Thursday, December 3, 2015

{Our Elf} Snowflake.

I knew the end of this year would be crazy. All the holidays and then throw in a new baby due to come December 29th (inducing on the 23rd though!). I was so worried that I would forget something. I've been making list after list for months. And finally last week I made our Elf on the Shelf list. I kept it pretty simple. I wanted to make sure whoever had to do it while I was away at the hospital with baby wouldn't hate me. 

I know there are TONS of list around and I'm not saying mine is the best but I did want to share my ideas with you. Now I numbered mine but plan on doing whatever I feel we need most that day, but wanted to make sure I had Snowflake's adventures all planned. 

1. I'm Back letter! 
2. Hide in the Christmas Tree. 
3. Bring a Christmas Coloring page.
4. Elf plays candy cane golf. (Candy canes & marshmallows)
5. Elf puts googly eyes on pictures.
6. Elf brings or suggests we watch a Christmas movie as a family.
7. Elf brings Christmas stickers!
8. Brown paper bag races with other dolls/stuffed animals.
9. Hangs from dining room light with snowflakes.
10. Brings sugar cookie mix, frosting and cookie cutters.
11.Sleeps in dollhouse bed on kitchen counter.
12. Elf hides in the stocking.
13. Brings food coloring for green pancakes!
14. Elf brings stuff to make snowflakes!
15. Brings money to buy present for baby sister!
16. Elf hangs from coat hooks in the girls' room.
17. Elf gets trapped under a cup.
18. Elf is fishing for gold fish crackers.
19. Elf is hiding in the cookie jar.
20. Elf brings stuff for a gingerbread house!
21. Brings hot cocoa and popcorn for a movie night!
22. Elf brings a new Christmas book.
23. Brings stuff to make reindeer food!
24. Christmas Pajamas and a good by letter.

Extras-

Bubble bath with mini marshmallows.
Brings stuff for bubble bath for the girls.
Makes a snow angel with powdered sugar on table.
Draws a map on chalkboard table to play with cars on.



Do you do Elf on the Shelf? What is your Elf's name? Have any fun ideas?

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Conducting Helps.

Thank goodness for YouTube. Seriously. In November I was released as a Primary teacher in our ward and was quickly asked to conduct the music in Relief Society. I made a quick decision and said yes- even though I am growing to have a love/hate relationship with it.

I took piano lessons for a brief time when I was younger which have proved to be a very small help but it still didn't prepare me for this. Counting and figuring out the odds and ends have been hard for me. It has taken me a bit to find these awesome resources and in the off chance that I can help someone else I want to share a few of my favorite finds! 

Lds.Org Helps

Using the Hymn Book.
I feel like this is pretty much what you find in the back of the Hymn book, the stuff you stared at while you were a child, thinking you could totally do it too. Helpful but not quite all you need to know. I'd use it more as a refresher if you've done this before and just need to be reminded. Or if you're like me- flip between this and the Hymn you're about to conduct 400 times to make sure you've got it right. 

Conducting Course.
105 pages of good information but not quite all that I needed. I still needed more, I had a hard time getting through this, I felt like it needed to be a video course instead so I could work while watching someone. I tend to second guess myself and this didn't have enough for me.

Hymns.
I am so very lucky to know ahead of time what songs we'll be singing so I can practice conducting them beforehand. I use this online hymn book to help me practice.

YouTube Helps

How to Conduct Music- Michelle Willis
10 short videos that really break down the basics. Super helpful to watch, she's calm, clear and just overall really great at teaching. I felt so much more confident after watching her videos. The very first week I had to conduct I felt it was doable and even though I didn't quite do very well I survived and felt that with practice I would survive this calling. 


How to Conduct Hymn #211- David Potter
6 Hymns-How to Conduct
This hymn has been driving me crazy for 2 weeks now. It has to be the toughest one I've been asked to conduct (my 3rd song ever). So luckily I was able to find this man & his wife teaching you how to conduct it. It looks like they have a few other videos of specific hymns. Best day ever when I found this. 


Now I'm still just learning and still probably need years of practice but just by finding these few places I finally feel like I'm right on track to actually learning how to conduct some of these hymns. Now to get over the fear of being in front of people. Thankfully no one seems to stare while you conduct and I just watch the hymn book anyway. 

Hopefully if you stopped in for help you got it. If you didn't come in for help hopefully you learned a little!



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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hump-day Confessions.

I confess that:

5/7  Days a week I wear some sort of pajama bottom all day. (This belly is making it more and more uncomfortable to wear regular pants, even with a belly band.

Lately only half of my house seems to be clean at a time. Either the back half (bedrooms/playroom) or the front half (living, dining and kitchen). 

I sleep in till at least 8 most days- my girls sleep until 9 or 10 most days, so we stay very lazy during the morning. 

I've read more books in the last couple months than I had in the first 8 months of this year. Thank goodness for Goodreads.

Whenever I start to get back into blogging I look for great link-ups like this one to help me find my way. 

Alanna & Company


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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

{Review} Fresh Delicates Laundry Bags.


Wardrobe changes are no joke at my house. I can honestly say my 2 yr old changes at least 4 times during the day just to fit her mood. My 4 yr old probably changes twice, an outfit for the day and pajamas for the night. Just between the two of them that 6 outfits every single day. I feel like I am constantly doing laundry. [Because I am!] I try and keep loads small so they wash fast or quite large so I'm doing less loads. [Basement laundry rooms suck sometimes!]

This past laundry filled week I was able to give the Fresh Delicates Laundry Bags a try. Now I've personally never tried using laundry bags before. 



These bags are supposed to:


-Keep clothes in tact while in the washer or dryer
-Zipper strap will help avoid any loud noise to be made
-Help prevent missing socks!

You are able to wash your clothes in the bag and just move the bag straight to the dryer.

What are the bags made of? Fine mesh, that has a good density and they are soft! 

What sizes? They come in Three sizes 30*40cm, 40*50cm, 50*60cm

So what did I think? I might actually really like these bags. I still have more laundry to do with them so we'll see how they hold up. I tried all 3 sizes with several different loads. First off, read the instructions and only fill them up to 3/4 full. I failed to do so and my laundry didn't dry too well. Next time I forgot to zip it tight and ended up just washing the bag and laundry as separate pieces. 

Third time I actually had it filled right and zipped up tight and it worked wonderfully! These bags were great for keeping our laundry separate. I try and keep my husband and my clothes separate from my girls' or from my sisters and that usually means that I have to do separate loads but these bags made it so I could take two small loads and combine them into one larger load. It was so great to have one less trip to the laundry room. Overall so far I definitely recommend these bags. They are making my life easier one laundry trip at a time. I did get these in exchange for my honest opinion- and don't worry I only share my honest opinion. 





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Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh Fall.

I'm willing Fall to come early today. I've lit my pumpkin candles, put pumpkin wax in the warmers and I've even thrown up all of my decorations (including pumpkins) throughout the house. I don't know if it'll work but it's definitely changing the feeling in my home.

falldeco




There's something about cooler weather that calls me. It's the wrapping up in a cozy robe while drinking a warm drink. It's the flavors and scents that fill the air. The change in the leaves on the mountains. It's wearing a big sweater over leggings. (Though we haven't gotten there yet.)

Another thing I've recently noticed about the cooler weather in my life is it bringing out the bookworm in me. In the last week I've read 4 1/2 books. I've been to the library 3 times. I have yet to be disappointed. If you follow me on Goodreads you'll know what I've been reading, but for those of you who don't....

Books


What are you reading right now? Do you love Fall as much as I do?





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Thursday, August 20, 2015

11 More Questions.

I am so excited to finally feel well enough to get to writing this post. I've been going over answers in my head for weeks, thinking of who to tag, trying to figure out what pictures I want to use if any(turns out I didn't ha- just the 3 I found online). Mistle from Sweet Tea & Hydrangeas tagged me in her Getting to Know Me post back in July! If you don't know her yet, head on over and say hello! 
Questions to Answer:
1. Who inspired you to start a blog? In 2009 my husband and I began trying to start a family. Things were not going easily or as it seems to have happened for those around us. I was constantly wandering the world wide web in hopes of finding answers or ideas, comfort or friendship and that is when I started to come across blogs. I wish I knew the first one I came across or that the others than followed were still around so you could get to know them.
2. Where are you originally from? I was born in Utah but grew up in California, only to move back to Utah towards the end of high school. I feel like both have a special place in my heart.
3. What do you like to do for fun? I love to be creative. Baking, crafting....things like that. I don't do it very often because let's face it, kids come first in my life and if they can't help it doesn't happen. 
4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ah! I don't know! I feel like Australia would be amazing- my dad spent 2 years there on his mission and loved it. It would be amazing to go and see what he saw!
5. What is your long-term goal for your blog? I honestly just want to remember. Remember the things I thought were a big deal, those things that actually were and all the little in between stuff. I do love the friendships I've made through blogging and hope to continue with that.
6. What are two of your most popular posts? If only I could actually find the good ones- I know for sure that My Ring was one of them, and Guest Post is what comes up in the stats as the top! 
7. What is your favorite tv show or movie? Eek! I watch so many shows & movies that there are too many to just name one! I love My Best Friend's Wedding (or anything with Julia Roberts) PS I Love you & The Other Guys are a few favorites! Also Grey's Anatomy, Scandal & How To Get Away with Murder are a few TV show loves!


8. What advice would you give to bloggers that are just starting out? Just be you and keep going. I feel like trying to fit in with everyone else gets you no where! 
9. What is your favorite food? Mexican- though I've had some amazing homemade Mexican dishes thanks to my wonderful Mexican family. If only I could make it as well as them.
10. If you could listen to one cd for the rest of your life, what would it be? I love the Michelle Branch Spirit Room CD. I've had it for years and every time I find it- I love it more.


11. What is your favorite store to shop at? Target is the top of my list for sure! I try to avoid it so I'm not tempted to buy all of the things!


Now as for finding people to do this list I'll let you decide if you want to or not!

Here are my questions:

Where are you from?

What is the best thing about your town/city?

Favorite recipe?

What makes you want to blog?

What are your favorite blogs to check out?

Do you have a dream vacation?

Favorite books?

What shows are you looking forward to having come up this fall?

Favorite holiday coming up & why?

Top or Favorite blog posts of your own?


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Coffee Talk {2}

I'm starting this week out with a To-Do List on my mind- making this link-up the perfect one for me!

1. Clean house. My house looks great Monday night-Saturday morning, but sometime between Saturday Morning and Monday afternoon a tornado comes through and manages to destroy everything. I've been trying to work on this but just can't seem to get there. 

2. Subway art printables. I've been working on a few prints, a couple for my house and one for a lady in my neighborhood. I get up before my girls lately and just watch shows while I wait for them to wake up, instead I'm going to start pulling my laptop out and working away. 

3. Pick a hair cut/color. My anniversary is in 4 weeks. I am getting my hair done and have no idea what to do, I'm determined to have at least a couple ideas by the end of the week so I can make an appointment. 


There ya have it! Three of my goals for the week!

Linking up here today!


Classy Sassy & A Bit Smartassy

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Reading.

As I will be spending lots of time inside enjoying the comfort of the air conditioner as well as lots of time outside watching my girls get their energy out I decided I need to get a good list of books to read this summer! So far with the [little] wandering of blogs I've been able to do the last couple days I have a few books on my list!



In The Unlikely Event- Judy Blume

The Book of Joan- Melissa Rivers
A Million Suns- Beth Revis
Granny Dan- Danielle Steele (a re-read from a long time ago!)
   
     


    What are you reading this summer? 


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Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Coffee Talk.

Happy Monday! It's 7:30 and the 3 kids are still asleep here. I've been up for at least an hour since getting my nephew- who thankfully goes right back to bed. I wish I could have, I know I'll be looking for some place comfy to curl up later in the afternoon. I've been doing that a lot lately. 

I'm so happy to be linking up with Jasmine for Monday Coffee Talk today. What better way to start off a new week? So I could be wrong but it looks like we're going to share a few goals for the week and I definitely need this. If only I had a nice cup of coffee to sit down with. Right now I'm completely caffeine free and living off of water. 



one. Cleaning. Lame right? My house has been a disaster for weeks- I just can't seem to get ahead of the mess right now but I have a good feeling that this might be the week where I finally have energy and can stomach the cleaning that needs to be done.

two. Reading. We have a neighborhood/church book club. I've wanted to go but never get around to reading any of the books so with book club just over 2 months away right now I went and picked up their next book. Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I found this in the Children's section at Barnes and Noble, I'm really curious to see what I can get from this book. Have you read it yet?

three. Get some sun! This is the first time in years that I've actually had a tiny bit of tan on my legs. I've been spending tons of time outside this summer so far and am happy to say that it's paying off tan wise. Other than that it's absolutely wonderful watching my girls run around outside. They could live outside if I let them too bad it's starting to get too warm for me to enjoy it too much outside. 



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Sunday, May 31, 2015

{Review} The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide


About 2 years ago my husband took my advice and started a gluten free diet. He sticks to it when he goes out and when we're at home. The thing is, I meal plan & grocery shop, and my daughters and I don't necessarily follow a gluten free diet all of the time. At first I would check labels and only buy anything that was clearly labeled Gluten Free. It was so time consuming to walk through the store, and having to double check everything I picked up. I eventually had figured out several things and just sorta stuck with those items for a while. 



This last couple weeks I've tried something new when it comes to my meal planning and grocery shopping. I've been using The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide. I just meal plan and as I'm writing my grocery list if there is something I haven't bought too often or something I'm not quite sure about I'll just pull it up in the book. 

Honestly, at first I didn't see a point to this book, I was a bit overwhelmed with it and wasn't sure I'd even care to look through it. I mean sitting down to find new recipes, meal plan, make a grocery list, is more than enough to keep me busy and now I was supposed to throw this book in the mix? It seemed like a pain. It's really not though. I've enjoyed using it and making sure that I'm picking up the right things for my husband. 

I know he will never know what it's like to have to meal plan, make a grocery list and grocery shop all while trying to follow a specific diet, but it's A LOT of work, especially with 2 young kids in tow. If he ever gets the opportunity to actually do it I'm sure he'd appreciate the book as much as I have learned to. 

Those of you that are Gluten-Free, how do you meal plan and grocery shop? Do you stop and check every item- or are you stuck in a rut like I was for a bit there with just buying what is familiar? If you're just starting a Gluten-Free lifestyle or are looking for something to help you out, this book is a good option! Very helpful and easy to use. If you already have something you use, let me know what it is and how you like it! I was given this book in exchange for my honest review! 




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Thursday, May 21, 2015

+LIFEGUARD Mini 1 Power Bank Review




It feels like even though my phone is fully charged at night that if I'm out and about it just doesn't seem to last. My girls like to keep it busy, constantly watching shows or listening to music on it. I don't mind I just wish that I didn't have to charge it while at home or driving. Never did I think I would have a need for a +LIFEGUARD Mini 1 power bank for my phone. 


Well guess what, now that I have it, I can't believe I didn't get one sooner! This power bank has made it super easy to charge my phone while I'm out shopping, or even in church. I just toss it in my bag and plug my phone in and it starts to work it's magic! This power bank has a tough aluminum shell, making it perfect for it's travels in my purse. It can be recharged up to 800 times, easily! 

It is compatible with the following devices: iPhones, iPods, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Sony and other cell phones, MP3, MP4, digital cameras with DC 5V input. I personally use it for my iPhone and it works well! I've been very pleased with how well this works and how easy it is to use and charge. I don't have one complaint! 

Have you ever used a power bank for your device before? If not but you'd like to, I'd definitely recommend this one! I did receive this power bank in exchange for my honest review. 



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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blog Hop!!!



We are super happy on how our blog hop is growing and how many bloggers linked up last week. We are so thankful for you guys being part of it.

With that being said PLEASE FOLLOW THE FOLLOW RULES!!

This week we have two new cohost:
http://www.mommysummers.com/" target="_blank">Mommy Summers

http://www.funningupmylife.co.uk/" target="_blank">Funning Up My Life

If you're interested in cohosting with us please fill this form out https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Kr7ltbQm0N91LhEQjTL-KHzArRWn1cvTF5fGu6fzMjs&authuser=0" target="_blank">here
.

Rules of the Blog Hop
1. FOLLOW YOUR HOST(S) & COHOST(S) - via GFC or Bloglovin
2. SUBMIT YOUR LINK
3. MINGLE WITH OTHER BLOGGERS
4. TWEET TWEET TWEET!!!!!
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Monday, May 4, 2015

{Review} Baking Wizards Silicone Baking Mats


Baking is something I love to do but don't get to do enough of. It seems like getting through the day with my 2 girls & nephew is hard enough, that when it comes time to make dinner I don't even stop to think about dessert. My family doesn't get nearly enough cookies. 

A couple weeks ago I got the chance to try out two Silicone Baking Mats from Baking Wizards. My family was thrilled that I finally got to making some cookies for them. (If only I had remembered to take pictures!) These mats are FDA & LFGB Approved. They are non-stick and super easy to clean. They can be used for baking, roasting, warming and also preparing dough!



I'm loving these mats! They made baking cookies for my family easy! I feel like the cleaning up part of baking is the worst. I usually leave the trays in the sink waiting for someone else to wash them. These mats are ridiculously easy to clean and fit perfectly in my already very full oven drawer. 

Prior to getting these I had another silicone mat and didn't quite love it. It is nice but didn't find myself using it very often, it is very large and didn't fit well on my baking trays. Luckily these fit perfectly. If you are looking for a silicone baking mat to make your life easier I'd definitely recommend these! Have you ever used a silicone baking mat while baking?





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