July 31, 2016

6 years – Happy Anniversary!

Six years. That's a 10-year-old vs. a 16-year-old, or a baby vs. a little kid. You can finish a college education in that amount of time. You can sleep-kick your wife who, in turn, elbows you in the face, then wake up in the morning with only the memory of fighting a bad guy in your dream and getting nailed in the head. You can whisper sweet nothings in Spanish, just because your wife wants you to. You can play chess with this loving wife and pwn her with your mental game SO MERCILESSLY that she decides to never ever play a mental game with you again, then throw a red vine at your head. You can comfort your wife at night when she says she misses her mother and tell her not to worry because one day, she will have a daughter who says the same thing.


You can create a family together in six years. You can take a birthing class with no idea what to expect, then end up playing on the iPad throughout the labor because your wife got the epidural. You can watch the nurses handling your firstborn baby with ease and then hold that precious little life in your hands, terrified that it will shatter if jiggled even the tiniest bit! You can look at that little girl with all the pride of a new parent.


You can have a second baby together, this time standing by your wife, tapping your toe in rhythm, counting, breathing, getting her ice, whatever it takes to help her have the birthing experience she really wants.


You can have a third baby together, and resist leaving for even 15 minutes to get some food. You can watch your daughters meet your newborn son for the first time and almost see Heaven.


You can take your 3-year-old to Disneyland even though you know she might not really remember it and get rained on until your shoes get soaked through, but thank goodness you brought an extra pair for the 3-year-old!

 I don't mean to interrupt all the feels I know you must be feeling right now, but does anyone know why there's a gun-shot hole in that jar of honey?

You can teach your children to appreciate nature and its beauty while enjoying it yourself.


You can buy a house and a mini van to accommodate your growing family. You can paint that house and assure your wife that it looks good when she tells you she's afraid that you've made a huge mistake. You can watch an episode of Seinfeld or "Stranger Things" and then go to bed with the knowledge that someone loves you and tells you with a kiss before you fall asleep every night.


.   .   .



These past 6 years have been the best of my life. When we were engaged, we always talked about working together and being a team. That is how I've always perceived you. As my teammate, my partner, my very best friend. I love making plans with you. I love knowing that there is, and always will be a future with you. I love knowing that great and wonderful things are coming and dreaming about what they might be. I love being married to you!

Happy anniversary, Andrew! I'm so glad we picked each other for our team!

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July 29, 2016

PinkBlush GIVEAWAY + Mom must-haves for Sunday

This post has been compensated by PinkBlush. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Anybody with a toddler understands that the Sabbath being a "day of rest" doesn't apply to them the way it used to. In my church, we meet for three hours. You read that right. Three. Hours. Every. Sunday. One of those hours is spent sitting in the same spot the entire time listening to somebody else talk. If you think that sounds hard, imagine how the kids feel!

The reason I do it is because I believe it's true and renewing the promises I made with God when I was baptized all those years ago helps me to remember Him throughout the week and do better.

But I'll be the first to tell you that it's no picnic! There's a lot of compelling, reminding, and distracting involved. It's hard to ask a little one to sit still and quiet for a whole hour. That's why I bring a Mary Poppins bag full of distractions (and sit by an amazing older couple that helps)!

So here are some of the Stange Family must-haves for Sunday!

For kiddies:
Water bottles
Hand sanitizer
Diapers and Wipes
Changing pad
LIMITED number/amount of toys
Coloring


I try to avoid bringing snacks, but I've definitely been known to bring them when I've been desperate, and religious related coloring books and toys are preferable, but if it's a choice between fighting with my kid right before it's time to go to church or letting them take the princess coloring book, I'll let them take the princess one.

For mama:
Gum
Chapstick
(I'm not as high maintenance as my kiddos)


And if you're a nursing mama like me, a nursing friendly dress is a MUST! Like this one from PinkBlush!



As a mom of three, I have a healthy appreciation for clothes that are cute and fit perfectly while you're pregnant and when you're nursing. Unfortunately, they're not always easy to come by, which is why I often sew my own clothing.

PinkBlush is the exception!


PinkBlush is a women's online boutique, especially equipped for women who are pregnant or nursing. Their clothing is practical, trendy, and high-quality, making it perfect for the modern-day-mom! 

If I didn't teach the 16 and 17-year-olds who tend to notice things like clothes re-wearing, I'd don this dress every Sunday. Not only is it perfectly convenient for nursing (and very cute), it also passes the comfort-test with flying colors! It's made with a stretchy spandex fabric that gives good stretch but still resumes its original shape, so you don't have to worry about the fabric sagging over time.

I'm regularly a size small, but I decided on a size medium because I plan on wearing this dress next time I'm pregnant, but with how stretchy the fabric is, I'm sure I would have been fine with a small (*read "true to size.")

My kids love this dress almost as much as I do! They love how soft and stretchy it is, and they especially love that they can hide under it and make me a centaur! I would have taken a picture and posted it here had it not been a little questionable in taste ;)

Anyway, the point is, it's kid friendly.


And now, for the...

GIVEAWAY!!!

PinkBlush is offering one of my followers a $50 giftcard on any item in their shop! They have so much goodness available in their store (SO many cute dresses for women!) PinkBlush has something for you whether you're pregnant, nursing, or somewhere inbetween! To enter, follow me on instagram (@suesnews), and look for the giveaway post! Follow the directions from there and I'll announce the winner on Monday!

Good luck!


I don't understand it, but somehow, this four-year-old looks better in my sunglasses than I do.
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July 25, 2016

Meet me for Donuts!!!


Hey hey! Do you like donuts? Of course you do. How about free gelato? Who doesn't? What about meeting up with friends and making new ones? Sign. Me. Up!!!

Tuesday morning (tomorrow) at 10:30, meet, mingle, and indulge in delicious donuts and desserts of your own making at CrEATe Donuts in Sandy! It's gonna be a party guys and did mention that there will be free Gelato? So yummy.

What is the purpose of this get-together you ask? Well about a month ago, I found out that my friend and fellow blogger Madeline Casey from Casey Land was coming to Utah for a visit and the two of us thought, let's make it a party!

So meet me and Madeline at 9305 South Village Shop Drive, Sandy, UT tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM and get your free scoop of Gelato, at least!!! And don't forget to look for this face:



Or these because they're coming with me (and you're welcome to bring yours too!)



See you there!!!
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July 22, 2016

The secret ingredient to making lemonade + Ink Splashed

This post has been compensated by Ink Splashed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
**discount code at bottom of post!**

Hey hey friends! How ya been? I feel like I haven't blogged in a long. time. I've been active on Periscope and FB Live with a few Instagrams here and there, but for the most part, I've been working on real life stuff, ya know?

Yeah. Not nearly as much fun.

SO! I'm excited to be back here today, especially because I get to tell you about a local artist who I've known for literally years. She is the sweetest!

Aubrey (the artist behind Ink Splashed) is a modern handwritten calligraphy and watercolor artist based out of Provo, Utah. She sells pre-painted prints (like mine), as well as custom orders! Her name calligraphy and temple watercolor paintings are some of my favorites!

But when I looked through her artwork, I chose this one because I love the phrase and I feel like it describes the outlook I try to have on every new day. (keyword: try)


Every day is full of lemons. Sometimes the lemons are dropped politely onto your lap and other times they're thrown, full strength, with impressive accuracy, right at your face.

There will always be lemons that you wish you could dodge, but find yourself dripping against a stone wall with a bulls-eye plastered to your chest. You can't avoid the lemons. All you can do is wipe the juice out of your eyes, use a wash cloth to wipe it off your forehead and wring it out into a glass.

You can't control where the lemons come from or who throws them at you. All you can control is what you do with the durn things. Personally, I like to make them into Brazilian Lemonade.


The worst is when the lemons hit you in the face, then ricochet and hit your kid, too. But I've learned this about ricocheting lemons: they come, and they're going to keep coming, and you can still use them to make lemonade! All it takes is the secret ingredient...

PERSPECTIVE.

Sometimes that lemonade recipe can look pretty complicated, especially when it involves your children and the lemon juice is still running down your forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and getting into your eyes and stinging like heck. That's when it's more important than ever to remember that there will always be lemons hurtling your child's way, and you can't protect them from it all. And really, you shouldn't. As a parent it's not your job to shield your children from the lemons of life. It's your job to give them the tools and the perspective to turn that crap into the most delicious lemonade anyone's ever tasted!

To be honest, I have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to chuck a lemon at this little cheese ball or any of my others, for that matter!


We are our children's biggest fans, and no matter what lemon life presents them (or us) with, we're there with the best Lemonade recipe there ever was!


So be sure to stop by Ink Splashed and pick up your little reminder that life is full of lemons, but the joke's on them, because you know how to make lemonade! And tell Aubrey that Sue sent ya! Enter SUSAN10 at checkout to receive 10% off.

Good luck with that juice! Maybe consider getting a face mask...
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July 17, 2016

Alexa's 2-year photos


It feels like Alexa has been two for a very long time already, but is somehow still a 1-and-a-half year old.

Here are some things I want to remember about Alexa:

The way she says "dis-cuss-ting"
Her mischievous grin
The way she NEVER takes anyone seriously


Her carefree outlook on life
If we put her in the car and don't buckle her right away, she'll turn all the lights on in the car that she can reach! It drives us all crazy, but I love it anyway!


The way she forgives and also repents so quickly and easily
The way she says "Can I play with yo phone?"
The way she over emphasizes the long "o" sound in "Costco"


That she is always, ALWAYS hungry and "want's sum-ping else"
She always wakes up in the morning with a smile


Her princess look:

The smile on her face when she twirls, jumps, and squeals in delight when she dances


Her stank eye and the way she wipes it off her face with her hand when you tell her to wipe that look off her face.
The way she teases her sister
That she always shares
Her giggles when she's being silly with her sister


The way she quotes movies
The way she sings "dum dum dum dum duh-dum dum duh-dum" when we talk about "Star Wars" and Darth Vader.
The one time we were watching "Sword in the Stone" and when Merlin turned into a mouse she turned to me and said "What?! He's a mouse!" Funniest thing. ever.
The way she runs into my arms and hugs me


How I find her asleep surrounded by books nearly every night
When we tell her to be careful and she says "I won't!"
The way she cups her hand to her ear and asks, "Do you hear that?"
When she gets scared of loud noises and runs to me for comfort
How she likes to climb EVERYTHING, hence the scratch on her face


Her attitude. MAN that girl's got attitude!
The way she calls her Aunt Kara "Carrot"
Her enthusiasm!

I can't believe she's growing up. My sweet little blue-eyed Rose.

Happy birthday, little girl!
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July 12, 2016

10 sewing tips for beginners

Hey friends. So, everybody at my house is sick. I feel like we've been sick with something or other ever since we got back from Yosemite. Allergies, cold, flu, and now conjunctivitus (a mild form of pink eye). It sucks. Big time.

So! I'm going to share with you a guest post I wrote for Alexa Zurcher from He and I FOREVER ago that I felt like was a really good one!

Wish me luck with my poor sick family!

____________________________________________________________________________________

Becoming a seamstress is a step by step – line upon line process, and that machine can be pretty intimidating when you’re just starting, but here’s a list of the things I’ve learned throughout my sewing experience that can help you get started.

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Get a good machine – Nothing kills the creative spirit quite like having to stop every two stitches because there’s a problem. Bernina is definitely my favorite brand, but they can be pretty pricey. Brother and Singers have great ratings and reviews as well, but if you can, I would suggest taking the time to save up for a Bernina. You’ll never look back.

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Pin – Take the time to pin your pieces together. Thoroughly. The more pins you use to hold the fabric together, the less likely your fabric is to shift as you sew and the better your item will turn out.
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Make friends with your seam ripper – You’re going to make mistakes. It’s okay. Most mistakes can be fixed with your friend, the seam ripper. With each picked stitch, you’re learning and getting better.

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Learn about your machine – Take a class, read your sewing machine manual (thoroughly), ask a seasoned seamstress, or watch youtube videos.

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Patterns vs. tutorials – In my experience, patterns are really great if you’re familiar with sewing terms and stitches. If you’re a beginner, tutorials are great because they include pictures and descriptions of each step.

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Start small – Don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge project on your first try. Start off with something simple, like a pillow.

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Utilize the internet – You would be amazed at how much you can learn just by watching videos.

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Fabric – Some fabrics are more forgiving than others, and better for beginners. My favorites to work with are quilting fabrics and cotton jersey blend knit fabrics. However, cotton jersey blend knit fabrics can be a little more difficult than others because they stretch. I would suggest starting with a fabric that is not slippery and that is not stretchy, like quilting fabrics.

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Needles – Different fabrics do better with different kinds of needles. One of my favorite needles is the Twin needle. It sews two lines of stitches instead of one and on the underside side it does a zig zag stitch giving clothes a finished, professional look, while also eliminating any danger of your fabric fraying.

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Have patience, and keep sewing – The more you sew, the more you learn and the better you get. You don’t get seasoned without seasoning!
I hope this gives you some guidance as you begin your journey towards becoming a confident seamstress. There’s nothing quite like finishing a project, looking at it, and thinking, “I made that. I am AWESOME!” And if you want someone else to affirm how awesome you are, send me a pic of your project. I’d love to see your creativity.
Good luck! And hopefully I’ll hear from you soon!
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