Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate and Some 'Elf'

Sorry for the delay in posts!  We were having too much fun with my little brother in town!

Friday night particularly stands out, because we enjoyed homemade hot chocolate, a little Sequence, and our premier viewing (this season) of 'Elf'.  
Always a good laugh!

**I would omit the vanilla extract next time . . . definitely add whipped cream and a candy cane for extra goodness!**

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pooker's in Town!

Sunday night, my little brother came into town for a week's stay.  Initially, it was going to be a surprise for Steven's birthday, but Steven started feeling neglected by my brother (they have a sort of bromance) due to the fact that he will be gone for two years; (deserves its own post) and so we ended up telling him a week after the tickets were booked.  Needless to say, Steven was excited!

Monday and Tuesday night were spent:
 -making cinnamon rolls --something about Christopher and Steven together calls for cinnamon rolls.  Tradition maybe?
-I started reading the book, "Christmas Jars" by Jason F. Wright . . . so far, very sweet
-My brother and I attempted to watch "I'll Be Home for Christmas" . . .terrible/awful but full of holiday cheer, I suppose!
-Hanging out and spending some good quality time together

We love having him here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Treat Bags, Photos & Our Christmas Cards

We started to get our act together around here Sunday afternoon . . .

I made this Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow as gifts for the women that I visit teach.  They were a warm up for the big holiday baking day that I have planned for next week!  You better believe that I'm going to have an evening dedicated to Christmas treats!

We also took some pictures for our Christmas card.  Isn't this pup a gem? The red bow just kills me!  

I'm a little excited to get my printed cards back.  This year I ordered from Invitation Box . . . I snagged a good deal on Groupon and am anticipating their arrival!  I'm hoping to send them out SOON!

BTW . . . I LOVE this time of year due to all of the Christmas cards received.  I've enjoyed every single one . . keep them coming!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Can Finally Breathe

At last, I can say that the Ward Christmas Party is over and that I am now able to focus on the holidays for our own family.  It took up A LOT of time.  I think my neighbor/committee's coordinator/friend Michelle can say the same!  I heard it went well, unfortunately I have been taking a technology course on Saturday mornings and because it was a breakfast ('A Cozy Christmas Morning' - to be exact) . . . I missed out.

Friday night:  I did, in fact, focus on holiday cheer by finishing up last minute breakfast dish RSVPs and finished cutting and tying yarn on Christmas ornaments for the kids.  Dang! I really wish that I had seen how everything turned out!

Saturday:  Steven and I composed our Christmas list for family and friends.  Thank goodness for Target and Amazon.  My family's gifts will be shipped directly to my parents' house and then I get the task of wrapping presents Christmas Eve . . . sure beats extra luggage!


Last night, Steven, Megan, Austin, and I headed down to Metro Pizza  close to UNLV's campus.  It's pizza heaven.  Best I've had in this town. . . hands down!

Pizza Joy!

I needed to end the night by doing something festive and because Austin's house is a yard full of holiday wonder . . . we had to check out the Christmas collection!

As you can see, it did not disappoint!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

West Coast Christmas

I had visions of non-stop creativity and holiday bliss.  In a sense it's true, but not exactly what I had envisioned. 
Maybe it's still too early?  Maybe ward Christmas parties take up a lot of time (I mean it in a good way!)?  Perhaps real life gets in the way (ie. work, weekend class, errands, laundry, dishes)?  Or perhaps the holiday cheer will kick into high gear once my little brother gets here this weekend, school gets out, and we head off to Illinois?  We're excited for the later!

Life has been busy but it's also been good to us.

As promised, I am staying true to my countdown to Christmas . . .

I love Brooke White.  I loved her years ago on American Idol . . .I thought she was like sunshine . . . so cheerful and nice and carefree.  Her song "California Christmas" is FREE on iTunes  right now!  Living in Las Vegas, I can relate to this song --minus the sand and the beach.

It's catchy and I've been listening to it over and over again, today.

Go download it!

A Birthday and a Treat

December 5th's festivities focused on Steven's birthday rather than the holidays.  I'm a little sad that his birthday falls in December . . .

1.  Boys are hard to shop for.
2.  Gifts and surprises need to be split up throughout the year.

Mr. D finally caught up to me age-wise!  And he made it know that it was a great birthday indeed, so I'm pretty happy with that. 

Originally, I did not know how I would feel about this ice cream.  I like peppermint in small doses, usually with lots and lots of chocolate.  However, I went with the seasonal option.  I'm glad I did!  It's so creamy and it's only 100 calories per 1/2 cup . . . very little guilt there!  BUT I really wanted this to be even better . . .a brownie possibly?  So, in lieu of Steven's birthday, his mom made brownies and I took one home to eat with my Peppermint Ice Cream.  Just what I've been craving and oh so perfect!

A VERY Happy 29th Birthday to my sweet huz!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Card Keepsakes

This evening, I was in the mood to wrap, trim, and tie ribbons because tomorrow is Steven's birthday!  He's finally catching up to me.  Don't worry, he's made these last two months well-known that I'm older!

Tonight's project came from an idea I found a while back on Pinterest (of course!).  I can't part with Christmas card photos, because I love to see how much our friends and family have changed over the years.  I needed something to keep the cards organized and out for viewing.

And this is what came to be!
Materials needed:

1" Book Rings
Hole Punch
Various pieces of ribbon of different sizes and textures (depending on what you like)

Perfect for a coffee table or for keeping under the tree!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Shopping

I made a good little jump start to my Christmas shopping!  The Vegas outlets are fabulous and with the great prices PLUS coupons, they can't be beat.  So yay for some progress in the Christmas shopping department!

I also wanted to share that our Christmas decor is up and running! Besides the fact that we need a normal size tree . . . we'll wait until the good ones go on clearance; things are pretty merry around here!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On Replay

And so it is the time of year where we fall asleep to "The Holiday".  That's exactly what we did Sunday night.  It's a favorite of ours . . . Cameron Diaz is a bit obnoxious but I absolutely adore Jude Law! Such a doll.

I think a lot of it is the cottage in England.  Simply charming to the point that I wish that, I too, was there.

Speaking of other media on replay . . .

I love LOVE this song from Cider Sky

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Days Until Christmas

I've decided to do something fun in order to gear up for the Christmas holidays.  My blog has been slacking and because I loved doing "30 Days of Gratitude" (it made me feel more festive) I am doing "Capturing December" via Instagram AS WELL AS my own "25 Days Until Christmas" via the blog.

What does this entail?  Well, everyday until Christmas, I am going to do a little something to celebrate the season.  It may be a holiday movie, a craft, holiday baking, choosing festive flavors at restaurants/cafes, or doing something out in the community.  An 'interactive advent calendar' per say.  Excited to participate and excited to share . . . I have some fun ideas!

This weekend we have our good friends Matt and Loral visiting us from Vancouver, Washington.  We haven't seen them since the day we moved from UT -- over two years ago.  It's just like where we left off.  We miss them immensely, but are grateful to have them here for the weekend!  I'll share what we have been up to later this week.

Matt and Loral are foodies . . . aka my kind of people.  So they wanted to be able to enjoy the variety of chains that are good but not on every corner . . .  ie. Cafe Rio, Yogurtland, and some other places that are unique to this city.

We had a late night craving for frozen yogurt and so we took them to Yogurtland (my favorite!) where I enjoyed December 1st's day of being festive.

I ordered . . . White Chocolate Macadamia, Peppermint Hot Chocolate sprinkled with Andes Mints, and Andes Peppermint Crunch!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yet, Again!

Thanksgiving weekend was fabulous!  It's so wonderful to be able to celebrate a day of gratitude for all of the many blessings in your life, and then to have a few days off in order to gear up for the holidays.

In a lot of ways, this has been one of the hardest years of my life (maybe even hardest?) but I have grown so much; and what I do have . . .has manifested itself ten-fold.  It may sound ridiculous, but I am so happy that I consistently posted onto my "30 Days of Thanksgiving" via Instagram.  It has helped me identify the things that I do have, rather than dwell on the things that I don't have.  There have been several occasions, where I have been brought to tears with complete joy and gratitude.  I don't think that in all of my existence, I have had a Thanksgiving season quite like this one.

Life is good.

I am blessed.

I actually signed onto this little blog thinking that I would just post about one of my weekend's projects, but it just seemed fitting to express my most recent thoughts.

So yes, I made another yarn wreath.  The last one was so fun that I thought that I would try my luck at it again . . . and with a felt poinsettia tutorial on Pinterest, why not make a Christmas one?!

Any fun holiday crafting in the works for you?

With a "crafting bug" that has hit me so hard . . . I have a list full!

Monday, November 19, 2012

7 Years.

7 years.
1 dog.
4 places of residence.
7 vehicles (ridiculous).
2 degrees obtained with one in progress.
9 jobs held.
1 trip to France.
1 surgery.
1 infertility diagnosis.
1 trip to Maui.
No "itch"!

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Due to the fact that our anniversary fell on a Monday, we decided to celebrate this past weekend.  It was fantastic, simple, and so Francais!  We dined at Pamplemousse   . . . vintage Vegas at it's finest.  It's been around since 1976 and is one of Vegas's finest treasures!  You rarely find that kind of history in this town.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall Wreath

I had been wanting to make a yarn wreath for Fall.  I love how they are the perfect mix of modern and traditional and I love projects that call for various textures.

It's what I had envisioned for Fall and was a fairly affordable little project.  I'm happy with the end result!

All materials are from JoAnn Fabrics and were purchased with coupons.  Did you know that you can combine coupons there? Love it!

I learned how to make the rosettes a while back from this blog.  I actually made this wreath too, but haven't found a home on our walls for it (as is the case for MANY other things in our home).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Party

This year's election was quite the hype, I must say!  I voted early and felt optimistic . . .

However, despite tonight's disappointment . . . yes, for us it was a disappointment.  I guess I don't really care how old-fashioned/untrendy/simple-minded my political opinions are; I go by what I feel is right.  I am sulking just a tad.

On a brighter note, we had an election party this evening! Any reason to get together and socialize, is good for me.  We had a good little turnout!

"American" fare -- galore!  We munched, mingled, and watched the polls come in.  It was so much fun, we might just have to make this a tradition!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mom's Birthday Weekend in Vegas!

I need to play catch-up!  We have had a busy two weeks, with lots to talk about. . . 

Last Thursday, my parents got into town for my mom's birthday weekend.  Despite my bout with the stomach flu, we were able to celebrate our hearts out! 

Some of the weekend's events included:

-KA Cirque du Soleil - Friday night
-Two golf dates for the boys
-One hike up Lone Mountain (my Dad, Steven, Bear)
-Jazz and Dinner out at Lake Las Vegas
-Lots and lots of good conversation with my Mom (as always!)

And my family got some really great news, that deserves its very own post . . .

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Caitlin Wilson Textiles Giveaway

Remember how I said that I did some rearranging and that I moved my Caitlin Wilson Textiles Navy Fleur Chinoise Pillow over to my bed?  It's still there and I'm still in love!

I actually want her pillows galore throughout my house! That would be lovely!

   4 Men 1 Lady is doing a pillow giveaway!

Head over here!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference Weekend and Getting Festive

I love conference weekend.  So many inspiring and uplifting things are said, which make you ponder your own life and put things into perspective.  Here are a few of the quotes that struck me most with my life and our situation. . . 

"So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness — a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial." "The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don't really matter or determine our happiness. We do matter. We determine our happiness. You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness."

"No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it. Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"There is a tragic irony in the multitude of children eliminated or injured before birth while throngs of infertile couples long for and seek babies to adopt." -Dallin H. Oaks 

By definition, trials will be trying. "There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not be spiritually fatal. They need not take us from our covenants, or from the household of God." -Neil L. Andersen

It's true, we've been through a lot this year, but I can honestly say that things are getting easier and that I'm in a better place.  I'm in a place where I can hear these words and be open and receptive.  
As for my weekend of craftiness. . . 

When I received my October issue of Country Living  I thought, "I'll do that!"  They made it seem so easy. . .tape your chevron pattern, paint away, and Voila!  

Nope. . .paint came off with the painter's tape.  The only reason I finished the asymmetrical pumpkin is because I did it by hand.

On the bright side, I actually have something on my porch this year, and Halloween and Fall decorations are out! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I'm 29 today.  I can't believe it.

 Is this really my last birthday in my 20s?  Next year might be a bit rough; although a man in Bagel Cafe made me it known to me that life begins at 30 (he overheard me having a conversation with a friend).  That actually might be true . . . 30 could mean parenthood for us and that would be the beginning of a whole new adventure.

Naturally, I took the day off today.

This is what I have planned:
Movie - The Odd Life of Timothy Green seems suiting and looks charming (I have a coupon for a free ticket on my birthday . . . I'm going by myself and I'm okay with that.  Has anyone else ever seen a movie by themselves? I've never done it!)
Shopping - Have to use all of those birthday discounts!
Dinner - Grimaldi's free birthday pizza!
Treats - I'm going to eat my heart out with pastries and cupcakes because today is a day where I can.

Here's hoping that this is, in fact, My Best Year Yet.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Desk Reveal!

So, MANY years ago, I inherited this beauty . . . or rather, not so beauty.  But it's solid wood and I liked the size and shape and I told myself that one day, I would refinish it and turn it into my own little crafting/sewing space.  

The day has finally come my friends, and I couldn't be more pleased!

The key to painting wood furniture is using both an oil-based primer and paint.  I used the same paint used on my kitchen island a few months back.  I also used a paint gun (I hate brush marks!)

Paint - It's a pure white by Sherwin-Williams
Knobs - Anthropologie
Drawer Liner - found this cute pattern at TJ Maxx

A very special THANKS to my friends Emily and Laura for helping me choose the hardware while shopping at Anthro.  So many options, but I am pleased with what they helped me choose!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Weekend of Fall!

I'm back with current postings!  It's the first weekend of Fall and I couldn't be more thrilled!  It doesn't really look like Fall in these parts, but the feeling is there.

 Fall is:

My Birthday
Pumpkin everything!
Warm Smells
Soup Season
Cider Nights

I saw this photo on Pinterest and I can't get it out of my head.  Everything about it is perfect.  The mix of new and old.  The white with pops of color.  Perfection.
Source: Ginger-Snapped

Today, Steven and his Dad are doing tile in our powder room.  So excited to get that little room finished!  I'm going to finish painting my desk.  I'll post on the finished results this week.  Some good things to look forward to!

Oh, and I moved my Navy Fleur Chinoise pillow from Caitlin Wilson Textiles  onto our bed.  I had been looking around for something to add as an accent and I just feel like it works.  As I was trying it out, Steven said, "Good call on the pillow upstairs."  Originally, I was thinking something more subtle, but I'm liking the 'pop'.  I'll replace the other one downstairs.

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Memories from France - France Day 7: April 22nd 2011

Paris Day 2: Last Day in France. . .

-Woke up early and grabbed some breakfast. . .Fresh fruit and chocolate croissants!
-Cruised down the Seine River by boat (highly recommend this!) and then walked along the river again to see all of the sights up close. . .
-Paid our respects at Princess Diana's Tunnel
-Toured the Jardin des Tuileries and the Louvre grounds
- Swung by the Place de la Concorde
-Gazed at the amazing details of Notre Dame (gargoyles and all!)
-Lounged in the courtyard (oldest one in Paris) of the Place des Vosges
-Grabbed the Metro (finally!) to the Statue of Liberty (yes, Paris has one too. . . it's the model that the French presented to the U.S. - you can thank them for our copy on Liberty Island!)
-Freshened up and enjoyed the most AMAZING pizza that we've ever tasted in our lives
-Attempted (3rd time) at going up the Eiffel Tower. . .WAY too many people. . .instead we strolled the grounds surrounding the Eiffel Tower at night . . .BEAUTIFUL!
-Meandered back to our hotel, grabbed a Crepe at a small street stand (can't leave Paris without devouring one), called it a night and the perfect ending to our vacation!

Voila!!! That was our trip to France! It was everything we had hoped it would be a much more! I would say that one of the best parts is how much Steven fell in love with France and European culture. Since we've been back, Steven likes to have baguettes with dinner, uses the term "Voila" when appropriate, gets disgusted at how spoiled and ungrateful we Americans can be (it's true, we really are. . .we have to have the biggest and the best, right?!) and loves watching House Hunters International (especially when it's in Europe - but he would kill me if he knew that I told you this). We are hoping to go back next summer, if everything goes as planned!