Thursday, April 12, 2012


Hello my friends!!!!!!

I can't even apologize enough to you for the MEGA delay in posting over the last month. It has been pure crazy around these parts.

But the good kind of crazy that means lots of change, blessings, good sleep at night-from pure exhaustion :), the occasional meltdown (who doesn't love a good cry?!), and some good practice breathing like a normal person.

So, here's what you've missed over the last month-you know, for those of you who don't live within the walls of my home, or within my cell phone directory....

My cutie little bro came home from serving a two year, Spanish speaking mission in Spokane, Washington for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Our whole family was able to be together waiting for him at the airport when he walked through those doors. It felt SO amazing to be all together again after 3 years of being apart (my little sis left before he did on a mission as well).

Since we were all-together it was a great time to get family pictures done-especially since we have, are you ready for this....NEVER have had a family picture taken. What?! I know, so it was time. :)
Left-my sister and her fam, Middle-my sister, parents, other sister and bro, Right-MY fam (yup, I'm the oldest of 5)!

My parents and us crazy kids...all growed up. So wierd. I still see all my siblings in my mind as the same ages that they were when I left home for college. Does anybody else do that?!

And since we were gettin' pics done, I figured I might as well snag a few of my little fam since the hubby gives me ONE family picture time a year. He absolutely detests getting family pictures. DETESTS. Ha ha :)

And just because I have THE most gorgeous sisters on the planet...I'm so lucky to have ALL 3 of my sisters be just as gorgeous on the inside as they are on the out. Love them!

One boy, with all these sisters...he's going to make one AMAZING husband-trust me. We've been training him for awhile ;).

I was down in sunny St. George for almost 2 weeks with the fam, and the week we got back I was right back to real life and was in full Relief Society mode. I threw together this fun look in about 3 days. Gag-let's NOT procrastinate that much next time! I'm pretty sure I still haven't caught up on all that lost sleep-but soooo worth it. :)

We created the night around your basic 'Happy Birthday' theme and spent the evening celebrating the specific sisters in our ward...

(Happy Birthday printable from Eighteen 25)

...and what makes them 'EXTRA'ordinary. (our party favors-pack of Extra gum)

The main centerpieces on the tables-Faux ice-cream sundaes. I used this tutorial-Super cute! I wish I would have thought/had time to take pictures of these at home and staged them all cute and whatever so you could see them better, but oh well these cell phone pics will have to work! :) The "whip cream" is white tulle, the "cherry" is a red lindor truffle, bendy straw from Walmart, "ice-cream" is snickers glued around a styrofoam ball, "ice-cream in the sundae glass" is white tissue paper, sundae glasses $2 from Walmart. Each Sundae used about 1 and half bags of snickers. The stand they're sitting on you might recognize from this party! :)

See I'm still crafting...just not blogging. :)

Before I could even turn around from that fun adventure :), my husband accepted a JOB OFFER in the Salt Lake City area!!!

We are thrilled, excited, nervous, thankful, anxious, sad (to be moving from a great area), happy (to be employed :) ), and are still trying to wrap our brains around all the changes that will be coming with this new change in May.

So getting a job means that the Mr. will be GRADUATING on May 5th! It means that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and we have finally reached the end of this particular tunnel. It has been a loooooooooong road full of trials, happiness, frustrations, laughter, challenges and HARD work to get to this point.

I'm so proud of my man and all that we have overcome to get to where we are. We feel so fortunate to have found a job while still in the last semester of school, and are looking forward to being "real" adults. :)

But what may be the most exciting news ever (okay that's a slight exaggeration cause I'm pretty sure having a job is the best news ever, but this is a serious close second!) we're headed to DISNEYLAND!!

We've been planning on doing this as a graduation present to ourselves for the past several years and I can't believe it's less than a month away now! I haven't been in over 5 years (and last time I went I was super sick so I don't really count that) and my kids have never been. They are 5 and 3 years old, so I'm hoping this will be a great time for them to go-as in they might actually have some memories from it and be old enough to really enjoy it :). Super stoked. Like every time I think about it I get goosebumps. Eeeeek! (I would LOOVE any tips/suggestions you might have if you've been with small kids before since it's a first for us!)

More news????? Okay.
We are soooo close to being the proud owners of this....

Okay not that one exactly since that's a google picture :), but yeppers I'm about to break into the world of the minivan moms and I am stoked! Two months ago I swore I would never, ever, no matter how much money you paid me, would rather walk, NEVER drive a minivan. I've had a few experiences over the past month that have completely changed my mind and I am seriously excited to be driving one! I can't wait to have more space!!!! We've been sharing one car-our little bitty, but awesome :), ford focus for 4 years and we needed an additional car like...years ago. :)

We've been looking pretty much since the day we found out we were going to be moving and it would be almost impossible, and more than un-econmical (ya I know that's probably not a word) with his commute to share one car. Fingers crossed I'll have one to call my baby by next week!

And last but not least...

Being a first time home buyer...sometime!

Not quite yet though. There are only so many things we can do at once, and after a several breakdowns in a 2 day period being SO overwhelmed with all the changes happening at once, we decided to put the idea of- trying to buy a house in 4 weeks-in the trash.

After being in rentals for EIGHT years, I'm just ready to call somewhere home. At first, I wanted to just jump in head first and buy something for that reason. After some crazy days I realized that if home is what I'm looking for I need to give it some time and not rush into, soooo we think we'll probably just rent for a little while in the Salt Lake area until we can get to know the areas, schools, communities, etc. (In the mean time if you have ANY thoughts, opinions, info you want to share about anything in the south salt lake area I would love to hear them!!)

Okay. I think that's everything. Do you forgive me for being absent??

We still have a lot of things to work through, decisions to make, plans to be seen through, and fun to be had, so I know that the next month or two is going to be just as crazy as the past one has been; so for that reason I'm going to sign off the blog for awhile. I just want to devote my full attention to all the things our family has going on right now and just enjoy this next step and time in our lives! I'll try to check in a few times, but just know I'm alive and busy busy if you don't hear from me for awhile.

Thanks for all your support, kind emails and comments-I always LOVE hearing from you! Getting that little 'bing' on my phone telling me I have new email just makes me day!! I would love to hear if anything new/exciting is going in your lives so tell me how YOU are doing mmmkay?!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tricky Little Leprechauns

There's just something about having little ones that makes holidays just brim over with excitement. I love getting things set up and all ready the night before, and am just GiDdY with the thought of how their faces will look when they wake up in the morning and see all that the day will have in store for them! I love to watch their eyes get big as they slowly turn their head from side to side, trying to take in every ounce of the world I've created around them, and then...the smile.

The smile that says what no words in my language could say. The smile that leaves them speechless, as if saying the words they're thinking would break the spell of the magic that surrounds them. The smile that makes every moment of the previous late night of preperation worth it.

And then comes the laughter.
The laughter that starts in their heart and comes from deep within their chest. The laughter that is contagious as it fills every corner of the room. The laughter that is priceless because it comes from the mouth of a child.
Your child.

And that is why I do this. Decorate, craft, use that dusty old right-side of the brain, and go hog-wild crazy for holidays. For those moments. And I believe moments make memories.

Looking for some ideas to create some memories with your about some of these fun St. Patrick's ones!

Last year we woke up to find our kitchen had been turned topsy turvy by those tricky little leprechauns! How do we know it was them you ask?

I think their little green footprints they left across the kitchen floor gave them away! (Just washable green fingerpaint-mine was the Crayola brand. Just curl your hand up into a fist for the foot part and use your fingerprint to make the toes!)

A whole trail of them as a matter of fact that led to...

...the refrigerator!

"What did he do?! What did he do in the fridge?!" Tyler was screaming. We opened it up to find that the leprechaun had turned our milk green! They thought that was so awesome-especially Tyler since his favorite color is green-and thoroughly enjoyed drinking it and having it in their cereal that morning for breakfast!

When Tyler went into the bathroom to get dressed he screamed to me, "MOM! There is green pee in our toilet!" What?! That tricky leprechaun went potty in our toilet and we thought it was very rude that he didn't flush away his business!

We were so excited when we saw this green footprint on the fireplace since our trap is sitting up there and hoped that we had caught the tricky little man that had wreaked havoc all over our house!

Awww! It looks like we almost caught him!! Better luck this year!

That afternoon a couple moms got together and put together a little St. Patricks day party. We had a yummy green lunch and then did some fun activities. We started out by painting some Blarney stones! These weird squinty eye people are me and my kiddos...we may or may not have the ability to be in direct sunlight without shrieking in pain-vampires much?

A little clover face-painting :)

Next we made some clover necklaces...

Lastly, we did a little scavenger hunt. We heard a knock on the door and found this clover from Larry the Leprechaun...

We followed 5 more clues till we found the last one where Larry had left the kids a pot of gold!

They had an awesome time and had lots of fun stuff to bring home!

I feel like the LUCKIEST mom in the world to have these two bugs in my life!

I know I said this would be my last St. Patrick's post, buuuuut I totally forgot I have just ONE more thing to share with you! Are you totally sick of this yet?!?! Ha ha, well if you have a little girl you just might want to check back tomorrow for a last minute, easy peasy holiday skirt idea! ;) Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

St. Patrick's Mantel...and stuff :)

Okay so I did not intend for all the rest of my St. Patrick's day goodness to end up in one post-or take a WEEK for me to get around to it!!!-BUT that's just what happens when it's almost 60 degrees outside in Northern Utah in early MARCH! We have spent hours at the park, on bikes, having picnics, playing with friends and just enjoying this amazing weather!

At nights I have been slaving away :) working on getting the Relief Society birthday activity planned. In my church I have been asked to serve as the person who puts together the quarterly activities for the woman ages 18+. Every year in March we celebrate the "birthday" of the Relief Society which is an organization that was formed 170 years ago this year! This is our biggest activity of the year and I have a very small committee -2 people-that help me pull this off so I am very busy in March! You can read more about the Relief Society organization here.

March will also hold a lot of memories for my family this year, as my younger brother will be returning home from serving a two year mission for our church. He comes home ONE week from today (eek!!!!!!) and so I have also been doing everything that has to do with getting ready to go on a week and a half trip with two kids (hubby's staying home for work/school)!

Aaaaand-as if that's not enough!-we have our bi-annual housing inspections (oh the joys of living in a rental!) this week and we're talking white glove test, pull out the fridge and clean behind it, clean out and re-organize the whole garage(and for my thrift store loving self it looks like an episode of Hoarders in there) so that has been a BIG project as well. But oh how I do love my CLEAN CLEAN organized house right now!

So can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE forgive me for my absence this past week, I didn't mean to leave you hanging! And I'll just go ahead and ask for a little forgiveness in advance because I don't imagine there will be too many more posts this month either! But when I can finally get around to taking some pictures and writing up posts, I do have lots to share with you...A fun menu planner I made, some re-purposing of old shutters to hold photos, and LOTS of spring decor! I can't wait to show you!

So just in case you're doing a little last minute decorating for the old st patty's holiday, or want to store some ideas away for next year, here are a few fun things I did to amp up the spirit in our house! :)

The mantel...

**the Lolli banner tutorial and St. Patricks printable on the window frame above the mantel can be found on my previous post**

Even though St. Patrick's isn't a big decorating type holiday, I still wanted to update my mantle for it but spend as close to ZERO dollars as possible! I found that just by digging around the house for green things I already had, spray painting other things (with green paint I already had), and making the rest by hand I had a fun, new look and spent $5 for the whole mantel decor!!!

I found this set of tiny leprechaun hats at JoAnns for $1 the week before st. patty's last year and stuck them in a little glass vase I already had. The FUN leprechaun trap behind it was made by recycled materials from around the house, and you can read about the making of it HERE.

I already had these black candlesticks (originally from the thrift store and then painted black) on hand, and to top them I dug out one of my green bean balls, and an old candle-updated with some green scrapbook paper and embellishments from my lolli banner. I downloaded THIS free printable from Today's Fabulous Finds, printed it out at home, and then used spray adhesive to glue it to an old, green piece of wood that was sitting in my garage (I like being able to display things using different looks...versus always putting things up in picture frames).

Next, I took a cute little glass jar I had (I found these puppies for .88 each at our dollar store-somehow knowing I was saving .12 made ALL the difference ha ha!-and stocked up!!), put a little foam leprechaun sticker on the front (from the same set of foam stickers from JoAnns that I used for the lolli banner) and filled it with rolos to make our own little pot- o'-gold! **NOTE-this pot was full of "gold" not very long ago...

I love, love, LOVE displaying holiday photos of my kids throughout the year and I just loved these pictures I took of them last St. Patrick's day and wanted a different way to show them off rather than just putting them in a frame, so I grabbed these plastic clipboards from walmart (they were out of the wood ones) for about a dollar each and embellished away!

I first covered them with scrapbook paper using spray adhesive, but I didn't love the way they looked so I went over them with a coat of green spray paint. I love how the bumps in the paper still give off a little textured look, but it's not as distracting as the paper was alone (before the paint was put over it). I didn't want to go way crazy with the embellishments because I wanted the main focus to be the pictures, so I just added some different ribbons, buttons, and gems that I already had in my little stash.

To clip the picture to the board I used a fun, decorated clothespin. I made them by spray painting them yellow (you can get a pack of like 100 from the $ store), mod-podging on a little strip of scrapbook paper, and then adding a felt clover (with a little added bling in the middle of the clover b/c you know I just can't help myself!!) Cuteness right?!

This St. Patrick's printable made by Michelle at A Little Tipsy was the perfect thing to place between the pictures of the two people in my life that I'm most LUCKY to have. (I don't consider being married to my husband "lucky" since I psychically chose him...I chalk that up more to good life choices :) )

And lastly, some easy and cute wood blocks. These were just cut from some 2x4's we had in the garage that were then spray painted black and decorated using scrapbook paper mod-podged on and vinyl letters cut from my cricut (you could use scrapbook stickers if you don't have a machine cutter).

The Mr. actually cut a whole bunch of blocks for me at one time out of a 2x4, and I've decorated them for all the different holidays throughout the year. I do the front and the backs of each block to get even more use out of each set! The back of these ones are for valentines day :)

Whew! Sorry for the overload, I meant for these to be separate posts! I just have ONE more St. Patrick's related post for you coming up tomorrow with some fun ideas to do for your kidlets ON St. Patrick's day. Until then...thank you SO much for reading!! Getting your comments throughout the week makes me smile SOOOO big!

Have a great day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

I have a little sister...

So I have a little sister. Well I actually have 3 little sisters and my littlest little sister (who's not so little at all anymore since she's a JUNIOR in high school!!) is Alena. (are you sick of the word 'little' yet-hehe) Well all of us sisters love to get goofy and take pictures of ourselves, do silly photoshoots together and ham it up for the camera. Pretty much anytime we can take pictures of ourselves...we do. Ha Ha, we're just dorks that way! But Alena has a love for the camera that none of the rest of us could ever come close to. She is fantastic on both sides of the lens and does not let her camera leave her side whether it's taking pictures of herself, or herself and friends...or herself :), she is always ready with a smile. Right now she has an opportunity to win a photoshoot from Shannon Kaeding Photography by simply getting the most 'likes' for her photo on the Shannon Kaeding Photography Facebook page HERE. I would love it SO much if you could just do a quick little clickety clack-clack on your keyboard and 'like' the photographer's FB page and then go HERE to the contest and click on Alena's picture and 'like' it. That's it! Good luck Alena, you're beautiful!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

St. Patty's "lolli" banner and a Cuh-UTE printable!

I think the thing I love most about decorating for St. Patrick's day, is that it can be SO simple and super light and easy on the pocket-book! (versus other holidays where your whole house turns into a wonderland :) ) By just adding a few *green* touches here and there to your home, it is just enough magic for this fun holiday!

Last year I made this easy and cute lolli banner using this tutorial from Michelle at A Little Tipsy and it cost me all of two little buckaroos to make!

The CUTE Subway art hanging above is from the adorable blog eighteen25-they always have my favorite subway art! (and it's still available for free download!) I just popped it in a thrift store frame painted green and BAM...cuteness!

If you've got some green scrapbook paper, a cereal box, some green fabric scraps and some ribbon you can make yourself a sweet little banner too! (and if you don't, you can pick up a sheet or 2 of paper from your local craft store and some plain green fabric and make one for a few bucks too!) I started with the clover in the center.

As Michelle suggested, I used a cereal box to cut out a clover shape-I just free-handed it. Then I cut strips of fabric in about 1" width strips.

I wrapped those strips around the cut out pieces of my clover just hot-gluing it to the cardboard wherever the strip ended and then started a new piece. I then hot-glued all the pieces together to get my clover. It doesn't have to be perfect because the center will be covered by a lolli.

You can find a perfect tutorial on how to make lollies here...mine we're 4". I used some 3D foam stickers I found for a dollar at JoAnns to place in the center, but I think buttons or ribbons would be cute in the center too if you don't have stickers.

Then I hung them all from...a shoelace!! St. Patrick's ribbon was a couple dollars, but this set of shoelaces were only a dollar at JoAnns so I opted to use that! You say ghetto, I say frugal! ha ha!

The clover just hangs by running the shoelace through the openings, but I attached the lollies using paperclips-so easy!

Now hang that little cutie wherever you want and you've got some cute, fun holiday decor for next to nothing!

I'll be sharing a few more ideas on how to get a little more 'Irish spirit' in your home later this week for ZERO dollars so be sure to check back!

Thanks for reading my friends!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just a Peek...Our Snow day

One of my favorite bloggers-Amy from Naptime Crafters- does a cute post about once a week or so that she calls Just a Peek, where she shares a pic or two from her "real" life giving us readers a little peek into her. I sorta love that.

As I was going through some pictures from my camera tonight to put a post together for my personal family blog, I thought, hey why not give my craft reading friends a little peek into my real life every once in awhile too?! If you hate it, I'll just stick to craft posts-promise!

So today I thought I'd share with you just a little peek into the fun snow day we had today! My husband came home this afternoon for a little 2 hour break between work and school (I know 2 hours may not seem "little", but when he's gone by 8 and not home till midnight 2 hours doesn't feel very long.) It had been snowing ALL day-good sticky, big, chunky flakes of snow (our first REAL snow this winter!) and he walked in the door and announced we were going sledding! (and by "go" I mean walk 30 feet out our front door to our little hill) You'da thought he said Santa Clause was standing outside with presents the way the kids were screaming, and jumping up and down, and running around like crazy trying to gather up all their snow gear, they were SO excited!

I hate the snow. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before, but since there hasn't really been any this year even I was excited to get out there and have some fun!

One of my absolute FAVORITE things in this world (even more than mint oreo IceCream which is seriously saying something) are rosy, red cheeks. I love them in the summer from a hard day's work of sweat and laughter, and I love them in the winter from meticulous snowman making, and spontaneous sled days.

But I especially love them, because in one moment, mommy's nice glove-warmed hands can warm them instantly upon them rushing up to you, out of breath, saying, "Mom, this was SO fun...but I'm really cold, can you warm me up?". Then I take their sweet, little, rosy-red faces in my hands, and I kiss their red, icy noses, and I look into their eyes full of excitement, and I hear the laughter falling from their lips, and in that moment...everything is perfect.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend friends! Thanks for reading!