Wednesday, July 31, 2013

sometimes I just always wear pants.

top: AHS thrift, jeans: nordstrom (similar), sandals: target, watch: fossil (similar), sunnies: last chance.  

I've had these outfit pictures in my drafts section for alllllmost a month now.  I guess I'm kind of annoyed that I ALWAYS wear jeans and I'm kind of tired of posting pictures about it!  A few weeks back one of my "kids" asked me why I always wear jeans, haha! I think it's a sign that I need to venture out. So, I hope that I will be able to live up to my own standards and wear something besides jeans. Wish me luck with that.

Also, I wanted to tell you about this shirt, 2$.  Can you believe it? I was like "hello, I've got to have this" when I saw it, and plus it's gap so it's great quality... and it's also the only way I buy name brand. 

Happy Wednesday! 

linking up:  Casual FridayThe Pleated PoppyRolled Up PrettySunday Style, Because Shanna Said So


Monday, July 29, 2013

in the words of reb tevye

Traditiooooooooo, tradition. 

This weekend was one of those weekends where almost everything we did took me back in time.

When we first got married Brand and I had a thing for Cheesecake Factory.  Okay, maybe a thing is saying it lightly, we were slightly obsessed.  So obsessed that almost all the waiters knew who we were, as did the managers, and as did the hostesses...  It was that bad.  So Brand got a gift card to Cheesecake for his bday and of course we obliged and had a fun date night. We got the usual, Pasta Carbonara with chicken and no peas, and it tasted just as I remembered.  Traditionally Brand would eat the chicken, I wasn't a huge fan, while I started eating the pasta. And so, without discussion, that's how it went down --I didn't have a bite of chicken.  We reminisced about our favorite seat, which was back by the kitchen in the corner right where all the action was. And we talked about how we think they have microphones hidden in the seat cushions because whenever we would say something like "I need a refill" or "I need more bread"  someone would come right over, like clock work.

Another tradition Brand and I had was playing Settlers of Catan with Brand's sister and her husband. We would have late night dates after the littles went to bed --reluctantly though because we were company and they wanted to stay up and visit with us, how I love those littles! We would play at least two rounds, I remember one time Brand wanted to keep playing until he won a game, but I don't remember how that turned out.  While they played Settlers I would crochet, I'm not much of a game person, but I do love watching. And so to keep tradition, all of the above took place.  Except this time there was another little with the curliest hair you ever did see, along with some can root beer that joined.  How I love being with family and sharing these memories with them.  It's the absolute best.

Brand and I recently started a tradition after we volunteer at the Arizona Humane Society.  We eat lunch at Cane's. And it's another one of those traditions that I really like!

Happy Monday my friends! I hope your weekend was well.

Puppies pictures above are Maggie, the family dog. And Max a homeless pup from AHS, he is the sweetest boy.

What are your traditions?!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

when your birthday is on a work day you should always have a birthday weekend

Birthday boy turned the big 2-8 last Friday.  But let's take a minute to gasp, WHAAAA? I've known this guy for almost SIX years?! Seems like just yesterday when I saw his muscle-y self walk up and sit next to me at Applebee's. Or when I sat behind him at church and could see his muscles budging out of his shirt... wow, people I guess all I cared about were muscles? NOT TRUE! Haha! I'm only joking, he's more than muscles. 

So, because Brand's birthday was on a work day, *the crowd says Boooooo!* It was only fair to allow for another day to celebrate, which turned into a weekend when on Sunday he kindly asked if I could make him a sandwich and then straight after said... because it's my birthday weekend.  I didn't mind though, he definitely earned the weekend. 

I like to spoil Brand, and especially when it's his birthday.  A few years back I started a tradition where I decorate the apartment for his special day. I buy streamers and balloons from the 99 cent store and go crazy.  Remember when you were a kid and your mom would take streamers and hang them from your bedroom door frame? And remember how you wouldn't allow take down of the decorations for at least a week after the birthday has passed? Let's just say our apartment is in birthday week mode. 

And like any poor-married-students we searched pinterest for all the free things that you could get on your birthday and signed up for them.  Little to our dismay did we realize that you probably should sign up prior to your actual birthday... and then we thought about how many people are like us.  Signing up on their birthday hoping to get that free dessert from the ice cream store. Probably LOTS! We did however score the grand slam at Denny's! 

I also would like to point out how clear and beautiful the sky was that day.  Brand likes when you can see the mountains on each side of the valley and he likes clear blue skies.  I don't blame him, it was really a beautiful day for visibility which, to me felt like a little Happy Birthday memento from mother nature. 

I'd say Brand's birthday weekend was celebrated correctly.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

cardstore, the best kind of cards you will ever purchase

If you're like me then you have the hardest of times picking out: birthday cards, get well cards, thank you cards, and any other type of card there is. 
Either the card doesn't really say what I want it to say, 
or I wish I could change the picture and customize it. 
It really makes card buying a long process and I usually end up just getting one that I kind-of like. 

But, no need to fear card shopping any longer, now we have!!

A few weeks ago Lauren from Cardstore contacted me to review her website and one of her cards. 
All I have to say is that I wish I knew of this website earlier. 

There are so many fun cards to choose from and you can even change the words inside the card and customize it with pictures of the birthday boy or girl! 

Here is the one I picked to customize for Brand's birthday last week. 
You can change the picture on the front, change the inside and even add your own message at the bottom! 

And a little bonus feature... at the end of checkout they allow you to send the card straight to the recipient! 
No need to drive it or mail it to them yourself! 

The list of cards they carry is endless, they have: 
Thank you cards
and of course
Cards by Occasion 

The deals are great and the choices are endless. 
The cards are the same cost as they would be at the store. 

If you purchase a card you'll have to let me know which one you get! 

Happy shopping! 

*this post was sponsored by cardstore, but all words and thoughts are my own.*

If you would like me to review a product please email me at alyssadawsonblog(at), reviews are free of charge. 


Monday, July 22, 2013

what I wore: project 121

project 121 shirt: AHS, jeans: f21, shoes: TOMS, watch: peyteybug, earrings: walmart
Brand and I started volunteering at the Arizona Humane Society last October and have been loyal volunteers ever since.  AHS does so much to help the animals that come to them and they give them the life they deserve.  July and August are the months where AHS promotes Project 121.  Project 121 is an online movement where you can donate to AHS and all the proceeds go to taking care of the animals. 

"Imagine turning away 121 animals a day. We can't, we won't." 
"Every day, the Arizona Humane Society takes in an average of 121 homeless animals who rely on us for care, love and a second chance.  In return, AHS relies solely on our community's support to give these pets the happy ending they deserve.  Project 121 is your chance to make a difference in the life of a homeless animal." - Arizona Humane Society Project 121
To donate to project 121 head here

Happy Monday Friends! 

linking up: Look What I GotCasual FridayThe Pleated PoppyRolled Up PrettyLowercase LettersWatch What I'm Wearing  Sunday StyleWeekend Shenanigans

Saturday, July 20, 2013

what I'm liking

this looks so yum right now! 

If you missed my post this week you can find them here: 
Monday: take me out to the ball game
Wednesday: finding excuses to go out in the rain
Friday:  an ode to Brand
Δ  really starting to love embroidered things, and this shop is the cutest!

Δ I can't get over how crafty this lady is! I can't wait to have kids so I can make all these things for them!

Δ I'm also a sucker for handmade watercolors, like these, these and these for example.
Δ and I'm looking for a good inexpensive necklace similar to any of these. one, two, three
Δ and this weekend I hope to see this.

Happy Saturday!! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

an ode to Brand

(This poem is named after Dwight's idea for Kelly's birthday theme from "The Office".  Obviously I HAD to incorporate. )

It is your birthday.

It is your birthday,
The day you treasure each year. 
It's filled with friends and family, 
And brings a special cheer. 

This day is meant for you alone, 
because you're one special man. 
So come-on! get your booty home, 
we've got so much planned. 

This morning before you woke up I decorated the house.
Although I didn't finish,   
I was quieter than a mouse. 

I remembered from last year that you loved the decorations, 
And I wanted to make it special this year
just for your accommodation. 

I really hope you enjoy your day, 
You have definitely earned every bit.
I think I'm done with the rhyming now, 
Obviously I'm not very good at it. 

But, if there is one thing for you to take from this poem, 
I hope that it would be, 
A REALLY Happy Birthday to your reem self, from me!  

Happy Birthday to the one and only Brand! 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

when it rains you find an excuse to go outside

Let's talk about weather... I mean isn't that what you talk about when you have nothing else to say?  I've been having the worst migraines this week and I have a feeling that it has something to do with this horrid weather. Booooooo.

Arizona is known for its notorious heat... if you didn't know.  It's the kind of heat that keeps you inside all day, for weeks,  and it makes you feel like the biggest hermit. (I had to explain what this definition of hermit means to one of the littles that I watch, such innocent minds I tell ya. Oh, and on an unrelated note, is it just me or is it hard to keep your opinions and bias to your self when explaining things to children? I have a hard time with it sometimes, but I feel like it's important for them to come up with their own conclusions. Yay?)

Anyways, baaaaaack to the Arizona weather.  It's just been horrid of course.  Mother weather has been messing with our minds and giving us with gray skies and humidity. She's rude.  It's like as soon as you walk out your front door you have this big wave of heat splash all over you welcoming you outside and telling you that you are absolutely going to DREAD walking to your car and turning on the ac.  

Well last night Brand and I were watching some show when all of a sudden I hear this pitter-patter from outside.  I stand up and to my surprise I see the blessed rain!  I tell Brand ITS RAINING with exaggerated excitement like we've been in a drought for years, and I run to the patio where I record this instagram video, after I post it I realize that it's one of the worst videos I've ever taken and am tempted to delete it, but I don't.  You can definitely tell how excited I was by how quickly I was panning the view.  Embarrassing. 

So, I decided that I wanted to get out in this rain 1) because our car was a dusty mess and 2) because I just wanted to enjoy it.  So we drive and drive for miles.  The rain is soft and light at first, but then it turns into these big drops which make me worry that it might start to hail, thankfully it doesn't.  We drive for a while and I snap the above photos. I couldn't help it.  And throughout the whole time I felt like a creepy paparazzi guy trying to get a picture of Kate Middleton's new baby. It was like I was stalking the rain. But don't they have names for those kinds of people? Rain chasers? That's it... I'm a newly born rain chaser. 

Bring us some more rain Mother weather! Pleeeeeease!!


Monday, July 15, 2013

take me out to the ball game

Sometimes you have weekends where you get to do something out of the ordinary, and when I say out of the ordinary I mean something that you can hardly ever do because it costs too much money.  Obviously we were given tickets to the baseball game, because there is no way I could have gotten Brand to pay for these seats... and there is also no way I would have gotten myself to pay for these seats. It's fun to go to a baseball game, and every bit of it threw me back to the year 2001 when I thought I was the d-backs number one fan and that's because I really was.  

My dad took us to baseball games every now and then when we were younger and I've loved baseball ever since.  I remember as we would walk up to the ballpark, my dad would always buy peanuts and waters from his favorite vendor.  I had sort of a love hate relationship with those peanuts, I hated them because they my dad made such a mess with them and I always worried about the poor workers who would have to clean them up, but then I loved them because I loved the noise they made when I stomped on them.  The big peanut mess became sort of a staple to making a good-successful-entertaining-oooing-and-ahhing baseball game. 

It was actually at the baseball games where I learned what beer smelt like.  And to this day it always reminds me of a good baseball game, it also reminds me of the inebriated people who sat near us. They are always the funniest of people aren't they?

I feel like there is an unspoken rule at any baseball game.  You always make friends with the people you are sitting by.  I don't know if it's because of the beer, or just because we are all sitting so close together that we can see each others earwax, but it's one of my all time favorite things that happens at a baseball game.  The comradery, the warm feelings, the energy.  Because when your team hits back-to-back home runs you know your're gonna give the stranger next to you a big high-five.  It's just how baseball games go. 

Brand and I had a wonderful time at the game on Saturday night.  It was all of the above and then some.  I mean there was so much energy in the ballpark that I felt like it was the World Series all over again. Brand got into the cheering spirit and I had a blast watching him enjoy himself, I love it when he's having fun.  Also, is there anything better than a come-from-behind winning game? I think we were standing and cheering for at least the last 4 innings.  Also, the 7th inning stretch anyone?!

And to answer your question, yes -we made friends with the people we were sitting next to and they were lovely. 

Oh, I love baseball. 

Linking up at weekend shenanigans 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

when you listen to that still small voice


 top: target, jeans: nordstrom, shoes: last chance, watch: peyteybug, earrings: walmart

*I'm only referencing things that happened to me when I was younger.  This does not define the principles of the church and it does not mean that every church member or ward is this way.  I had a special experience and to this day I know it made me stronger. I am a proud member of my church and am grateful and blessed for the experiences that I have had.*

When I was twelve lots of things mean happened to me.
In a bullying way.  

I was always picked on because everyone thought I was different. 
If you want to read about my first encounter with bullying head here

My next bulling experience is something similar to my previous one.
I was 13 years old.
My ward recently had split and they created new boundaries so again I had to make new friends. 
No one knew me so they automatically didn't like me. 

There were times in church where I would sit alone, no one would talk to me except an occasional "hello" from one of the leaders.   
I could hear girls whispering about me and they would always look at me funny. 
There were times when I wouldn't want to go to class and I would ditch and stay in the bathroom.
I didn't want to be in a place where I didn't feel welcome. 

For some reason I had "SOCIAL OUTCAST" written across my fore-headed brace-face, it was big and bold.

I remember feeling so alone, and feeling so left out. 
There were times when I would tell my mom that I didn't want to go back to church. 
That the girls were mean, and no one even cared that I was there. 
I didn't want to go to their activities, I just didn't want to be around people that were THAT mean. 

But, there was one time when my mom and I were walking out of church and I told her that I wan't coming back. 
I couldn't take it anymore. 
And I started crying. 
I cried because I was in pain.
All I wanted was for someone to be my friend. 
Just one person. 

As I got in the car, my mom getting ready to get in, someone from the ward calls out for my mom and then they call for me. 

And I will never forget this moment. 

An older girl from my ward (by older I mean 16) was calling my name. 
She had something in her hand and she gave it to me, I don't remember exactly what it was, but it had something to do with church. 
She talked to me for a minute and then told me that she wanted to sit by me the following week at church. 

And at that moment I knew that it would be alright. 

I knew that she had listened to that still small voice. 
That she felt the need to reach out and help me. 
Somehow she knew I was struggling.

To this day I don't know if she realized how much she touched my life. 

But she really did, and I am ever so grateful.  

linking up: Look What I GotCasual FridayThe Pleated PoppyRolled Up PrettyLowercase LettersWatch What I'm Wearing  Sunday StyleWeekend Shenanigans



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