Friday, March 15, 2019

Winter Bucket List

The last few months we have been trying to be more intentional about creating memories with our kids.  In January, I printed a really cute winter bucket list poster for our fridge. We decided that we would take it a little slower and put a few ideas that were at home and a few others outside the house.  It has made winter bearable by being able to look forward to time together without wondering what we are going to do.

Hardware Ranch is an area pretty close to where we live that is a habitat for all sorts of local wildlife.  Most people go in the winter to see the elk population.  They put you on a sleigh and drive around the property.  It is a pretty short ride, but you get up close with these giant creatures!  I was really excited to go.  We had to wait in a long line, like over an hour, with two toddlers who desperately wanted to get down and run around in the snow.  The wait was miserable.  But worth it in the end.

Monster Jam was something Brandon and I were really excited to take Brecken to.  He knows and loves monster trucks, their names, colors, everything!  Leading up to it we tried to explain he was going to go see Grave Digger or Max-D, but he didn't really understand.  Brandon took Brecken and it went okay.  Brecken loved seeing the monster trucks, but he did not want to wear any headphones.  If you have never been to an event like this, it is ear shattering loud, so you have to have some ear protection.  Like all things with little kids, it wasn't perfect.  I just kept telling Brandon to remember one word: memories.  When you look back on things you don't remember the tantrums -- you remember how big their eyes were when they saw that giant monster truck they talk about all the time.

Sledding -- It is no surprise that I am not a big fan of snow.  I took the kids over to Brandon's sister's house and did a little sledding in their backyard.  My kids don't really last too long in the snow either.  It takes us about twice as long to get them ready as the amount of time they actually play outside in it.  Later in January, we got together with Brandon's family out at the farm and did some sledding there.  Again, my children did not really care to sled, but we were all out in the snow playing.  Maybe next year?

Bounce & Slide is a local indoor park that we really enjoy going to.  They have all sorts of inflatable bounce houses and slides (obviously).  But they also have a toddler area with a lot of toys and it is a giant place where our kids can run around and be loud (without being judged by other parents because they are always high energy).  Anyway, Lizzie LOVED every bounce house and every trip down the slide.  Brecken was really hesitant at first, not really wanting to go on them, but we got him to try and he had a blast too!  Easily one of my favorites on our list.

Build a Snowman.  This was an easy task for us because we have been dumped on with snow this winter.  We built this giant guy in our backyard.  Lizzie decided it would be more fun to lay on her belly and eat the snow instead.  When she was over it, I took her inside and Brandon helped Brecken build another small one.  They lasted about a week before someone bulldozed them.

Fun Park -- This place is our local arcade, roller rink, bowling alley, and they also have a giant padded jungle gym.  We decided to go on a whim and it was a hit.  Brecken and Lizzie loved climbing all over it and Brandon and I had fun chasing them around.  We played some games and got a few tickets too.  Brecken also decided that climbing into the arcade games was an acceptable thing. Bless his heart.

Bowling -- I feel like a party pooper because I really do not enjoy bowling (or snow, blah blah blah) but we went to breakfast and bowling on New Year's Day with Brandon's parents and his sister's family.  I have not bowled in years and rarely have I ever not used bumpers (lame, right?).  We all had a lot of fun.  The kids bowled on their own lane and Brecken loved rolling the ball down the lane --- he almost took a trip or two down the lane himself.

Movie Night at home -- We are a movie family, I will admit that.  For our movie night we watched the newest Grinch movie (I know Christmas in February).  It was really funny and cute!  Brecken and Lizzie both watched it and stayed snuggled up with us almost the whole movie, so we take that as a big win!  No pictures from this night because that is just how it rolls sometimes.

Service Projects are important to us.  I won't go into detail with the different ones we did, but I have to give Brandon a shout out.  He was willing to go up twice and plow the ridiculously long driveway at my Mom and Dad's house.  The snow was crazy deep both times.  The second time he even had to walk up the driveway to get the plow.  Great guy, right?!

House Project -- Since we moved into our townhouse we have been trying to do some small projects to make it the best house for us.  We have painted, got carpet, etc.  This winter we did two things that are small but have made a big difference.  One is we put new LED light bulbs in our living areas and hallways.  Eventually we will do the rest of the rooms, but it has made it so much brighter and nicer in here!  My favorite project is the toy closet.  Our hall closet downstairs was a cluttered mess.  We also had a billion toys all over the living room all the time.  Brandon cut some shelves for us to put toys on and then use the space at the bottom for other bigger toys.  It isn't completely finished yet, but it has made our downstairs so much cleaner and clutter-free.  The dream would be a whole toy room, but we don't have the option for that right now, so this has been perfect! 


Progress: One more shelf to build.
Also-- can you tell the lighting difference? LED bulbs for the win!

Go to the Movies -- we weren't sure if we were going to do this as a family or a date.  We chose the latter and went to see Captain Marvel.  It was so good!  Brandon is a huge Marvel fan, and I really enjoy watching the movies too.  Thanks to our brother-in-law we splurged on luxury seating and I honestly don't know why we never tried it!  Who wouldn't want to sit in a recliner with heated seats? It was a great date and an amazing show!

Valentine Dinner -- we had our second annual family Valentine Dinner.  I won't go into all the details about it because I wrote all about the logistics here.  The kids love that I decorate the table and we keep it simple with pizza and cookie/ice cream dessert.  I looked forward to this because I felt like it was one of the first traditions we put in place last year.  I am excited to keep this as our Valentine celebration.

We did a lot this winter! Okay, it is still winter and probably will be winter weather around here for a while longer (see the pile of snow that came yesterday), but we are moving on to our spring list!   It has been great to help us plan our time as a family and create some pretty fun memories!  I say pretty fun because it is with toddlers, so you could flip a coin to decide whether or not we leave crying or happy.

Below is my attempt at a bucket list poster for spring.  Feel free to use it.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

My Go-To Retailers

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One year ago I jumped into the life of simplifying.  This all started when I read one of my favorite bloggers share what she was doing in her closet.  It rang true with me.  I decided that creating a capsule wardrobe would be ideal for me.  Here is how I got started.

After four seasons of capsules I am so grateful that I decided to go down this path.  In the last year I have rarely, if ever, had a time where I couldn't find anything to wear.  Everything I own is something I love to wear, so it is easy to get dressed.  When I go shopping I am really particular about what I put into my closet.  I wanted to share with y'all my favorite retailers (not sponsored)!  I browse and occasionally purchase from big names like Target, American Eagle, Old Navy, etc. but mostly I stick to the small businesses that I feel represent my style and values more.

1.  by Beck

These three sisters have an online shop that always has something I love!  They also sell their pieces at really great price points.  I have found that they sell similar styles to other boutiques, but often cost less - a big win!  They also have free shipping in the U.S. so that is another perk of shopping with them.  I love every single piece I have purchased.  They always have a deal going on and some end of the rack sales.

All of their denim is amazing -- the Jolene Crop is my favorite.

2.  Poppy & Dot

I am a new lover of this amazing shop.  I have purchased a couple of tops from them over the last few months and LOVE them both!  The BEST white t-shirt right here!  One thing I really like is they always have basic items for sale, like tops, skirts, etc. as well as some amazing unique pieces.  Their prices are really reasonable.  Free shipping in the U.S. from these ladies as well!

Leopard print pullover is so soft! 

3.  Sexy Modest

The name may make you skeptical, but seriously Brigette has gorgeous pieces that are sexy and modest!  I have several dresses from her collection and they are all amazing.   I attended her annual pop up shop on Friday night.  It was a blast!  I snagged a pair of her infamous street joggers and OH MY GOODNESS they are the softest, most comfortable pants I have ever owned.  Get yours here.

4.  Practically Wholesale

I found this store through Instagram and instantly loved it (no pun intended)! She always has super cute pieces at almost wholesale prices (hence the name).  One thing is that she doesn't keep a ton of inventory, so if you find something you love snag it right away!  As of this blog post she is doing 50% off her entire site!

Linen jumpsuit that I LOVE.
5.  Roolee

I live in Northern Utah, home of Roolee!  I have shopped there since it first opened and even before it was called Roolee.  They have amazing pieces and have grown to be a huge name. The only drawback is that they don't always have the cheapest prices compared to other boutiques selling similar items.  That being said, Roolee originals are amazing and their Mom dresses were my saving grace while nursing my babies.  The dresses have zippers on the sides or under the chest that make it easy to nurse and are hidden otherwise.  They have a great website and if you can ever get to their store, it is to die for!

Roolee Mom Dresses are a game changer.

I am always on the lookout for new places to find treasures! Recommendations are most definitely welcome.

Until Next Time,


Saturday, January 12, 2019

2018: Year in Review

 2018 was a year of changes for our little family of four.  I can not believe how much we accomplished and survived together.  There have been plenty of happy times, as well as sadness, loss, and frustration.  I love looking back on all the growth we have seen this year.

1.  We moved into our new house in June.  Since then we have been working to make it a home: new carpet, new paint, some new appliances, and a whole lot of cleaning and decorating.  We have a few more projects ahead of us this year, but it has been wonderful having our own place again.  I don't really have a lot of pictures yet.  The first time we actually took a family picture in front of the house is above, at Christmas.  You win some, you lose some.

2.  We braved traveling a few times in 2018. 

In February, we went with Brandon to California to attend the World Ag Expo.  It was a lot of driving, but we had fun getting away for a few days together. Lizzie slept so much during our time there that I don't really have a lot of pictures of her.  Brecken was in tractor heaven!

In August, we spent a week together at the beach. The kids and I had an additional week before Brandon got there.  We were surrounded by family, friends, the ocean, and had amazing weather.

We also spent Thanksgiving at the beach.  It was a lot of traveling, but fun to spend an actual holiday with my family out there.  My brother and sister both had babies in September, so I FINALLY got to hold my adorable niece and nephew for the first time. 

All the holidays were so fun with two kids!  It wasn't always easy, as you can see from our Easter pictures.  We focused on traditions and I think we found a great way to celebrate as a family of four.

Valentine's Dinner 

Easter Sunday. This is reality.

Like Father Like Son.

My favorite picture of Lizzie and me this year.

4th of July Parade

24th of July in Trenton

Night out roasting s'mores

I had to turn 31 this year, so we had cheesecake

Pumpkin Walk

Snow White & The Hulk

Cookies for Santa

Christmas Morning

3.  We celebrated Lizzie's first birthday!  I have a whole post on her big day here, but it was such a sweet time for our little girl.  She has gone from barely sitting up in January to running around and talking up a storm in December.

4.  We celebrated Brecken's third birthday!  Our boy official entered the stage of Threenager.  He has continued to entertain us and test us throughout 2018.  He tackled potty training and traded in his crib for a twin bed.  He loves Cars, Monster Jam, Avengers, and makes the best vehicle sounds out there.

5.  Brandon has kept super busy working on the farm.  He filled his small moments of free time with a lot of play time with the kids, football, and running.  He and I ran a 10K right before Thanksgiving.  He placed 2nd in his age group, and didn't really train.  We hit the jackpot with this guy! So grateful he has put up with me for 6 years!

As for me, I met a lot of my 2018 goals.  I started a healthier lifestyle with eating and exercising (see more here).  I found myself being at peace with things that I had really struggled with, like accepting the fact that I will always live far away from where I grew up and my family.  I also was able to take social media breaks and read The Book of Mormon twice.  I found a better balance and a lot more happiness.

I remember January 2018: a five month old who was barely getting a handle on sleep training and a 2 year old wild child.  I was struggling to balance having two kids.  I was not in a good place mentally and emotionally.  I am so grateful I set goals for myself and worked hard to transform my mind, body, and soul.  I cherish 2018 for all the growth we experienced as a family and look forward to what lies ahead in 2019!

Can you believe how different they look?! The pictures on the left are from January and the right are from December (except the one of the two of them hugging.  It was just cute).