Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome Home Chaz!

I feel like a slacker that I haven't posted anything about Chaz, my little brother, coming home after serving a 2 year mission for our church. He returned home to us from South Africa on November 2, just in time for the holiday's and to be the Best Man at Robert, my other brother's, wedding.

Mom, Robert, Ashley (foster sister), Stephanie (Robert's fiance), and Dad

Ayoba is a South African slang word for "awesome" or "cool"

Feelin' the love!

His buddies came out to welcome him home too. They have been so excited to have him back and have hardly given him a second alone since!

It didn't take him long to get right back into his old self showing off his creative side. He was back performing his music 3 days later.

His mission blessed him in so many ways. He has grown spiritually, in maturity, in his music, and his work ethic. I am so proud of him for faithfully serving our Lord and can hardly wait to see what great things he will do next. Love ya Chaz!

P.S. He also spoiled us by bringing us so many beautiful gifts from South Africa. Shortly after I was feeling particularly South African so I took this picture to show my gratitude for sharing his beautiful things with me.

He purchased the bracelet and earring from a street market and he hand dyed the beautiful silk scarf! So fun!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pick of the week

Wow! Last week was such a whirlwind. Thanksgiving turned out to be really nice and my brother's wedding on Saturday kept us hopping with lots of projects, errands, work, family & fun. I have lots of pictures and updates to come but in the mean time, I saw this house tour on design mom and fell in love.

 The owner describes it as "my love letter to my family." Modern yet cozy, eclectic yet realistic, colorful yet calming. I love all the thoughtful touches, great design elements, fabuolous fabric, and open spaces. I hope you feel as inspired by it as I did!

Picks of the Week: Last Minute Gift Guide Roundup

1. Anthology Magazine is giving us a gift by sharing their "Gift Guide" issue digitally, for free!
2. Oh Happy Day's 10 things to give (she is so brilliant!)
3. Oh Happy Day's 10 experiences to give (these are my favorite types of gifts to give and recieve! Does everyone love them as much as I do, or is it just because my house is only 620 sf and trying to find a place to put "things" is often a daunting task?)
4. If you still need the gift tag for your package, here is a great roundup of 20 different free printables.
5. Last minute stocking stuffers for the posh man in your life!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Cozy Thanksgiving

If I were hosting Thanksgiving I would want it to be totally relaxed with a fire in the fireplace, a beautifully set table, wonderful warm smells coming from the kitchen, and nice music playing overhead. Here is part of what my party would consist of...

A morning Turkey bowl with muffins and cider for the chilled players.
The children who didn't want to play could work on a project like this to be hung on the mantle for dinner:

I would cover the table with one of these:

Have a natural looking table runner

Make a twiggy centerpiece with lots of mood lighting like this:


Use these for place cards:

via Country Living

Would play songs like:
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep
What a Wonderful World
Let there be Peace on Earth
Faith of our Fathers
(See my spotify page for the entire playlist)

Would include a menu of:

Appetizer: Fruit & Cheese Plate

Butternut squash soup
Roasted Brussel sprouts & Pears
Spinach, Cranberry, Apple, and pecan salad
Sweet potatoes
Classic Stuffing
Amazing Rolls
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Small Turkey
Cranberry Chutney
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie

We would clear the table and allow the men to start cleaning up (since the women did all the cooking) and pull out supplies for the women worked on a project like this:

My reality:
We will be going to an LDS church building with folding chairs and tables, plastic tablecoverings , and paper plates. My only Thanksgiving responsiblitity for the whole day is a veggie tray to be put out as an appetizer ( I don't even get to be part of the real meal!) Hmph! After that they will probably just want to play games. ( I like to be productive so playing games for hours on end is enough to drive me CRAZY!)

HOWEVER, I feel very grateful to be able to spend the holiday with Mason's family. I really do love my in-laws! So even if the setting and festivities aren't quite to my liking, I will try to remember to feel grateful to be surrounded by wonderful people.

So I am sending out my warmest coziest wishes to all of you...Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Picks of the Week

1. The undying battle: Working mom's vs. stay-at-home mom's; can you have both?
2. Read the ironic NPR Article "The Hipsterfication of America" Fascinating!!! Fav quote:
"What's funny is that people who aren't hipsters generally express distaste for them and those who appear to be hipsters hate to be identified as such. Everybody hates hipsters ... especially hipsters. And the ironic part is that hipsters' opposition to pop culture has become pop culture."

3. Wishing Utah had a Drybar sounds like an absolutely wonderful way to spoil yourself  in preparation for a special occation and it seems to be very reasonable price! (and maybe learn a few tricks while you are at it.) Not to mention the amazing interior design. It just feels special!

4. I recently bought some leopard print shoes inspired by this look from polyvore:

Then i read in a recent issue of InStyle Magazine that everyone should have at least one leopard print item to add class to their wardrobe. But today I came across this opinion from one of favorite bloggers.
Is leopard print only for more mature people? Do you wear it? Do you think it is classy?

5. Fertility Diet Whether its to regulate ovulation or just to be prepared to concieve, this is great advice!

Bijou Market

One of my favorite shopping events EVER is this weekend!

I have been to the Bijou Market's spring events for the last 2 years, so this will be my first holiday event. I am making the trek to Provo in the snow tomorrow as I will be a little pre-occupied next weekend ( my brother's wedding is on the 26th, yay!). I am sure it will be worth it though. SO EXCITED!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


1. So charmed by these "mommy mittens"
2. Thinking this might be a good Christmas Gift for the dog
3. Loving this oatmeal smoothie from Martha Stewart. Have had 3 times this week already
4. Making the most of your space
5. Must get hubby gingham shirt! I heart gingham!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Picks of the week

I loved this post from A Blog About Love on keeping a strong marriage (actually I love her whole blog! LDS woman on second marriage, living in New York and struggling with infertility. She says it how it is and I love her for it!)

This is a great article about "Why Owning Stuff Doesn't Matter"

"The Beginners Guide to Finding and Monetizing your Passion" My favorite quote from this article:
"Passion almost always comes back to helping others in a way that only you can by doing something you absolutely love. "
I have felt a difference in my marriage as I have tried to cut out some of the "extras" and therefore enjoyed reading this article Combating the Threat of Overscheduling
"time is one of the biggest issues that can be a risk in our relationships. We are involved in so many things that we sometimes don’t leave enough time for our partners. We are overscheduled."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Coming Soon...

Opening Friday Nov 11 at Fashion Place Mall:

Plus Loft, North Face, and Bastille.
Tis the season for shopping!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Favorite Things

I recently purchased these earrings because I thought I could wear them for my brother, Robert's, wedding. I am amazed how versitile they have been due to their aqua/seafoam/minty color trimmed out with gold.  I wear them at least once a week and they can easily be paired with so many outfits and so many colors. Since then, I have been seeing similar looks everywhere:

Similar look from Layla Grace "drops of jupiter" earrings $48

Similar look from Honey Bee Collection, $155

I have concluded my $7 was well spent!