’ve Never Seen (and never will, if you’re lucky)

Once upon a time, I had a big fancy office with my name on the door. It was seriously humongous. I didn’t even have enough furniture to fill it. It was also during this time that I had interns (more than one) and an assistant working for me.

Well, the north wall of this big fancy office was made of windows–corner to corner, floor to ceiling. And this wall of windows looked out on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City. I had a view of the gardens on Temple Square and could see all the comings and goings of the LDS Church Administration Building. In fact, as a side note, my friend Jessica, who worked in the office next to me, and I played Apostle Bingo for months–we made game cards and everything–to see who could sight the most Apostles on Temple Square.

But anyway, like I said, I had a big, fancy office with a big, fancy wall of windows, and my name was on the door (once upon a time). You would think that some amount of decorum and dignity would come with such a work space. Let me assure you–it didn’t.

Case in point: Whenever something great happened, namely, placing a great story for one of my recording artists with the media, or creating a killer press kit wherein my writing skills wowed even me … we would dance. Nay. We would DANCE! I would crank the music on my speakers (this was a record label that I worked at after all), call the interns and Jessica (she was the booking agent) in, and we would celebrate with a good old-fashioned dance party.

In fact, one time we were dancing and a group of high school students on a field trip were walking on the sidewalk below. It was hilarious to see the ripple effect as one of them saw us, nudged his neighbor, and pointed up. Pretty soon the whole group was staring, which then gave way to cheering, and then … dancing with us. It was fantastic.

Well. It’s been a while since I had that big, fancy office (it was once upon a time, after all). Instead of business suits, I wear yoga pants. Oh alright! Most of the time I wear pajamas. Sheesh! It’s not that big’a deal. I don’t have a nice, shiny desk, but I do have a freakin’ cushy couch. I have no interns or assistants, it’s just me, myself, and I. (And the three of us have some pretty interesting conversations by the water cooler, if you must know. Oh alright. We don’t have a water cooler, but we DO have a fully stocked refrigerator.)

Anyhow my point is this (you were wondering when we’d get to that weren’t you?): While I’m not a great dancer (in my heart I am. In my heart I’m Debbie Allen. From Fame? Remember? Oh nevermind. Actually I always wanted to be CoCo or the girl who played the cello in the empty practice room. What was her name?). Wait. Where was I? Oh right. So even though I’m not a great dancer, and even though I’m by myself, I think it’s time to reinstate the practice of mid-day dance parties.

Why? Because I have a lot to celebrate. Even when I don’t think I do. And because I’m certain that if I have enough dance parties, I’ll eventually look like this:

Or this:

OK. Maybe not.

But at least I’m celebrating!

Maybe I’ll even open the blinds and if I’m lucky the neighbor kids will walk by and join in.

*In case you’re wondering, those are pictures I took of my baby sister Kaycie at her final hip hop showcase at BYU last week. She’s a rockstar. And she’s hot.

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Enagement Photos: Provo, UT [Leah & Bryan]

I love love. I believe in it. I pray for it. I hope for it. I love how it feels when you wear it. I love to see other people in love and I especially love capturing that love so that they’ll always remember.

This week I was able to photograph a very lovely Leah and a very dapper Bryan in Provo, UT. To say they fit perfectly is an understatement.

Leah and Bryan: Thank you for asking me to take your pictures. I can’t wait for the wedding day!

To see more photos from this shoot, visit the Facebook album (and become a fan of Island Belle!)

To schedule your own photo shoot, please email me or call 801.360.1235.

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Good Things Utah Appearance: Silk Flower Accessories

If you missed the show this morning, here’s the video! Enjoy!

Other helpful links:

1. Don’t want to take the time to make them yourself? Just buy ‘em! I’m happy to do the dirty work. Click Here.

2. Step-by-step directions for this tutorial with photos

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Tutorial: Silk Flowers — Great for Headbands, Jewelry, Clothing, etc.

The most popular item at Island Belle Boutique is by far the silk poppy hair accessories. They’re flirty, feminine, and subtle. Needless to say I wear them all the time … like every day practically. And today, because I’m nice, because I’m especially happy these days, and because the snow has melted (hallelujah!), I’m going to share my trade secret of how to make them today. Once you understand the basic steps of how to create these fabric flowers, you can use them anywhere. They make great gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, favors for your luncheons and/or showers, and accessories for yourself (!), friends, and daughters.

And if you’re thinking, “I LOVE these flowers and totally need some, but I SO don’t want to take the time to make my own,” just

CLICK HERE to SHOP

the silk flower line at Island Belle Boutique.

Supplies: Light-weight silk fabric * Scissors * Candle & Matches * Needle & Thread * Beads / Buttons / Pearls / etc. for the center of your flower (it’s up to you!)

Steps

1. Cut circles of varying sizes from your silk (they don’t have to be perfect!)

2. Light candle and singe the edges of your circles. You don’t need to put the fabric directly in the flame. It will melt and seal the edge just by being in close proximity to the flame.

3. Stack circles (your petals) according to your own personal preference. You can make them lopsided or perfectly spaced, sparse or extra full. Just add your own style!

4. Insert needle and thread up through the bottom of flower, thread button or bead onto the needle and insert the needle back down through the flower. Repeat this process until you have sewn on all your beads or buttons. I always recommend using odd numbers for beads, buttons, or pearls.
5. Once you’ve sewn on your last bead, knot the thread at the bottom/base of your flower. All done!

You can now attach it (with fabric glue or more stitching) to a headband

CLICK HERE

or a hair pin,

CLICK HERE

on a purse,

CLICK HERE

on a shirt,

CLICK HERE

or even on a lapel pin (for a modern take on the ever-classy corsage).

CLICK HERE

You could even add these flowers to bracelets, shoe clips, ribbon belts, skirts, throw pillows, bed skirts, napkin rings, garlands, and more!

To see this tutorial demonstrated CLICK HERE for my appearance on Salt Lake City’s morning show, Good Things Utah.

Variations:

1. Use cotton fabric instead of silk. Just skip the step where you singe the edges and let the fabric fray slightly.

2. Use different colors for each layer of the petals.

3. Add tulle between the petal layers.

4. Spray with adhesive glue and sprinkle glitter for a little glam.

5. Add feathers.

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Cluttered, PreOccupied, and a Lemon Tart


Remember how I was nesting? Yeah, so it turned out differently than I expected. It was more of an internal nesting (although I really do still need to clean out my closet). Does that happen to anyone else? Where you feel so full of thoughts and emotions and memories and lessons and experiences you need to deal with that you just feel dizzy with it all? And unless you sort though it piece by piece you find yourself unable to take anything more on, because you’re already stuffed to the brim?

Well that’s where I’ve been. And when I feel that way, I retreat until I am able to come up for air (hence the blogging hiatus). I think maybe it was the 6-month mark of being unemployed that hit me. Well that, and this other thing in my life that has forced me to look at my worries and fears and scars and insecurities left over from past experiences. And that combined with the reality that this business has to work (it has to), I found myself digging deep inside myself, sifting through the rubble created by the whirlwind I’ve lived in for the last few months.

I’ve felt consumed by the “business side” of this professional venture and when I’m in that mode, I find it hard to be creative. Which is a tricky thing when you “do” creative for a living. And yet, I’ve also found myself extraordinarily happy (also due in part, I’m pretty certain, to this other thing in my life), which makes me feel creative. So basically I’ve just been a mish-mash of right brain and left brain, cautious and hopeful, scared to death and ready to jump, blank with no ideas and overflowing with so many ideas I don’t know where to start.

Are you still with me? (I’m not sure I’m even still with me so don’t feel bad if you’re lost.)

So anyways, I’ve been cleaning out the clutter, or trying at least. Letting go of things that don’t matter anymore and framing in front of me the things I want most. I’ve been pre-occupied with a gallon of happy possibility that I can’t drink fast enough. And I’ve been diving into what I really want from this life I’ve chosen and committing to making its success a reality rather than treating it like a hobby.

But I’ve lacked words, which is weird for me. And I’ve not known where to start when it comes to creating again. So in an effort to just take a baby step forward, I made a tart. Yes. I made a tart. It was #29 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days and I knew it was doable. And it was delicious.

So here’s to baby steps. Here’s to recommitting to the lives we want and are totally possible. And while you’re at it, go make a tart.

Orange-Lemon Tart

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cups  crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 5  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3  cup  frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  large eggs, separated
  • 1  cup  heavy whipping cream
  • 3  tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • Garnishes: fresh mint leaves, lemon and orange slices

Preparation

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; set aside.

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and egg yolks until blended.

Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into condensed milk mixture. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 20 to 25 minutes or just until filling is set. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Remove tart from pan, and place on a serving dish.

Beat whipping cream and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Dollop around edges of tart; garnish, if desired.

Not Pregnant, But Nesting None-the-Less

I’m not pregnant. At least I wasn’t the last time I checked. Not that I’ve ever checked–never really had a need to. Hm. Let’s start this post over, shall we?

[Take 2]

I’ve never been pregnant, but I’ve had plenty of friends who have. (Much better way to start this entry, I’d say.) And many of them have shared pieces of their experience with me–the feelings, the instincts, the urges, the emotions, the needs, the cravings, the thoughts, the worries, etc. that come with growing a human life inside your belly, right below your heart.

One of those “pregnant woman” instincts I’ve always found interesting was the one that comes just a few weeks before the baby is due. The one where a woman, round a swollen, who avoids the floor at all costs, would get on all fours to scrub the kitchen tile. The one where she pulls all the clothes, already cleaned and pressed, out of the closet to wash them just one more time. The one where she dusts and vacuums and then dusts again–every day. The one where she re-cleans, re-organizes, and repositions the nursery.

“Nesting” is what they call it … Getting ready and preparing a perfect place for the impending arrival of a new life.

Well. Like I said. I’m not pregnant. But even still, I’ve been feeling a swell within my soul the last couple days–a need to nest, oddly enough. To get my life and my home ready for something. I don’t believe it’s something big or grand. And I don’t believe that it will just suddenly arrive one day on the doorstep of my life with bells and whistles and a parade in tow. Maybe it will. But I don’t think so.

But regardless of what it is that’s coming or how it comes, there’s a tangible need that I’m feeling. A need to weed out, declutter, reorganize, rededicate, reexamine, and refocus. For something. Something good. And in order to be in a place to receive this good thing, I need to let go of other things, old things, worn out things. So that there’s room for it. And so that I’m ready for it.

So this week, and maybe next, I will be nesting.

xo

Krista

A Little Brighter

I’m a generally happy person. It’s just my disposition. I see the world in living color and want to take as much of it in as possible. But for a while there, the brightness faded just a bit. And I lost the color.

This happens when you don’t do the things you love. It happens when you stop being (for whatever reason) who you were really created to be. It happens when you don’t make time for the people who mean the most. It happens when you let others dictate what your life should be made of.

But over the last 6 months (yes it’s been 6 months now), the color has come back. In new hews and with greater brightness. It’s amazing really, to be living in technicolor again. Things seem possible. Things seem wonderful. New opportunities come my way daily and I see the providence in them all. And even over the last couple weeks I’ve found myself unable to keep from smiling due to another new something that has made everything seem particularly bright.

I was talking with someone last night about the best things, happiest things, and most exciting things in our lives right now. It was good to take inventory of this life of mine.

And for so many reasons, but especially for a particular few, I just want to say …

I am happy. So very happy.

A Mid-Day Phone Call

You called today. In the middle of the day.

You didn’t know that I wanted you to. You didn’t know that I needed you to. But I didn’t know how to tell you that. I didn’t think I could, or even should. I didn’t know how to say, “I need to talk to you.”

But you called. For no other reason than to find out how my meeting went. Which in and of itself makes my heart beat a little faster for you. And I sort of cried. But I didn’t know where to start or what to say. And you just said, “OK. Let’s just start at the beginning. Tell me who all was there.” And for some reason that was all I needed. I told you everything–how it all went down and the resulting mish-mash of feelings.

And you listened. And you didn’t make me feel dumb for crying about it or being upset. And then you said all the right things.

And then you made me laugh.

You could have hung up at this point. I know how busy you are and how much you need to get done before tomorrow. But you didn’t. You just kept talking. About little things. Insignificant things really. But after forty-five minutes, everything was right in my world again.

So I guess I’m just wanting to say thank you. Thank you for calling.

Little Miss Lola: Part 2 [Infant Photography Session, Bountiful, UT]

Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing an infant photo shoot of little miss Lola. She’s 3 1/2 months now and has quite the hilarious personality. And oh does she pull some faces! Here are some of my favorite shots of the day.

And speaking of “pulling faces” … check out the family resemblance in these photos! # 1 is Lola on her blessing day. # 2 is Frit (Lola’s auntie) on the same day, not having seen Lola’s face earlier. I always make Frit “stand in” so I can check the lighting before I begin shooting. It’s like her favorite thing to do. Ever. Can’t you tell?

#1

#2