hi I'm Leah! I'm a computer science major and software developer at a startup in the salt lake city, utah area. also it's worth mentioning that i'm married to a great dude named stephen.

I used to blog a lot about CS and programming stuff but now this is mostly cute animals and things that make me laugh and really dumb things that come out of my brain!


Friday was the Provo rooftop concert! First we got pho and sweet treats from some downtown eateries, then headed over to the show. It was amazing standing there on the top of a parking garage, with the gorgeous mountains glowing in the dusk, listening to some head-bobbingly good local music. There were hipsters and mommies and bros alike, and of course, lots of people freaking out over free t-shirts.

We were definitely in the wrong place during the show, though. We were standing up towards the front, and quickly found ourselves in the middle of a giant bro storm (I call this phenomenon the “BRO-NADO”). There were crowdsurfers kicking me in the head all night long. Don’t get me wrong, I like to dance and push around and have fun at shows, but this was just a little too much. I actually didn’t go to that show to get my neck broken by a sweaty, beefy, tank-top-wearing “Provo-All-Star”, so you can imagine my dismay when I ended up having to focus more on preventing that very occurrence than on the music. It was bad enough that I got knocked to the ground multiple times when crowdsurfers fell on top of me. And this was all going on while the bands were playing super chill indie music! It was sort of hilarious.

At one point there was this guy behind me who was trying to push past, and I guess I was in his way. So guess what this kid did?! He literally picked me up and started pushing forward with me! It was so out-of-this-world ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh.

Ah, free outdoor concerts. You really do pay a price, one way or another.

Despite the minor annoyances, it was still really fun and worth it. But maybe next time we’ll stick towards the back of the crowd.

On Saturday we slept in way too late, cleaned the house, grabbed sushi for lunch, and went to a 20s-themed murder mystery party. I know I said I was going to sew a flapper dress for it, but I ran out of time and just ended up wearing a black dress with pearls. I felt so classy! It kind of made me wish that wearing giant feather headbands was socially acceptable in day-to-day life.

Also, I’m linking up with The Creative Closet this week for the “vintage” theme with this 20s costume. I wish I got a better picture, but it was a simple look: black dress, loads of pearls, a feather headband, and red lips. When it comes to vintage fashion, I absolutely love the 50s, but the 20s are a close second. The fashion in The Great Gatsby movie has caused a big “roarin’ 20s” obsession since its release, and I’m totally cool with it. (Although I have mixed feelings about the film adaptation, I can’t argue with the fantastic fashion in it. I have a massive lady crush on Carey Mulligan, and the 20s style suits her perfectly.) This outfit also makes for really easy last-minute halloween costume!

Anyway, that was our weekend! It was great to spend some quality time with Stephen after a crazy first week of school. Something I’ve noticed is that he really makes every day feel like a special one, whether we’re going out on a Saturday night or we’re just waking up and going to work in the morning. He always has all these smiles and hugs and funny things to say every time we see each other. I dunno, i’s just so nice to have each other and be together in our little apartment and have fun in our little town. Ok, I’m done being sentimental!!

How was your weekend?

Surviving the Bronado Friday was the Provo rooftop concert! First we got pho and sweet treats from some downtown eateries, then headed over to the show.

The semester in which I become a gym rat

School is a funny thing. One second, the professor is reading over the syllabus, and the next, I’m supposed to write the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm in C++. Homework and due dates just don’t feel real yet. In general I’m a speedy learner and worker, but the concept of a hard deadline makes my brain feel a little bit like a raisin. (small and dried up.)

I know I sound like a Negative…

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Labor Day seemed like a good day for a drive up through the Alpine Loop. The forest is still really green this time of year, but there was definitely a healthy scattering of bright oranges and reds. Any day now, it’ll explode into another beautiful Utah autumn.

We ended up in a little reserve called Cascade Springs, where we saw crystal clear pools of water trickling into each other and a lot of aquatic plants. According to the signs, there were supposed to be little fish in the pools too, but we didn’t see any. It was so gorgeous and peaceful though!

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I love these forests. I love driving on a winding mountain road and watching thousands of pale aspen trunks whiz by; I love reaching those big clearings and seeing vast mountains and valleys stretching out all around me.

And with that, the summer was officially over.

I just started the last semester of my undergrad, which is very bittersweet. Nothing has stressed me out more nor made me more ecstatically happy than working my arse off in university classes, and it’s both relieving and sad to see it come to an end. I think as humans we have a need to keep learning and progressing every day in order to stay happy and satisfied. I just keep reminding myself that I can, in fact, pursue new knowledge after my formal education is over. And who knows? Maybe — maybe sooner, maybe later — I’ll be back for more stress.

How do you feel about this transition from summer into fall?

Labor Day in the Uintas Labor Day seemed like a good day for a drive up through the Alpine Loop. The forest is still really green this time of year, but there was definitely a healthy scattering of bright oranges and reds.


^ I did this yesterday! It was actually really fun and easy (well, after I figured out my sewing machine).

So somehow over the years I’ve accumulated a collection of really ugly dresses from thrift stores. When I like at least one thing about a dress (like the fabric or shape), and I see the price is $2, I just can’t resist. I’d always told myself that when I got a sewing machine, I would doctor them up and finally be able to wear them.

Well, I finally got a sewing machine earlier this year, but for months I’ve been really busy and just plain intimidated to actually take it out and set it up — until today.

When I took it out of the box and hundreds of papers and diagrams and booklets tumbled out, this is how I felt:

I saw all the stitches this baby can do. Like 50 of em! What?! Then I flipped up the plastic flap thing and there were like 50 more! And letters too! I’m not sure when I’ll ever need to sew tiny parentheses into my clothing, but if such a situation comes up, I will be prepared.

So after I painstakingly squinted at the Lego-like diagram instructions for a while (and googled the difference between a spool and a bobbin), I loaded up a bobbin and threaded the machine. It actually wasn’t too bad!

So let’s talk about the old dress.

What I liked about it:

  • the print
  • light, cottony fabric
  • drape of the skirt
  • buttons down the front
  • pockets!!

What I did not like:

  • the collar thing (normally I like vintage collars, but this one just looked like two pieces of printer paper glued to my chest)
  • shape of the sleeves
  • size of the bodice/waist (too big)
  • length

The first thing I did was cut off the awful collar and finish the neckline with a simple hem.

Next, I fixed the sleeves to lay flat on my shoulders instead of poke out. Forgive my terrible diagram, but I just turned the dress inside out, laid it flat, and sewed a diagonal seam along the red dashed line. Then I cut off the excess fabric outside the new seam. This method worked for this dress because the sleeves had HUGE arm openings. If you are planning to do something like this, just make sure you actually put the dress on and pinch the fabric to ensure your arms will comfortably fit through before you sew it (duh).


Then I took in the bodice a little bit. I didn’t bother ripping out the old seam, I just sewed a seam about an inch inside it on each side. Then I cut off the excess fabric outside the new seam.


Finally, I took about four inches off the length to make it knee-length and finished the edge with a simple hem. From the strip of fabric I cut off, I made a belt/sash! That was actually the most annoying part, because after I sewed down the whole thing (inside out), I had to turn the super long, skinny tube right-side-out. It probably took me a solid 15 minutes because I didn’t have one of those fancy hook things.

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Hoo-rah! No more 8.5 x 11 white papers around my neck!

What I did wasn’t anything complicated, but I’m super excited that I made this dress actually wearable! In the future, I’d love to get better at sewing and make some fancier alterations to my thrift store finds. For now, my rudimentary no-measure no-pin methods might just do the trick for the simpler stuff.

Fixed-up thrift store dress ^ I did this yesterday! It was actually really fun and easy (well, after I figured out my sewing machine).


shoutout to all the girls + women who have thick, dark, and abundant body hair and have to spend time and energy shaving every single day if they don’t want to be harassed by loved ones + strangers alike

shoutout to all the girls + women who decided its not worth their time, even if they only skip sometimes, and endure criticism, harassment, and stigma as the price for their own freedom of time + comfort

Worst. April Fools’ day. Ever.

Today I’d like to share a story about a great injustice I was subjected to in my childhood. Though committed in 1997, it weighs heavy on my heart and soul to this very day.

Leah Eating April Fools Sandwitch

It all started on a typical April morning. I was (most likely) walking around the living room on all fours pretending to be a dalmatian, and my two brothers were probably watching Power Rangers.

“What’s for dinner tonight,…

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1 // Sometimes during the winter I forget what my legs look like. And legs are so cool! I hate running, but when I look at my knees and feet and toes and calves, I want to run for miles just because I can.

2 // The wedding thank-you cards I ordered finally came in. I’ve been putting off writing them. (If you’re married,) how long did it take for your thank-yous to get out?

3 // I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had literally never eaten a fresh mango until last week. (The candy flavor has always turned me off.) But since then, I have eaten one every day.

4 // I love the way our herbs grow towards the light. Plants are so cute.

5 // My baby mullet! If you ever want to appreciate how fast your hair grows, cut it all off. You’ll notice every single half-inch.

6 // A good Costco run. Notice the six mangoes — all for me.

7 // The easiest and most delicious summer meal. Frozen shrimp, lemon slices, salt + pepper + garlic powder, 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. We eat it with rice and fruit and spinach salad.

8 // Why is this stuff so intoxicating? One of these days, that scent is going to fool me into gulping down the entire bottle. Which I’m sure I will promptly regret.

6 // We ruv each other.

Lately 1 // Sometimes during the winter I forget what my legs look like. And legs are so cool!

Update in blogland

You may have noticed that I recently renamed and redesigned this corner of the web.

I will now exclaim, with a heavy heart and full acceptance that I have officially become a typical “blogger”…WHEEEEEEEEE!

I felt like the lady in this video. But instead of making weird sexual-sounding gasp-y noises about rainbow sponges, I was making them about my blog.


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"I’m not your boyfriend"

And instantly Peter Capaldi crushed thousands of whouffle shippers.

my mother in law just sent me an email addressing me as “Leah-chan” and giving me a cookie recipe

on being taken seriously as a female scientist.

As a brand new freshman at my university, I dove straight into the computer science major, where I found that most of my classmates were men 4+ years older than me. Sounds weird, because it is weird. BYU is a wonky place where all the men delay their studies to serve two-year missions for the church. I was also a bit young for my grade, so there’s that.

Anyway, being an 18-year-old girl working…

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Well friends, it looks like it’s about that time. You know. Time for me to start blogging incessantly about our wedding! Prepare yourself for a torrential downpour of dresses, cakes, flowers, and other expensive things.

This post will be about the pre-wedding festivities. I don’t have many great pictures of those days, but we’ll see what I can dig up.

It began on Thursday, June 19, when we packed up and made the drive from Provo to Orange County. Anyone who’s ever made that long drive down the I-15 knows about good old Whiskey Pete’s — the classiest establishment this side of the rockies. We caught the jumbotron at an awkward time (notice the cursor on the screen).

Friday, the day before the wedding, was all about the flowers. We woke up early to get to the LA flower market to pick out a reasonable amount of flowers. Ok just kidding it was like 4 million flowers. It was kind of a nightmare. They were taking over our entire car. They sure were pretty, though.

Some of my super awesome bridesmaids came over and we worked all morning in my parents’ backyard to create all the centerpieces and bouquets. Stephen helped with flowers for a bit, and then went to the airport to pick up a couple of his groomsmen who had flown in from Utah.

After the flowers were (mostly) done, my mom took us all out to Souplantation for lunch. I was crazy about these delicious strawberry buttermilk muffins they had. I had to carbo-load before the big day.

Then my mom and I went out to get our nails done while Stephen and his friends went to the beach.


I don’t have a photo of getting my nails done, so enjoy this stolen photo of Stephen and his friends at the beach.

That afternoon, we all went down to the venue and did a little rehearsal for the ring ceremony. We just did sound checks, went over where everyone would be walking and standing, and talked about the order of the ceremony.

At the rehearsal, it finally hit me how many people were helping out with our little wedding. My bridesmaids had arranged so many centerpieces, Stephen’s friends had traveled all the way there, my brother was handling the music, everyone was helping to decorate the venue, my uncle was doing the MCing, my friend Jordan was singing at the ring ceremony, and various other family members and friends were contributing in so many other ways. I had been planning and talking about it with everyone for months, but on that day, I saw everyone come together to make it happen. It was really cool.

That evening, my aunt and uncle threw us a rehearsal dinner at their house. My cousin Kayla baked these amazing cupcakes and lemon bars and made really cute decorations for all the tables. At first I wasn’t sure about the whole rehearsal dinner thing, because I knew I’d be exhausted and busy that day, but it was such a great evening and I’m so glad we decided to do it. Both sides of the family were able to introduce themselves and mingle with each other. We had a lot of fun playing silly games and just chatting.

(notice anything funny about that first picture of me with my bridesmaids? heh heh.)

When it got a bit later, my bridesmaids whisked me away for a little bachelorette party full of questionably-shaped everythings, from balloons to rice krispie treats. I’ve made a few questionably-shaped sheet cakes in my day, and it was fun to be on the receiving end.

It was at Karli’s parents’ house, and my favorite part of the night was when we were outside sitting around the fire, talking loudly about stuff, when Karli’s mom opened her second-story bedroom window which faced the backyard and shouted “Hey girls, I’m sure the neighbors are really enjoying this, but you might want to think about keeping the volume down a little bit!” It was too funny. I had the best bridesmaids!

10431955_783820574981580_922844964_nI headed home around 11 and quickly made a bunch of boutonnieres and corsages. When I finally got in bed, I relaxed and enjoyed the view of my dress hanging on the curtain rod; I couldn’t believe the day had finally come! I actually wasn’t freaking out at all — I just dropped right off to sleep within minutes. I was obviously excited to get married and wear the gown and carry around the flowers and be surrounded by my friends in coordinating dresses, but most of all, I was looking forward to actually hanging out with Stephen. Everything had been so busy that we hadn’t really spent any quality time together since the road trip! That’s just how weddings are, I guess.

IMG_5532Keep smiling and nodding, because you’ve got at least two more of these posts to read. Stay tuned for the next installment, which will probably happen after I get our pro photos back this weekend! Alriiiight.

Pre-wedding festivities Well friends, it looks like it’s about that time. You know. Time for me to start blogging incessantly about our wedding!