Monday, November 30, 2015

Great Gifts

Thought I'd share a quick rundown of some great gifts that I've come across lately....happy shopping!

On a action-oriented level of 1-10, there's no doubt our 2 boys each rank a 10. It seems as if they're biologically inclined to participate (and sometimes rather haphazardly) in any activity involving motion, which in my mama eyes = DANGER! But, thanks to this awesome Bern helmet, they've got they're precious noggins covered for skateboarding, biking, and with this cool winter liner- even SKIING! SOLD x2 for us.

Can I get a woot! woot! for extra warm and toasty gloves with touch screen features on the finger tips? Above are pairs in both mens and womens by Eddie Bauer ~ perfect gift for all in my book! As I mentioned last year, their pj pants (both mens and womens) are phenomenal as well. While talking Eddie Bauer, I recently caught a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker sporting a great NAVY parka (see below) and decided to go on the hunt for one....turns out Eddie Bauer has a cute one of those too! (click here). Since it's pricey (but very well made and a complete necessity to us winter weather dwellers), I've noticed that they've been frequently running it on one of their 40% outerwear sales....just sign up for the emails to stay current on which type of sale is running.

I once bought a pair of really cute gold triangle earrings by Oh Hello Friend from Logan's local boutique Roolee, and absolutely LOVE them! I've since browsed their online shop and quickly fell in love with EVERYTHING they sell. Definitely a cute little shop to bookmark!

Hickory Farms Holiday Petits Fours
Everybody likes pretty deserts around the holidays ~ right? These Petits Fours from Hickory Farms are pretty AND delicious! WARNING: you'll want to try one in every flavor, so maybe buy 2 boxes while you're at it!  For sale now in the Cache Valley Mall for $19.99 per box. p.s. their Turkey Sausage Snack Sticks are also a big hit with my boys. ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Brown paper packages tied up with string....

Here's another quick and inexpensive (and I mean REALLY inexpensive) holiday gift. I once read that come Christmastime, Martha Stewart would wrap a bunch of small gifts that she'd keep in a basket by her front door so that she'd always have something at the ready to give out. I love that idea of always being prepared! 

The above shown little packages are what we'll be giving out to all of our neighbors, some of our friends, and teachers along with our annual Christmas card. I know you're probably all thinking- "Wait Kate, it's still only November!" But, I find if I don't split up some of my Christmas to-do list before Thanksgiving hits, then I run out of time (and energy!) to get it all done and still enjoy the season. We already have something going on every weekend from the first weekend of December until New Years! :O

All you need to do to make this gift are bags of popcorn (I opted for the 18 pack because of the great price!), some brown wrapping paper, bakers twine, and cute gift tags.

I found my gift tags and brown wrapping paper at Michaels (especially great with one of their 40% off one item coupons) and red + white bakers twine here. Gift tag reads:

Hope your holidays are "POPPING" with fun!


You sure are one "POP"ular teacher! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gotta start now...

I think Thanksgiving is great and all, but I've learned when it comes to preparing for Christmas~ earlier is better! Here's a few of my top Christmas finds so far...but first, can you believe the price on these adorable H&M pillow covers? Now that's my kind of Christmas style! Also- take my word when I say these will sell out!
H&M pillow cover $5.99

H&M pillow cover $5.99

I'm convinced one can never go wrong with a classic plaid shirt ~ man or woman. 

H&M Ladies

Shutterfly calendars take FOREVER to make, but every time I've ever gifted one they've always been a hit, plus it's a gift that keeps on giving year round!

Biscoff cookie spread ~ found at Lee's
Every year I try to find a gift that I can give out to our extended family members and a few of our close friends...usually this list is around 10 families long so I need the item to be fairly inexpensive, but still festive and thoughtful. This year I found....Biscoff Cookie Spread which I plan to dress up with a cute red gingham ribbon and family name tag. If you're unfamiliar with cookie spread click here....or just take my word for it when I say it will make your mouth and tummy smile with blissful happiness. ;) Goes best on waffles or pancakes ~ perfect for Christmas morning!

Gingerbread men cookie stickers ~ Hobby Lobby

Galvanized 3D Round Ornament by Celebrate It Christmas
Galvanized ornaments found Michaels Craft Store
Michaels has a great selection of galvanized ornaments right now. At only $2.99 a piece, I picked up at least a dozen and with a simple ribbon tied on top and a permanent marker on the back, they're easy to customize with the year and your family name. They would also make great gift tags. So simple, affordable, and cute! Gift bags shown below were also found at Michaels.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Hope you're all enjoying Fall! We're still in go-go-go mode around here....pretty sure that's how life will always be with 3 kids, right? I picked BOO-yah as the theme for this post because of the corny Halloween reference, as well as the feeling I get when I find or learn about something completely awesome! But before I share my latest finds, here's a quick rundown on our crew-

Latest on B: Looking and acting more like a teenager every day. I'm constantly reminding myself that he's 6 and doesn't need to play violent video games (seriously, who makes these?!), take karate or combat classes- not sure if the second even exists, but he's sure to ask me daily about it), or listen to his music 24/7! I guess one could say I'm getting some good training now for the years to come....

Latest on G: Wowing us daily with some type of trick, joke, Super Sonic skill, math problem, song on the piano, or writing of his name! He's also really loving his swimming and tumbling classes. I knew when he was just a baby that he had the build for greatness and he is proving true to that.

Latest on E: Man oh man are 2 year olds a lot. A lot busy, a lot fun, and a lot mischievous....and very quick to change their moods and interests! Lately I've been Elyse's friend, doctor, coloring partner, fashion assistant, dance partner, piano teacher, and her mama. The last one I love best. She also has such a love for her brothers and whenever they're not around she'll say "Where my brothers at?"

This week I'm sending out B's school pics (he looks so old!), putting up another bulletin board at B's school (thanks to Pinterest and The Book Table I'm pretty good at them), and putting together the final touches of B's school Halloween party (BOO-yah!). It's also worked out better for me to do preschool at home for Grant...hence, the no time I ever have!

Now to my latest finds for ME. Lately I felt like I was in a rut with my make-up, so I decided to switch things up to my normal and pretty boring routine....BOO-yah to that!

Found an amazing bronzer by MAC in the color Scone, but unfortunately by the time I got around to sharing it here, I learned that it's no longer available since it was just on a limited edition by Brooke Shields. :( But- I've notified Nordstroms to see if they can try to get it back so if I ever hear that they do, I'll be sure to share! I've also heard Bobbi Brown has a really good one too. It only took me about 10 years to learn that a good bronzer is worth spending the extra money on and now I know to NEVER underestimate the impact the right kind (aka pretty tanish/mauve tone with no sparkles) can have in achieving that pretty and natural glow, plus add a bit more depth and dimension to my face. Application tips: Get an angled brush (I like this one by Bare Minerals) to apply it with and put it on cheekbones, tippy top of forehead, eyelids, and chin.

I know bright pops of lip color has been in for awhile now, but I guess I was intimidated by all the choices and the cost and the overall statement of it all...but after checking out some reviews on these cool and affordable Maybelline lipsticks, I finally decided to try some out and oh my goodness how Maybelline has impressed me with their quality array of gorgeous lip colors at such great prices! My fave red colors are part of their MATTE collection in Craving Coral and Siren In Scarlet. Other fun ones are in their pinky collection (I have Petal Pink) as well as their really pretty lip gloss (Mystical Magenta is super bright but really fun!). If I'm feeling up for pink, it's been working well for me to start first with Revlon's ColorBurst Balm Stain lip crayon in Cherish then layer on top of that. The lip stain color in Honey is more subtle, but also really pretty too especially with a soft neutral gloss such as Ulta's Mineral Lip Gloss in Sheer Opal. Don't be afraid to layer lip stains, pencils, lipstick, and gloss to create your own perfect combo! While on my make-up kick, I also discovered a make-up brand called Sigma Beauty, I saw someone test it on a YouTube video and fell in love with the lip crayon in the color Mirth ~ it's more of a berry red. I'm so glad I've decided to play around with color on my lips- it's amazing how different a lip color can make you feel!

This MAC blush in Mocha is right on. So glad I finally learned how MAC offers matte blush! I feel like this deeper color really makes my make-up more noticeable and dramatic. Next spring I think I'll try the color Lovecloud.

This Estee Lauder eyeliner is so worth the money. No more scratchy wood from other eyeliner pencils (I prefer pencil over liquid or roll-up). AND the color really does stay in place since it's Water Resistant. My color is Coffee and I love the smudgy other side of the brush for a deeper effect, or just to correct when I mess up. ;) I never used to consider eyeliner a part of my everyday routine, but for the past year it has been a definite must for me (call it getting older?), just very subtly around the outer edges of the top of my eyelid and a very thin line about halfway from across the bottom outer corner of my eye (creating more of a V shape working from the outside in).

Bumble & Bumble hair products are hands down my absolute fave!!!! They do what they say they'll do (in my case, tame the frizz), come in pretty packaging, and the smell....the smell I can't even begin to describe- very fresh and clean and I love how there's a slightly different scent for each product. I use this one in my hair when I don't want to do it (really, there's a product for this), and this one on my hair when I do want to do it. Both are brilliant and worth the $ splurge!

A good room spray can be heavenly~ I'm picky when it comes to scents, but after experiencing Volcano No. 6 firsthand at Logan's local boutique, Roolee- I bought it on Amazon asap!

I was in need of some more layering tanks and am loving the softness (modal gets me every time!), breathability, and comfort of Jockey's Supersoft Camisoles. I picked mine up at Smiths Marketplace for $19 a piece but I've also seen them sold at Kohls, or of course the ever-so-convenient Amazon.

Have a great rest of October!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Zimbabwe Service Project!

For those of you in who live in Cache Valley, here's details on a service project that I heard about through USU Extension's 4-H Club...just by grabbing things from around your house to fulfill the below list, you'll be of great help to the people of Zimbabwe, Africa! 

I really want to share how good it feels to give back to those in need. Earlier this month our church gave word on a family who is going through some hardship, so my children and I opened our cupboards and closets and filled up 2 bags of things to donate to them, and then we again found more things to fill up 2 boxes to go to Africa. I love learning opportunities like these that really show my children to care about other people in our community and in the world, and how important it is to help out whenever we can!

Once your box is filled, simply drop off at the Cache County Office Building by next Wed. Sept. 30th between the hours of 9-5 pm. They're located on: 179 N. Main St. Suite 111 (first door on your left if you enter in from the back entrance by parking lot). It also looks like you can arrange to have your items picked up by calling the below listed phone number.

    iLead  *  iServe
                4-H Club
        Collect items to be sent to
            Zimbabwe, Africa!
              Cooperating with
          EYES 4 ZIMBABWE
We are collecting:
   *Clothing & Shoes for men, women,
        youth and children;
   *Medical/ Dental supplies & equipment; 
   *Baby Formula, new bottles;
   *Crutches, Walkers, Wheelchairs;
   *Non-perishable food;
   *School supplies & kits
   *Hygiene Kits,
   *Newborn Kits,
   *Sewing Machines,
   *New White Shirts,
   *Soap and other hygiene supplies,
   *Reading and sun glasses.
      Donations can be left at the
       Cache Co. 4-H Office by
            September 30th
 Call Becky Mitchell (435-535-6137)
to arrange pick-up of donations or
   if you have other questions.
  All donations will be taken to SLC    
  on October 8th for sorting, packing,  
       loading & shipping to Africa. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Away We Go!


Not much NO time to write much anymore. Sigh. Sometimes I wish I had a laptop so that I could just curl up in my bed at night and write because that is truly THE ONLY TIME that I have to myself (besides a hour and half little window our babysitter gives me one morning a week which I love using to work out or relax with some Yoga). BUT- other times I'm thankful I don't write at night since doing so often re-charges my brain instead of helping me wind down and turn off...So, there you have it. A blog that is not completely forgotten, just frequently put aside. ;)

Fun news to share is that in a couple of months Bart's work is sending him to a conference to.....can you guess? (photo above is a hint). SAN FRANCISCO!!!  It only took me about 2 seconds to say "Me too!" and thankfully they approved me to join him, so away we go!

Of course I had to do some pre-trip shopping so I bought these shoes (which very well could end up soaking wet), this rain jacket (which is fine if it ends up soaking wet), this book (which I find appropriate since Bart and I met at work), and some fun tops from a new store in our mall called Madison & Sixth (really worth checking out!). I'm sooooo looking forward to spending some time with my husband, sleeping in, exploring the city, checking out museums, shopping, eating out, and even a chance to read a book! :O We'd love any SF travel suggestions/recommendations of things to see, places to eat, please share if you have any.

Off I go now to dance away with my daughter ~ yes, they have dance classes for 2 year olds and it is beyond adorable....hope she continues to love it as much as I do!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Now He Is Six

Just had to share this perfect little poem today  ~ our oldest child Benjamin is now six, a proud kindergartner, wearing his first pair of lace-up shoes, and learning buckets and buckets by the day! We wouldn't want it any other way but some days I like to flip back through the years and remember him when he was younger. Regardless of his age, he's always reminded me to stop and discover something ~ a caterpillar on the trail, a cool new gadget that he's created, or a funny joke that he's learned. What wonderful years we've shared from one-to-two-to-three-to-four-to-five-to-six!

"Now We Are Six"

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six
now and forever.
 Author: A.A. Milne

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fun Teacher Gifts

School started this week for us! Could I get a virtual high five for surviving a summer with 3 young ones under the age of 5?  I send one out to all of you who are also in the same boat....a sometimes very rocky and unpredictable boat. ;) From what I can remember of it (funny how those past 3 months can turn into such a blur) we went to the park a lot. I even earned myself a blister on one of my hands from all of the jogging I did with Elyse! I've never been a great runner, so this was pretty big for me. I hope to keep it up for the next couple of months while we still have the good weather....I love what a great energy booster exercise is! Anyway- with school back in session, I like putting on my creative hat to think up some fun, thoughtful, easy, and inexpensive teacher gifts. Below are some shots of what I came up with (also click here for one done in years past).....

Teacher stamps and burlap sack, Target (placemats shown in background are also from Target!)
Rainbow Color Box stamp pad, Michaels
Chalkboard clothespin sign, Michaels
Giftcard to Apple Spice Cafe

Favorite quotes from Benjamin's teacher ~ "Kindergarten requires patience. Lots and lots of patience." and "I believe in teaching above the child's level as children will rise to the occasion!"

Almond Joy candy bar and the saying "Grant is so "JOY"ful for Preschool!"
Chalkboard clothespin sign, Michaels

Monday, August 17, 2015

Have to Share This

Found my daughter's shoes left out on our front stoop and I had to take a picture of them. Thoughts going through my head were..."Oh, I love how cute and little her feet are" and "I hope she never outgrows these!" Normally I'm fine with our children growing up....I know I've been there for every step of the way! But- that day these feelings caught me and took hold. Maybe because she's our youngest? Maybe because this is the first time we've had a 2 year old without another child on the way? I remind myself that I'm happy. We're blessed with 3 wonderful children. And how I GET TO spend my days raising them while learning more and more about them and myself.

Today I came across this article from this blog and I couldn't believe how much it instantly spoke to me....right to my heart. Tears flowed....still flowing in fact. ;) I want to write to the author and let her know that she put to words EXACTLY what I've been experiencing over the past 6 years as a mama. So true and so touching. Finding good-for-the-soul articles like these are what keep me in the blogosphere.

Last month when we were at my extended family reunion, the cousins of the youngest generation (the one I'm in) were asked to stand up and introduce themselves. When my turn came, I stumbled a bit which normally isn't like me! I'm normally very planned and together....but at this moment I was distracted and caught of guard...probably tired too. I think I said something like...."I'm a mom of 3 children age 5 and under---who I'm sure you've all seen running around here somewhere! My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years and we live in Logan, Utah." I later was kinda hard on myself about it...thinking why didn't I mention that I write?! Why didn't I at least list the names of my 3 children, why didn't I share what my husband does? These are all things that we've worked very hard at and are important, so why didn't I represent our family better? I know, kinda dramatic but I guess I was having one of those moments that made me think about how I may have been perceived on the outside was differently than how I feel about myself on the inside. After reading the above linked article, I no longer regret how I chose to describe myself because I too think being a mother is my best quality!

"When someone asks me to describe myself, I first say, "I am the mother of two boys," and that is no mistake. It's not because of regret or a confused response that I don't put myself first. It is my immediate response because it is my best quality -- not because it defines me. I am many other things. It's my best quality because what I continue to endure as a mother makes me feel strong. Every time I let go, every time I allow them to be who they are and go easier on myself, I feel amazing. It takes a warrior to love someone this much, and not completely lose your mind in the process.

If you are a mother, a soon-to-be mother, or a woman with the unstoppable desire to become a mother, prepare yourself for a lifetime of anguish and heartache. Prepare for disappointments, regrets, and feelings of helplessness at times. Prepare to be forced into reflection and constant change. Prepare to be the strength and the rock, and to love someone so much it causes pain. Prepare to be painfully astonished at how complete you feel because of it. That tiny human you created unknowingly forces you to become the best version of yourself. 

Over time, he or she is the protector of your life, the healer of your wounds, and the reason you feel completely safe. Our greatest victories in life come from those for whom we've worked the hardest. And that is why I will always be a mother first.

Because it tells the world I am a warrior."

I know how powerful life can be while staying present- not looking behind or ahead. Life has so many wonderful moments waiting to be discovered and I choose to do so with joy in my heart and satisfaction in my soul.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Colorado Adventure

We just got back from a 5-day adventure through the Colorado Rockies. It was our first big road trip with all 3 kiddos and even though our van is now a complete disaster (I'm soooo procrastinating on cleaning it! :O)- I'd say we all did pretty good and have my parents to thank for keeping us sane. ;)

When we took the kids out to NY a few years ago for my brother's wedding, I learned that less planning is usually better....just concentrate on maintaining the basics (such as keeping every one fed, changed, rested, and happy) and the rest will fall into place and that's pretty much how things went for us on this trip too.

 I am a huge fan of art museums. Ever since I can remember I've always been drawn to them and the Denver Art Museum (shown below) did not disappoint...even if we were one day early for the Monet exhibit :(.
LOVE LOVE LOVE these quotes currently featured at the museum.....

"What I need most are flowers, always and always."  


"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." 

- Claude Monet 

Now that we have children, I love seeing them discover art and this museum had many hands-on activities for children (and adults!) to paint, draw, and create things.

My thoughts on the city of Denver: It's BIG. WAAAAY bigger than I thought it would be! It also has a lot of excellent museums and a ton of restaurants (although this one in Vail was our fave!), reminding me a lot of Chicago. The second museum that we made it to was The History of Colorado Museum which is also fantastic for children....who doesn't love an entire floor of TOYS?! (their current exhibit). Places we wanted to go to but didn't have the time were The Money Museum (our boys are currently obsessed with coins right now) and The Aquaruim- which is also a restaurant!  

We also had a wonderful time visiting with family (this trip was also a family reunion on my mom's side) and meeting extended family members of mine from all around the U.S.

Funny happenings along the way:
  • Getting as far as Ogden (1 hr away south of Logan) before boys were already in need of a potty break.
  • Grant painting himself with chocolate....this guy is resourceful!
  • Stopping at a Subway sandwich shop for lunch in Price, UT, only to hear Benjamin's disappointment when it wasn't a REAL subway (as in an underground train).
  • Elyse stuffing pretzel sticks into her water bottle....guessing she liked watching them expand? We're still not sure....
  • Diapers doubling as paper towels (they're actually MORE absorbent!) in a pinch (aka water spilling throughout our vehicle).
  • Hearing the infamous question of "Are We There Yet?" 1 million times (no joke).
  • The city of Denver turning into Gotham City at night from the view of our hotel room window and all of the children planning their attack on The Joker....(click here to see where the Joker was hiding out)
  • Finally getting the road warrior (aka Bart) to stop driving and let us stay the night in Laramie, WY and my Dad coming up with the motto of ....."The Adventure Continues...."
  • Benjamin repeatedly calling Wyoming- Wynomie....don't know why but this is still hilarious to us....guess this is what hours in a car will do to you.
  • When we randomly pulled over for yet another kid potty break, my Dad joked that it was so Bart could check out another mountain he hadn't seen yet (my husband is obsessed with the West, even though I kept reminding me that we live in it).

Hope you all have a fun 24th of July this weekend here in UTAH....I still will probably be recovering our van from the traveling aftermath and trying to catch up with laundry! I guess family trips are equal parts work + fun.