Friday, December 31, 2010

new year

Happy New Year to all my dear friends & readers. I have started my resolutions, but they need some fine tuning. My thoughts need a little more clarity on the past year to reflect on what has happened. But I will deliver them all to you over the next few days. But until then, I would like to leave 2010 by saying thank you. In my own way, I pour my heart onto this blog. Bits and pieces here and there for everyone to see. And, although I guard it pretty well....I still lay it out there for the world. I cannot believe how sincere, loving and encouraging my readers and friends are. There is something special of knowing that the pieces of me are not floating in a cyber abyss, but traveling to your screen and I know you pluck little bits of me off and take me with you. Where do we go, maybe shopping or on special occasions? Sometime you tell me that we have a good cry together because you are going through the same things. Either way I am thankful for you. I am thankful that life has ways of connecting us from near and far. I wish you joy and peace in the coming year and I am praying for each and every one of you, that you may have a blessed year.

Lots of love,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Almost there

I usually blog a lot the week between Christmas and New Year's. I also usually have a lot of time to reflect on the past year and find hope in the new year. But, this year I am busy, busy, busy. I am working on calendars that people want right away and some New Year's cards. I feel like I can't get some quiet reflecting time in, which is more important now than ever. But I will make it happen. It may be a little late, but it will happen. And I will make sure to share it with you as well as my 2011 resolutions.

From my friends/readers. These are a little late but I wanted to share:
This Santa's Clues-Proof of Santa's visit on SALE now!! (thanks Alison)
This link, a cool reflection of 2010. We missed the days but we could go back and do ours in a few days.
And this link, you capture the most important things in 2010 in 5 minutes. (thanks Lauren for both)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

cute outfit alert!

(This picture makes me laugh because she did not want to take it!)

I love this outfit and picked it out because I wanted her to wear something that had separates that could be used for lots of occasions. I'm not into the Holiday Dress that gets used once or twice. Every thing that she is wearing was on sale at Zara Kids. Some of their deals were AWESOME! I wish I could have bought more.

Dress- $25.99
Sweater- $10.99
Shirt- $12.99
Boots- $25.99
Tights- already owned

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

rain rain

It's raining...and raining...and raining. I love the rain so I don't mind (except when the kids are overly stir crazy). Every year when it rains I want a pair of rain boots, badly. And then it stops raining and I move on. It's been raining for a week now and I have soaked two pairs of shoes. I REALLY want a pair of rain boots. But I'm sure that as soon as I buy them it will stop raining and warm up and I won't have anywhere to go in them. But...if I could go out and buy some right now, I would pick these Steve Madden 'Tsunami' Contrast Zip Rain Boot in Black at Nordstroms. I love them because they aren't just cute rain boots, they can totally be worn as more. I love them because they are classic and I can wear them every year for a week and the decade won't matter. I just love them.

Monday, December 20, 2010


(I love this image of Santa Claus by Coca-Cola. Did you know that Coca-Cola advertising helped shape the modern-day image of Santa Claus? They started their first Santa ads in the 1920's and back then Santa was depicted differently be everyone, from tall & gaunt to an elf. They started advertising him as a kind, jolly man in a red suit.)

I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to tell you about how I was making a plan for Santa's visit this year. Brody is getting older and I can see how magical Christmas is becoming to him. I remember how I felt when I ran downstairs Christmas morning. I want to make sure that magical feeling lives inside of him for as long as possible. So I googled ways to make Santa's visit more magical. I found this page and my favorite thing on it is #2:

"Sacrifice your carpet. A few well placed sooty footprints on the living room rug show that the fat man in the red suit didn't wipe his feet after coming down the chimney. Suggest to your child that you should leave a bathmat next to the fireplace for Santa to wipe his boots on. Leave the mess on the rug, and you create evidence of his visit while sparing your floors."

Of course I also love leaving a letter from Santa, just a little thank you note next to the cookie crumbs. But I love that they said to do it in silver or gold pen (remember to hide the pen after). I'm also thinking maybe I should make some Santa thank you's (since that's what I do) and give them out to friends' to use. Hmmmmm.


Hello Monday.

I feel like I have a lot to tell you.
I just can't remember any of it.
I remember twice this weekend that Mark said I should blog about something.
I can't remember what they were.
I'm going to have to put on my thinking cap.
Until then,
Here is a list of things I want to do while the kids are out of school and before Christmas:

1. Go see the Christmas tree at Fashion Island
2. Make gifts from the kids to grandparents, aunties & uncles (I can't wait to share this one)
3. Go see Tangled
4. Watch Disc 2 of Season 1 of Glee... we are just starting the series via Netflix
5. Decorate Christmas cookies (we skipped hosting our annual party this year, blah)
6. Make a plan of Santa's visit (I will blog more about this later)
7. Buy Madden a pillow pet (Santa really doesn't have a lot for this one year old and I don't want the kids to be suspicious but I also don't want to buy anymore baby toys)
8. Have the kids handout gifts to the neighbors (I love Trader Joe's and I will blog about what we got this week)
9 One more night of driving around town for Christmas lights

Lots more this week when I get my brain back.


Friday, December 17, 2010

my response

A fellow blogger asked people to post on what they love. I felt compelled to answer. I know part of it is the Christmas season. I know part of it is that Mark and I have been climbing this unstoppable and sometimes unrelenting hill for 2.5 years (I say hill because I know that it could be much worse, a mountain so to speak). I have always been me. That never changes. But how I have changed in these last 2.5 years is unfounded (emotionally, spiritually, personally). So while the things that I love are numerous, the things that I truly love are few. I am not talking about actual things or people....I am talking about those things that are felt, but unseen. Here was my answer:

I love:
the power of faith
the promise of hope
the warmth of love
the joy of laughter
the stillness of peace
the stability of family
in times like these

That's it. That sums up the state of my times like these.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cute outfit alert!

Tie-Sweater- Old Navy
Black Lace Leggings- Old Navy
Sparkly Black Shoes- Baby Gap

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cute gift idea

Look what else my 1 year old got for his birthday....a Visa gift card with his picture on it! Adorable right? People say gift cards are impersonal, but not if you personalize them. What a fun surprise and it came in the mail with a card. You can send one too by using Gift Card Lab. (And it looks weird because I smudged the numbers so no one can use the card to buy themselves something).

Thanks Aunt Whitney!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Excuse the clutter... I just wanted you to know that I am in love with this holiday Starbucks mug.


I posted these on my Facebook but I have to do it here to! Baby boy got these Tiny Toms in size 4 for his first birthday. I think they are soooooooo delicious. They are so small that they look like ornaments for our tree. Can't wait until he's walking in these! Thanks Grandma Vicki!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Happy 1st Birthday Baby.
You are literally perfection.
Mommy loves you.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Oh man, this week has been a whirlwind in every way imaginable! I have Holiday cards invading my dreams and I've been up until 2am or 3am every night. But I'm not complaining, I wish I was as busy as I am during holiday season all year long. Seriously. But that's not all that's going baby turn 1 tomorrow. And though I am crying inside because my baby is growing way too fast (remember he's the last one), I am loving all the new things that he is doing. So cute. Turning 1 means a celebration....and a celebration is basically me in heaven. I love planning parties (after all that is what I do). Unfortunately we are not able to have a big shindig like I wanted, but even if you only have 10 people you should still do it up. So I am. I have been making, creating and crafting things for his little party. I can't wait to show you pictures. I would love to say I will blog more next week....but as long as people are ordering holiday cards...I will stay up late and create.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

go ahead, have one

I made these little donuts. I have decided I would like to tackle different random items or "as seen on tv stuff", one at a time. We started with the Sunbeam Donut Maker that we purchased at Target. I think we got it out of sheer curiousness, because who doesn't like a good donut? Or perhaps we were just hungry. I followed the directions on how to make a basic cake donut batter and icing and then baked them in their maker for 6 minutes. It was really easy and the donuts are pretty cute when you start decorating them. The only problem, I didn't really like the actual donut. That isn't the makers fault... I just need a new recipe (and I will find one). I liked doing something different than the usual cupcakes or cookies! So now I just need to find a great recipe and I will be golden!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

for you pet lovers

I just came back from my mom's house and they bought this Martha Stewart Ruffle Dog Sweater at PetSmart.... um it is so cute. It is cute enough that I wondered if I could put it on my daughter Piper. I'm serious. And, it must be cute if I am blogging about it because I am not that kind of pet owner. Did you know that Martha has a bunch of cute clothes for dogs. I just looked them all up here. I really do love Martha Stewart... forever and always.

Monday, December 6, 2010

spread the love

The debate is that the more technology that we have, the less personal our relationships become. I get that. It's easier and faster to communicate through email, text, Facebook, etc. And all of those avenues take away hearing someone's actual voice and having a real conversation. But you know what's great about text message or Facebook? We can just say hello at times that would be inconvenient to pick up the phone. Sometimes I just send a friend or family member a text letting them know that I am thinking about them, or telling them that I love them and how great I think they are. And I always mean it! It feels really nice to get a text that says, "I'm just thinking about you" or "I'm praying for you" or "I just wanted to tell you that I think you are amazing." I love to text my parents just to tell them how much I love them. I know many of you already do all of this... well because many of my readers are my friends and I have been on the receiving end.

So I am challenging you this week and through the holidays to pick up your phone in quiet random moments and text a friend or family member. Don't just say hi, text them something unexpected and meaningful. And keep doing it. Pick someone whom may not be on your usual list. Text a mommy having a baby and let them know you are thinking about them. Anything. Let's start making people feel good in the middle of their boring, stressful day. It makes you feel good too. And if you don't have text....use email, Facebook, etc.

Now send your first text right now!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

for the tree

(sorry for the worst picture ever, I was in a hurry)

Have I told you about these before? I order these photo ornaments from Exposures every year after I get their picture with Santa done. I love them!! The image is printed directly onto the backing. You can pick silver or gold for the border and ribbon. I think they look so nice on the tree!! My newest one is in the mail.... I can't wait to hang it up.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

pretty things

This image is from Design Mom. Yesterday she posted a DIY called "Bottle of Light." I am literally in a trance because I find it so beautiful. You can read the instructions here. I am really going to try to do this, but maybe with wine bottles or mason jars. Not sure, but so pretty!

By the way, Design Mom is having some amazing giveaways this week... they are kind of unreal. Maybe if you win you can send me something since I am sending you her way. After all, today's giveaway has 5 items and is worth over $1200. Wow!

last night

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Civil Forum with President Bush at Saddleback Church. Yes, I am a Republican and yes, I was excited to go. But, it wasn't a rally or a Republican convention type thing (although most people there were supporters of Bush). It was an honest conversation between Pastor Rick and President Bush about leadership, his book and his time as President. Now, I feel privileged because I got to go and all tickets were free for everyone, secondly I got an insight into the life of a president which is pretty intriguing, thirdly I got to see what President Bush is really like (he's pretty funny and really interesting) and fourth I got to hear about leadership from someone who had one of the highest positions as a leader. How inspiring! Honestly, I would go listen to any president speak. So here is what I took from such a momentous night in my life (I took brief notes, but could never really clearly explain what I learned):

1. As a leader you cannot have self-pity
2. A leader must have faith (in something)
3. You must act calm in a crisis, if the leader panics, everyone will panic. Wait and process what is happening before you make a rash decision
4. Surround yourself with good people
5. Creative differences in your team are important and essential, until they become destructive. You must know when to step in.
6. Let people pray for you
7. It's not about you, you cannot lead properly serving yourself and your ego

That last one is what I am trying to live by the most. I watch people constantly make everything about themselves. Someone passes away or are sick- and suddenly all the actions by others are self serving (to get attention usually). I think it's natural to do that. But when we react to things, I think we need to ask ourselves, are we making this about us? A friend is in pain and hasn't been treating you well at the moment. Do we react with anger because we are not getting treated right, or do we help our friend with the pain (because it was never about us)?

Do you know what else really bothers me? Last night two crazy women started shouting out (loudly, for awhile and at separate times) to disrupt the whole forum. I have no idea what they were saying (which proves how unproductive it was) but it was a little scary (you just never know) and really rude. I know that we all have causes that are important to us, but if you cannot be respectful to other people at a gathering where they want to be at, of the President (no matter how you feel about him) or in a CHURCH... well then I don't know what to say. I am constantly disheartened by the lack of respect people have for others- this goes back to the "it's not about you." I think about this every time I hear about murder, rape and other crimes committed against humans.

I know I'm rambling. When you leave such an amazing moment in your life... feelings run high! But being there was really special and like I said, I would go if it was Obama or even Clinton :) Have a personal look into a leaders life is always inspiring. Now go out and be a leader!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

baby baby baby

Here is Piper's new go-to Holiday Outfit! All from Baby Gap. Don't forget, if you shop there they hand out 40% coupons for one full-priced item, one day per week. I just got new ones for December. I buy one piece at a time to use the discount!

Ruffle Cardigan- $29.50
Tiered Tulle Skirt- $29.50
Sparkly Ballet Flats- $26.50
Tights- $12.50

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

the little things

When God blessed me with my last child....he added in all the last touches that I had always wanted in a baby. I guess he knew that I wouldn't be able to have any more (but that I would want more) long before I knew it. I always wanted a baby who could put his feet in his mouth, who would fall asleep if I rubbed his back, who would just sit in a stroller without crying all the time, who would nurse exclusively the entire first year and who let other people hold him without a fuss. My baby does all of those things and more....and I don't think it's by accident. I feel like I have experienced every little baby action and personality in my 3 babies. How blessed am I? I love how God touched their lives and made them perfect and perfect for me.

Friday, November 26, 2010


It has been 19 days since I have visited my friend Coca-Cola. I'm doing great! However, the first night I had the worst headache ever. And, whenever I get stressed I feel myself longing for one. But full speed ahead- I am kicking the habit! I have to say that this blog is what keeps me accountable. I don't want to let you down. I know I'm not ready for an occasional I'm sticking to my Coke-Free diet for awhile more. Want to give something up? We can blog about it here so you can stay accountable too. I'm serious. Email me at

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I don't know how to explain how thankful I am this year for everything that surrounds me. I was trying to think of the top 3 things I am thankful for, and although on my true-but-funny list are things like Spanx and Toddler Wipes, really I am most thankful for the health of my family. We have been hit by a lot of sickness in our house the last few weeks, but I can handle that because I know that those sicknesses come and go. I am also thankful for a place to call home, my freedom to write my thoughts and a husband who never hurts me but always supports me. I am thankful for laughter from my children and the opportunity to help others, even when I think I have nothing to give. I don't know....I'm just thankful....for everything. I really mean that.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you are and whatever you are doing.


this saturday

This Saturday is the 1st Annual Small Business Saturday so make sure you support your local small businesses! Go visit a mom & pop restaurant, go on etsy...or whatever! Check out the Facebook Page here!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

new fav

Our refrigerator is a little sick right now....when you press in the part to get water it sticks and water gushes out without stopping. It was really fun to discover that more than once. So until it "gets better" we bought a PUR Water Pitcher at Target. We kind of like it a lot! I swear the water tastes better and it's always really cold. I'm kind of obsessed with it (which is kind of funny). Our pitcher has a light that tells you when it's time to change the filter, but there is another pitcher where you can push a button to add fruit flavor. That's cool!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I got these Moccasin Slippers at Target for $16.99 and I love them! They are comfy...but not too plush (as slippers can be). They do their job so well, that I have left the house twice with them on. Once was for a haircut and a quick trip to the mall. Normally I would run home and change shoes as soon as I realized I was wearing slippers, but I didn't for two reasons. One, I knew if I went home during "me" time, someone would find a reason to keep me that would be just plane insane. Two, they can almost pass for regular shoes so I hoped no one would notice. I love Fall/Winter!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

tis the season

I client/friend asked me to make a Christmas banner for her that said BELIEVE. This little banner JOY was my test. I love it and I can't wait to use it for Christmas decorations. I improved upon it for the BELIEVE one (I delivered it without taking a pic). But I am going to make a bunch more before Christmas. It took a lot of cutting, some craft glue, and some sewing...... but I think I was most happy that I just figured out how to do it after her request.

You too can make something like this! See something in a pic or magazine that you love, just try it! You will be so happy when you are finished! If I can do it, you can do it (and I mean that).