November 29, 2013

BREAK FROM LIFE

I am sorry for the absence of posts this week. I have been taking a break from life and blogging but will return next week. In the meantime, may I suggest you stop by my Etsy shop, especially on Monday (lots and lots of sales!) and my Pinterest page for a TON of great Christmas ideas. That's where I'll be! Happy Holidays!

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November 28, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Hope your day is full of thanks, food, and family.

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November 25, 2013

KIM BIRD: ETHNIC SHIFT DRESS

I had the awesome opportunity to make and take photos of the lovely Kim Bird in her own Ethnic Dress! I was so excited to do this for her! We met at the blogger's party I went to about a month ago and I knew, the moment I met her, that I was going to adore her. So when she mentioned that she liked the Ethnic dress that I'm selling in my Etsy shop, I was happy to exchange the dress for some advertisement and the opportunity to take some photos of her.

So, she ordered the fabric, I made the dress, and we met at Station Park to take some photos. I kid you not. Every. Shot. Was. Perfect. She was so easy to work with and just SHINES! Don't you think?


And being quick when it's raining? Huge plus. Thanks for being so easy to work with, you gorgeous babe!

By-the-way, recognize this fabric? It's the same fabric I use for the leggings giveaway that closes TONIGHT! Be sure to enter to win a pair before it's too late! If you are a little too late, that's okay. You can always order them from my Etsy shop! See you there!
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November 22, 2013

NEW IN SHOP: NAVAJO ARROW LEGGINGS + A GIVEAWAY

I would be lying if I said that Chelsea didn't wear these leggings nearly every-other day. They are so perfect for this cold weather (that's only getting colder) and she just looks SO cute! Don't you think?

We were having a grand 'ol time taking photos, playing in the leaves, and chasing a ball when something in the neighbor's flower-bed caught Chelsea's attention.

It was then that I explained to Chelsea that everything has its time.

We held a proper burial for the little gnome. Kind words were spoken, and tears were shed. Rest in peace, Mr. Gnome.


Stop by my Etsy shop for sizes, colors, and pricing. Oh! Did I mention it comes in electric blue and ivory, too?

And now for the giveaway! You can win a pair of these ADORABLE leggings for your little one, for a friend's little one, your niece, grandchild, whatever! It's really easy to enter, especially if you're already following me via bloglovin', instagram, facebook, etc. Just follow the directions below, and remember! The giveaway ends Monday night. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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November 20, 2013

THREE TYPES OF THANKSGIVING-ERS

After having a Facebook account for six years, I have discovered that there are three types of people in the world.

1) Those who will NOT do anything Christmas-y until after Christmas and consider it a crime if you do.
2) Those who are SO excited for Christmas that they can't wait to put up the tree and sing The Chipmunks, "Christmas Time is coming Soon!"
3) Those who love Christmas but give Thanksgiving due respect by celebrating it first.

Type one individuals are religious Thanksgiving-ans who can often come off as judgmental and angry, writing posts such as, "Saw a Santa Clause at the store today. Really? Thanksgiving comes BEFORE Christmas, people!" Although passionate, this reaction should be viewed as more of a lamentation for the brief period of time they have to write down what they're thankful for every day, whether that be their family, their cat, or dishwashers.

Type two individuals throw the unspoken rules of holiday conduct into the faces of type three, deciding that Christmas can, in fact, be celebrated for two months before Christmas, even if that means sharing it with Thanksgiving. These individuals are commonly mistaken for caring more about gifts than being thankful, when in reality, they are every bit as excited for Thanksgiving as they are for Christmas. They just don't have as many house decorations for Turkey-Day, and they are thankful for gifts!

Type three individuals are silently and non-invasive with their holiday conduct. Some choose to write one thing they are thankful for every day by simply stating it without pronouncing opinion on the choices of others, and some simply don't write at all. The reality behind these individuals is that they really don't care whether you choose to celebrate Christmas early by singing Chipmunk songs and putting up your Christmas tree, or not. They decide to celebrate the holidays in their own way and tradition, whether it be by writing what they are thankful for every day, or humming along with The Carpenter's Christmas music in the store.

My point is, I have been a silent type three. I haven't been posting something I'm thankful for every day, but I do think about it. And here's the funny thing... I'm thankful for type ones and type twos!
Type ones remind me that the month before Thanksgiving is a special time to humble ourselves and remember everything that we have that is good and special in our lives. When I read their posts, I'm reminded of the every-day items that make my life better and my heart fills with gratitude and humility because of what I have.
Type twos remind me that Christmas is also coming soon, and that it is a holiday to prepare for and to celebrate. Before the Savior was born, the world was prepared for years and years for His birth. He was born at exactly the right time and place, and everything that happened before then happened for a reason so that He could come in the way He did. So why not prepare now? If you are set in tradition and don't want to decorate before Thanksgiving, prepare your heart. I think Thanksgiving is the holiday right before Christmas for a reason. It helps us to become "meek and lowly in heart" (Matt. 11:29) just as the Savior is.

I am thankful for this holiday season. I love to feel the spirit of joy and Thanksgiving as the people I know and love remind me how good this life is, whether they are strongly committed to celebrating Thanksgiving at Thanksgiving-time, or sharing it with Christmas. I am grateful for all the different individuals in this world who make life interesting and contribute their talents and opinions to make the world better.

Free printables available at He and I
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November 18, 2013

WARBY PARKER

Honestly, I don't know how my parents made it with our family. Paying for 12 children's doctor visits, dentist appointments, orthodontics, eye appointments, extracurricular activities (piano, softball, gymnastics, soccer, football, voice lessons, dance lessons, etc. etc.), not to mention all of the emotional drama that comes from being surrounded by teenagers, pre-teens, toddlers AND babies! I have come to the conclusion that my parents must be super-heroes.

Luckily, we didn't all participate in the same things, and some of us didn't have the same problems that the others had. For instance, a few of us never had to get braces (wish I had been one of the few), and some of us never had eye problems. I have always had really great vision, but some of my siblings have not.

Look at all those perfect, expensive smiles!
(three brothers not pictured here, but they have perfect, expensive smiles, too)

In college, I took a Special Education class to learn about the special needs laws connected with teaching. As a part of the course, we were required to try a couple of different things to show us how it feels for those with special needs. We were required to spend four hours in a wheel chair (four hours? imagine your entire life), speak to someone with a speech impediment, like stuttering while asking them for help with something, and spend three hours with three different vision impairments. The wheel chair was pretty rough, especially with the perpetual hill in Rexburg, but everyone is SO nice to you in Rexburg and I received a lot of help (HOORAY HUMANITY!). The speech impediment was frustrating as heck because I knew what I was trying to say, it was there, ready to go in my head, but just took a long time to come out. The vision impairments? Impossible! I had to wear them during class and I could hardly see what I was writing, let alone what was written on the board! I'll tell you what, I've never appreciated good vision like I did the moment I took that dumb mask off.

When on of my nieces was very young, there would be moments when she would look at you and slowly one of her eyes would "fall" cross-eyed. We would all remind her to "look straight." Obviously, something was wrong, so my sister took her to the eye doctor who explained that one of her daughter's eyes didn't work as well as the other, so to compensate for the lack, one eye worked harder than the other and caused the cross-eye-ing. The doctor gave my sister a prescription for some eyeglasses and she let her daughter pick out a pair of her very own eyeglasses. Kimberlee described to me that what happened next was a tearful experience.

When Holly put those glasses on for the first time, she jumped in adulation and began dancing around in circles! She could see!

Imagine the life that the world suddenly had for her! She could clearly see the colors and shapes of objects that were so blurred to her before! She could even see the color and shape of her mother's lips, eyes, nose, and hair. Her mother was what she always knew her to be, but never saw. Beautiful.

That's why I want to tell you about Warby Parker. Warby Parker is a designer frames and online eyeglasses store that not only sells fashionable eyewear, but for every pair of glasses sold, a free, second pair is distributed to another in need, and with their new winter line out, there are so many stylish options! Here are some of my favorites:

Men's:

Women's

I may not struggle with poor vision, but I can appreciate the difference it makes in someone's life. We depend on vision so much in this world. It can mean the difference between doing well in school, and failing classes. Do someone a favor. If you're in need of a good, new pair of glasses, buy some for someone else by purchasing from Warby Parker. You won't regret the style, and you'll never regret helping someone else.

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November 15, 2013

PLAYING IN THE LEAVES

I have a favorite picture of Chelsea a year ago around this time. I have A LOT of favorite pictures of Chelsea a year ago around this time, but this is definitely a favorite.


It was so much easier to get a good, non-blurry photo of her back then, and look at how chunky she was!
Now, a year later, the trees have shed their leaves again (for the most part) and she is MUCH more mobile.

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Meet M and H. Their Mama and Papa moved in down the street and we have all become good friends! M is 2 and H is 1, and they are the cutest pair you ever did see! My daughter is so lucky!

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When there isn't a beach around, you have to make do with what you've got. Here in Utah, we may not bury our friends in the sand, but when there are leaves...

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H really was a good sport about it all! It wasn't until a couple minutes in of being rained on with leaves by two overly-enthusiastic little girls that it all got a little old.

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It's so fun to watch my little girl grow and play and learn. Sometimes I feel badly because I fall short of the expectations I set for myself to be the mom that my mom was twelve kids later. As my friend, Jessica put it, "Unfortunately, guilt seems to be a part of parenting." But when I get down on myself because I scolded Chelsea a little too harshly, or made some other mistake, I always try to remind myself that I'm not perfect, but I'm doing the best I can... And that I am the BEST mom my daughter is ever going to have! What do you do/tell yourself to make yourself feel better?

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November 13, 2013

HOGLE ZOO 11/9/13

Every now-and-then, I think it's important to take a break from the house, the finances, cleaning, etc. etc. and just enjoy a day out with the family. With winter coming on, it's especially important to take advantage of every nice-day-opportunity you have.

Our "break from real life" happened this weekend with some good friends of ours who are also our next-door-neighbors (could life get any better? I submit that it could NOT!)

So, we packed the babe in the car, stopped at the store to grab an umbrella stroller and some shoes (the babe is growing!) and made our way through the Saturday Game-Day crowd up the hill to the Hogle Zoo. It took us a bit to get there, but we had a good time watching the marching band, cheerleaders, etc. walk/or march by on their way to the game, and I hoped that, with everyone at the game, the zoo wouldn't be too crowded (and it wasn't!)

We saw so many creatures on our walk through the zoo! Chelsea's favorites were the wombats, the mara, the seals, the yellow monkey (didn't catch the name of that one), and this red, white, and black snake that seemed to take an interest in her, too! My favorites were the giraffes and the seals, and Andrew's favorites were the tiger, jaguar, gorillas, and sea lions, even if some of them were too sleepy to pose for us.

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I couldn't help thinking of Gollum as the little yellow monkey searched through his grass on the floor. "Where is it, my precious? Our birthday present. Precious."

It was a little chilly, especially for little L, but we had a great time together as a family and were so glad we got to join Amy, Nate, C and L. So sad we didn't get to see the polar bear that we hear is ALWAYS very active, and hope that he makes it through his surgery okay!

Take the opportunities to get outside while you can, my chilly friends! And my warm friends? Be grateful you have it and can always go home to your sunshine when you visit us chillies.
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P.S. Don't forget about the Thanksgiving Prep giveaway! You have three days left to enter for a box full of goodies, apron, and pie pan to help you prepare for Thanksgiving this year!
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