Wednesday, December 21, 2016

a little Christmas decor

Christmas Decor
Christmas Decor
Christmas Decor
Each year since we've had Hazel seems to go by faster than the last, especially around Christmas time. And the reason may be because it's my very favorite time of year, good times always seem to speed by don't they?

I love teaching Hazel the true meaning of Christmas, even if the only part she understands is that it's baby Jesus' birthday.  She loves looking at the Christmas tree, Santa, snow globes, and winding the music makers. But her favorite part just might be holding every baby Jesus we have, she must know He's special.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

top Christmas books for kids and toddlers

top Christmas books for kids and toddlers
Hazel and I recently, accidentally started this new tradition.  After lunch we grab a big stack of books and lug them to the front room. We turn on the Christmas tree lights, drape our Christmas blanket over our legs, and start to read. It's a fun little tradition we've started, and I love that Hazel loves it. She has to have the blanket tucked in just right and we have to always bring the train book--it's her favorite. 

Friday, December 02, 2016

what I'm liking, Friday

candy cane kiss cookies

Merry Christmas! This is my absolute very favorite time of year, the lights, the love, the family, all the feelings in the air. It's everything! I especially love that Hazel is so into it all too. She loves the lights, the Christmas tree, and Santa! I'm already enjoying all these fun things we've been doing with her, I love seeing the light in her eyes. 

Here are some recipes I want to make this December, all Christmas-y of course:

The cutest Santa strawberry, seems like it might take a while to make, but sooo cute. 

All these cookies because it's not a real Christmas without them.

They call it Polar Express Hot Chocolate so I really have to try it. 

You could also do this with brownie batter since I've already listed so many cookies.

Growing up these have always been called bon-bons and I can't call them anything else, but they are so much a tradition that it's something that has to be made!

What are you planning to make for Christmas? Any traditional Christmas treats?


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

the best Christmas movies to watch this season

The best Christmas movies to watch this Christmas season.
Tis the season to watch all the Christmas movies. But seriously, am I the only one who is making all kinds of new traditions this year? With Hazel starting to understand what is going on I've been trying really hard to get in the spirit of each Holiday and find ways to explain everything to her.  The true meaning and all that kind of good stuff. 

So, if it's a new tradition you're looking to start, or if you're just looking for some good Christmas movies to watch I've got your list: 

01. It's a Wonderful Life
02. A Charlie Brown Christmas
03. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (fet. Jim Carrey)
04. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
05. A Christmas Carol (2009)
06. The Santa Clause
07. Home Alone (1, and 2)
08. Miracle on 34th Street
09. Original Christmas Classics
10. Holiday Inn
11. Elf
12. A Christmas Story (1983)
13. White Christmas (1954)
14. The Polar Express
15. Frosty The Snowman
16. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
17. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
18. The Night Before Christmas (1993)
19. Arthur Christmas (2011)
20. One Magic Christmas (1985)
21. Jingle All the Way (1996)
22. Mickey's Christmas Carol
23. Deck The Halls
24. Christmas with the Kranks
25.The Nativity Story 



Sunday, November 27, 2016

a condensed version of my weekend

Sometimes I like to take to the Internet and dump/share/brag about my weekend and my life. This time around is far overdue. 

Just over a week ago Brand returned home from a service trip to Tonga-dental service that is. He had a ton fun and hasn't stopped talking about it since, and I don't blame him. That week Hazel a I kept ourselves as busy as we could, we played, ran errands, visited the children's museum, and spent a lot of time outside, because if there is one thing that will make Hazel happy it's being outside.  Brand's homecoming was nothing short of sweet. Watching Hazel run up to him, as he walked out of the terminal exit, squealing on her way over, was probably one of the sweetest things I had seen all week. 

Last week Brand had off-Thanksgiving break. And so we hung out with him most of the time. Again, we spent our time trying to keep our days filled because we have an oh-so-very-active Hazel-or so we've been told. We played at the park, went on our weekly Target trip to look at the toys, I'm not the only one who does that am I? We made treats for cousins, watched movies, and spent some time at a few parks. Hazel loves to people watch as you can see below, she's very sneakily watching the little boy go down the slide. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

the coolest holiday gift for him

This post was sponsored by JORD wood watches but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

It's the holiday season, it's the holiday season, and Santa Clause is coming round... Yesterday one of the stations in Phoenix started their Christmas music and I don't know if I am happy about it or mad about it. I mean, I can't really be mad about Christmas music, right?! That should be illegal, shouldn't it? It's the happiest music I've ever heard, it gets us all in the holiday spirit and, I don't know, it just gives me all the good feelings. Ya know!? 

I guess with the start of Christmas music we know that Christmas Day is just around the corner which means it's time to prepare. Time to get out and find the perfect gift for your special someone, something they will ooo-and-awe over, something fantastic! But, I have to say shopping for Brand can be difficult. I never know what he wants and whenever I ask him what he wants he always says something like oh I don't need anything, or that's okay you don't have to get me anything.  And then I throw my hands up in the air in the most dramatic fashion thinking oh great now I have to just come up with something? Sometimes man. Sometimes.
Jord Dover Koa & Black Watch
Jord Dover Koa & Black Watch
But this time around I'm not worried.  A few weeks ago I was introduced to JORD Wood Watches and I was completely in awe of these modern, unique watches. I love their sleek timeless look which makes them perfect to wear for every occasion.  This watch is also the perfect gift for any celebration, it makes a great Christmas gift, anniversary gift, birthday gift, and graduation present, that's what's nice about giving watches I guess, they are perfect for everything! 

Brand already opened his gift- our 8th anniversary is Monday and I just had to show it to him-this is the watch I got him, and he absolutely loves it.  He couldn't wait to get it out of the box, and he even wore it to church that same morning-and he got a ton of complements might I add. 
Jord Dover Koa & Black Watch
Jord Dover Koa & Black Watch
Jord Dover Koa & Black Watch Jord Dover Koa & Black Watch
If you're thinking about getting a unique wood watch for your boyfriend, or husband head to the link below, submit your email, and they will instantly email you a $25 e-gift code to use on their site. To check out more men's watches you can head here and don't forget to check out the women's watches as well! 


Monday, October 31, 2016

a condensed version of my weekend

It's that time of year, the fair is in town! Brand and I went last year when we found out that you can get in free on Fridays we decided to make it a yearly tradition. This year we had a little bit older-wiser Hazel, who wanted to ride all the rides she saw. In my mind I thought: wow, this is great, I'll have someone to ride all these rides with one day!  And it made me excited for each passing year, and then in my right mind I was like... uhh don't ever grow up!
Traditionally speaking Brand gets a turkey leg each time, it's one of those things that you only get at the fair because it's fair food, and who cares how much it costs. Hey, we got in free right!? He walks around with this silly thing and I love it because he loves it! Traditionally speaking we also walk down the middle of the fair when we enter. If you walk down the side it's just not the same effect, you don't get all the business or any of the fair smell, good and bad. 

Hazel liked watching the tower drop ride, each time she would say fall down when the people were dropped.

Unfortunately there was only one ride she was big enough for, it was this silly little ride where we rode a bird-car and it drove in a little circle and bounced. Hazel absolutely loved it though! As soon as the ride started she had the biggest smile on her face and kept saying fun! fun! fun! I love the excitement in this little girl's eyes! 
Saturday evening we had a bbq with Brand's suit mates from school. We played, talked, and Hazel made new friends--one of which was a dog. Overall I'd say we had a productive but relaxed weekend. It was nice being able to get somethings done and also have fun at the same time. 

Saturday night after I put Hazel to bed I went to Fry's and found some necessities for Sunday. And this ice cream was probably the best purchase... who says grocery store brand isn't good?!
Happy Monday pretty friends! How was your weekend!?


Friday, October 28, 2016

what I'm liking, Friday: last minute Halloween costumes

Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet

Sometimes last minute DIY costumes are the very best, and with Halloween on Monday--and parties this weekend--you're probably in need of something super easy. So, here are the easiest ones I found online, also including the costume we made a few weeks back (above) and we purchased mine and Brand's costumes in less than 45 minutes, with a toddler in toe mind you! 

Burglar Costume
Rosie the Riveter
Easiest Leopard Costume
Salt and Pepper couple's costume
Snapchat Dog Filter
Cactus -you need a green dress and yarn.

Monday: White Chicken Enchilada
Tuesday: Navajo Tacos
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Cheeseburger Burito
Friday: Leftovers

Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

when you have the whole park to your self

Our days aren't really complete unless we've been to the park or outside at least once, and with the weather finally cooling down--a little bit--we can almost completely live outside. One day last week Hazel had the park all to herself and it was one of those moments where she was so excited she didn't know what to do with herself. We pulled up to the park and she immediately screeched SLIDE! SWING! HIIII! She was so excited and started laughing her silly little laugh that she does when she's really excited, it almost seems like a fake laugh that's how silly it is.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

a condensed version of my weekend

November is almost here and we've finally made our way to the pumpkin patch. I think when you have a kid it's one of those obligatory things that you almost have to do.  We traipsed around McDonald Ranch, over in Scottsdale, and I say traipsed because it was so hot outside that it was hard to get the energy to walk around. Why is Arizona being so horrible this year, bring me the cold weather! 

Hazel rode some fun little bikes, had duck races, walked through a hay maze, "milked a cow", and we even got to take a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch--Hazel called it a train ride. An hour into the whole thing I started wondering why I live here and why I thought it would be a fun idea to go to this pumpkin patch, granted it would have been more fun with cooler weather, but seriously Arizona, just get it together! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

what I'm liking, Friday

brand and I circa 2011, don't we look like babies?!
This time of year is my favorite because there is so much going on. The weather is nice, holidays are fast approaching, and families get together. I love it all!  Now that I have Hazel I especially love the cooler weather because that means we get to be outside more! Here are some links to some lists of things I want to do this Autumn season: 

Bucket list of things to do with your family

Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween costumes with Deseret Industries

This post was sponsored by Deseret Industries, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Halloween is about three weeks away and this means it's time to... prepare the costumes! You could spend a fortune buying a brand new already made costume online. Or you could spend some time at Deseret Industries looking through their already made costumes, you could even try putting your creative mind to work and DIY your own costume.

A few months back Brand and I -Hazel really, who are we kidding- came up with a Halloween theme for our family this year. Drum roll please... we are going to be Winnie The Pooh characters!  Can you imagine? Brand as Christopher Robin? You guys, this is really happening and he is so pro Christopher Robin I couldn't believe it. 

Being students, money is tight, and so it's hard to justify purchasing brand new Halloween costumes.  And so, with a little research I thought DIYing our costumes would be our best bet...
Last weekend we headed to Deseret Industries and were able to put together the perfect outfits for both of our characters -Christopher Robin and Piglet. (Hazel's costume was gifted to us) Brand found an awesome yellow collar shirt, a white collar shirt, blue shorts, and white tube socks, all for $13! I was able to find these light pink capris (Calvin Klein), an oversized magenta top, and a light pink top (I used this to make the Piglet ears) all for $12!  

Deseret Industries has such a great selection of everything you could ever need for your Halloween costume.  And it was really nice to have multiple outfit options to choose from. If your costume needs anything from shirts, to shoes, to baskets, to pants, DI restocks their inventory daily with thousands of new items to create your Halloween costume, so you won't have any trouble finding what you need. 
If you're getting ready to search for -or even make- your Halloween costume be sure to stop into Deseret Industries and check out their selection. (If you need help finding a DI near you head here.)  You'll be happily surprised at what you find - I know we were!

Also, if you have old Halloween costumes laying around your house that you don't use anymore give them new life by donating them to Deseret Industries. Donations are tax deductible and help fund training programs in your community. 

What are you going to be for Halloween? 


Monday, October 10, 2016

a condensed version of my weekend

Ever since we went to San Diego Hazel has been asking to ride the trains and the horse -she remembers the ones from Balboa Park. And each time I would have to tell her that we would go there when it gets a little bit cooler outside. Well, the a-little-bit-cooler has reached the valley -also known as it's October, because it doesn't mean that it's cold- and the train park is finally open!  Saturday morning we headed to the park -early enough to get there before the crowd and Hazel had a blast. 
We rode the train and she sat just like that the whole time. Watching everything so closely. And asking for more as the train came to a stop. 
Her first-second carousel ride was something I was a bit nervous for, and obviously so was she. But, once she realized she was in good hands she had the time of her life. Saying weeeeeee practically the whole time with a few yee-haws periodically throughout.  We rode the horses a few times, and after we found out that it didn't cost us anything to ride with her, the tickets stretched even further -which meant more horse rides!

I love this sweet picture of her holding on to her daddy as the ride started, her arm slung around his shoulder just to make sure she was safe. Put in in a frame. 
I'm not sure if what the lady said is true, but someone called this the smallest train ride in the world. And I'm pretty darn certain they are right. 

Hazel played on the big slides, and swung on the swings -again her new favorite past time. I love watching her be adventurous when she plays, I love watching her enjoy new things. I loved watching her Saturday at the train park. She was so excited to be there and is excited to go back! 

This might be my favorite toddler stage.  

What did you do this weekend?!


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

How We Wore It: Fall Sweaters

Happy Wednesday friends and welcome to a fun collaboration between bloggers. We were all given the same inspiration outfit -see below- and asked to create our own take on it with items we already own. Can I just say that this time around I really got creative! I especially like this collaboration because it helps me think of how I can use the items in my closet that I think I will never use. And sometimes I rediscover new things and it's really fun! 
 top: Brand's sweater, jeans: paige, boots: tjmaxx, necklace: c/o Choies, watch: Michael Kors

I originally had another top in mind, but apparently I got rid of it, or it's lost. Either way I think I like this option much better than my other. And as we were walking in from taking these pictures I told Brand, you might actually watch out because I'm going to be wearing this come winter. And he welcomed me with open arms, because he's supportive like that. 

This necklace has been a statement piece in my wardrobe ever since I got it. Although some of the "pearls" have fallen off I can't get over how beautiful it is. Pearls have always been my favorite, but a big bulky necklace is the best, especially when it's so versatile like this one.

Brown booties, you can't go wrong with brown -cognac- booties can you? They are really great for breaking up an outfit that is too black, or an outfit that needs just a little something extra. I've always loved these boots, one of my favorite shoe purchases to date.

If you want to join in on the fun next month then head over to Deidre's blog and sign up. 

Also, click through the links below to see how everyone else styled their outfits! Deidre from Deidre EmmeAshley from Absolutely AshleyKyla from FordOlogyPaige from The Happy FlammilyAlyssa from Alyssa Dawson BlogAmber from amber nicole blogs, Jen from Real Life, On PurposeAutumn from Stay gold AutumnAubrey from Aubrey ZarubaEmilie from Burke DoesSusan from Sue's NewsTayler from The Morrell Tale, Sierra from Sierra's ViewJustine from Little Dove Creations

Happy Wednesday! How would you wear this outfit?!


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