Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Proud Mommy Moments

One of the "mean mom" things I do to my kids is make them bring lunch from home nearly every day for school.  I've come to the conclusion that I can pack them a healthier lunch for less money.  Of course I get the cold shoulder on Pizza Day (our lunch "chef" - yes she really is one - is famous for her pizza).

Basically they get to take either dinner leftovers (we have a microwave in the cafeteria for students to use at lunch time), or a sandwich, and then I have a variety of healthy sides for them to choose from.  Apples, oranges, cheese, almonds, dried fuit, etc.  I don't buy chips and cookies and such for them to take.

Even though they grumble, I have always taken pride in the fact that although I am not a health-food Nazi, my kids are having a healthy lunch every day at school.

The other day Pixie was whining about being hungry, and it wasn't dinner time yet.  I told her to have a small snack to tide her over.  She said, "but we don't have anything good!", to which I replied, "Have some almonds!"

She shot back, "I HATE almonds!"  Then it was my turn, "then why in the world do you take almonds for lunch every single day??"

Her response: "Jill loves almonds, but she hates chocolate.  So I trade her every day for her Oreos."

I thought she was learning healthy eating habits, but I guess she was perfecting her knowledge of the bartering system.

Linking up here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My kids don't know how to clean....

Seriously.  It never fails.  One of my kids (insert any name you choose) will tell me they are done with a job, only for me to come check it and be blown away at how obviously NOT done the job actually is.

For example, the bathroom is clean.  Only when I go check, the garbage can is overflowing, there is toothpaste smeared on the counter, and hair elastics spilled in the sink.  But because they picked up the dirty clothes off the floor, and put away the hair styling stuff off the counter, they think it's clean.

This goes for any room they are assigned to clean.  And even if I tell them, you have to do this and this and this in order for it to be clean...they still pull the same stunt the next time!!  So I decided that instead of wasting my breath repeatedly pointing out the things they still need to do in order for the job to be finished, I would make a checklist for each room that they need to mark off before they call the job finished.

I decided I wanted them to be sorta cute, so I turned to my handy dandy MyMemories software.  I made a different one for each room, and just for fun, I coordinated the colors of the checklists with the colors of the room they went with.  Too much?  Oh well.

I needed a daily checklist, and then a weekly one for the more deep cleaning day.  I also wanted them to be reusable.  So I decided I would glue the weekly and daily lists for each room back to back, and then laminate them.  Now they can use dry-erase marker to check off each task, and erase it once I've inspected and approved the job.  What do you think?

I punched a hole and a grommet in the top of each card, and tied some ribbon through.  They hang on a little hook on a key holder in my kitchen, and each child can take the one that corresponds with their job for that week with them and use it to make sure they finish the job to my satisfaction!  Woohoo!  Please bless that it works!

I thought of posting the printables, but then I realized that your checklist would be different than mine.  So go ahead and make some!  You don't have to use MyMemories, I just really love it.  Go here for a deal for my readers if you're interested in acquiring the software at a discount.

Do you use a checklist system for helping your kids get chores done?  How is it working out?

I'm linking up with TTUT, because I just love these girls so much!

p.s.  I have some really awesome kids.  They are the loves of my life - they are just really lame at cleaning.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

FMM - Favorites

It's been too long since I've made some new friends with Friend Makin' Monday, hosted by my totally awesome friend Kenlie.  So I decided to link up today!

The topic this week is Current Favorites:

1- Song: All In by Lifehouse.  Fell in love with it the first time I heard it, and it's always in my head right now!

2 - Drink:  I'm currently off Dr. Pepper, and usually if I can't have a DP, then no other soda sounds too appealing.  With one exception - I have been a little obsessed with Sonic's Cherry Lime-aids lately.

3 - Physical feature of the opposite sex:  Eyes kill me every time.

4 - TV show(s): NCIS  (as always), and Ringer.

5 - Actor/Actress: I started watching NCIS because of Michael Weatherly.

Check out those eyes.

6 - Book:  I am currently under a self-imposed reading ban on all novels.  But we are reading the Book of Mormon as a family, and I always love the truths and principles I learn whenever I read it.

7 - Form of communication: I'd prefer to hang out in person.  But if I can't, I would much rather have a phone conversation than a texting/emailing one.

8 - Exercise:  I'm the worst at it right now.  But today I plan to hop back on the treadmill.  I like that I can do it when my kids are home and I don't have to worry about hauling them to a gym, or finding a babysitter.

9 - Food:  Could never pick a favorite.  As is obvious by my weight - I love all kinds of foods.

10 - Quote:  I am so glad this was one of the questions - because I had already planned on sharing a quote each day this week!  For us LDS folk, it is General Conference week.  I wanted to share a favorite Conference quote each day leading up to General Conference this weekend.  Today's quote:

"While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us."  Quentin L. Cook - October 2011 Conference

Feel like making some new friends?  Then click here and go check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Confessional

I confess...

I am not good at being sick.  Spending the last 2 days huddled up on the couch under a blanket (or being sick in the bathroom) has not been my favorite thing.  I have too much crap to do!

I confess...

Feeling better as I type this, and wondering how I'm going to face actually doing all the crap I have to do, now that there's no excuse not to do it.

I confess...

If I haven't dropped 5 lbs over the past 2 days, I'm going to be ticked.

I confess...

I think it's hilarious seeing the pins that the teenage girls in my life pin on Pinterest.

I confess...

Sometimes I see a FB status, and I want to leave a really rude comment.  But I don't.  Because that wouldn't be very Christian of me.  I mean, I know it's not Christian of me to even think the rude comment in the first place - but I'm still working on controlling that.

I confess...

I'm sure there are times that people feel this way about my status updates as well.

I confess...

If my son doesn't quit reading over my shoulder, I will likely smack him.

I confess...

My house is a disaster after my being out of commission for 2 days, so I better get some rest so I can fix it when I wake up!

Have something to confess?  Why not head over to Mamarazzi's and link up?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to the stadium...

I know y'all love to hear when I do idiot things.  So here's one for ya:
As you know I went on my first 2012 soccer date Saturday night.  But what I didn't tell you was that on the way to drop the little girls off at grandma's, I was sorta thirsty.  And I had a bottle of water that I needed to empty cuz the stadium lets you bring in empty bottles to fill at the drinking fountain, but no liquid (to deter people bringing in their own alcohol).  And I'm too cheap to buy their bottled water at $4.50 a pop.  Anyway, I had my phone in one hand cuz I was calling someone, so I stuck the bottle between my knees to hold it while I unscrewed the cap with my free hand. As soon as that cap came off, of course my knees caved in the bottle, causing a volcano of water to erupt all over my, er, lap.  We're talking a lot of water.  

I called my mom to let her know we'd be coming in for a few so I could strip my jeans off and stick 'em in the dryer.  When I got out of the car, I totally looked like I'd peed myself.  After drinking a gallon of water.  Completely soaked from my lap down to the hem of my jeans.

I ran downstairs to the laundry room, took off my pants and stuck them in the dryer.  The only problem was, it kinda had soaked through to my undies as well.  And since my dad, brother, and SIL all live in the home too, I couldn't very will strip those off and stick 'em in the dryer.  My only option?  A blow dryer.

So I stood there in my parents' basement, pantless, blow drying my "lap" while the dryer took care of my jeans.

I wonder if my boyfriend would be impressed, knowing what happened on my way to see him.  
I think he's scanning the crowd, hoping to spot me so he can hide.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday - small yet significant

Unless you're super new here, you know I'm pretty much a walking disaster, and you also know that I am trying desperately to remedy that.

I'm about to embark on sort of a big undertaking as part of the process of de-chaosifying my life.  You like that word?  I totally just made it up.  I'm clever that way.

Most of you probably know Emmy - an awesome bloggy friend.  She recently went to a Power of Mom's retreat and can't say enough good about the organization.  They have a program called Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.).  Emmy kept mentioning it, so I decided to look into it.  It looked interesting.  It seemed legit.  It sounded inspiring, but I just wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure I was willing to invest money into a program that may or may not work for me.  But I kept being drawn to it, and the idea of what they claim it will do for moms.

So I reached out to them and told them a little bit about what I am trying to do.  They really believe in their product and agreed to provide the program for me to try out and review.  And also - here's where it gets interesting for you - I get to give away a copy of the program to one of my readers!

I've been pouring over the program for the past couple of days, and am really excited about jumping in.  It's going to take some time to get it fully implemented, but I'm taking you all along on my journey!  And at the end, if it is working fabulously for me, then you all KNOW it will work for you!  And we'll do the giveaway, and it will be awesome!

I've already taken a small (to you) but extremely significant (to me) step.  It's actually step #8 in the whole implementation of the system, but since I am still gathering the supplies I will need to get going from step #1, I decided this was something I could do with what I already had - my laptop.

Yesterday there were a combined total of over 4,000 emails in my 2 inboxes.  Some trash, some had info I needed, some I needed to reply to, some I wasn't sure what to do with yet, so I didn't delete them, etc.  As I type this, both of my inboxes sit at zero messages.  Zero.  And they will stay that way.  There will never be emails sitting in my mailbox for more than 24 hours.  It doesn't mean they will all have been resolved and deleted - but they will have been processed into the M.O.M. system, and be gone from my inbox.  Emmy says this step alone has made a huge difference for her.  I'll report back next week to update you on my progress, and report how the email system is working for me.

How organized are you?  Do you have a system that you swear by?  Or are you looking for something that will help you finally achieve the order you crave in your life?

I'm linking up with these chicks:

Mom Panic, an Anniversary and a Home Victory

So this weekend was packed full of stuff.  Well mostly Saturday.

Saturday was Bookworm's violin federation.  He had 3 pieces to perform in 2 different divisions.  One piece he had down.  But the other 2 he's struggled with.  Mostly due to lack of discipline while practicing.  Not working hard enough on his "trouble spots", and just going through the songs repeatedly, without ever taking enough time to focus on those trouble spots.  Also, he was slow in memorizing his required piece for the Concerto division (each of his pieces were 5-7 pages long).  Students aren't allowed to use their music.  They also aren't allowed to stop and start over.

We went early Saturday morning for a run-through with his accompanist.  It was brutal.  He choked on his concerto piece.  And once he missed something, because he hadn't memorized it early enough to really have whatever was next come naturally, he just froze and couldn't get back on track.  My heart dropped.  He went through it one more time and still didn't get it.  But then we had to leave for the next student who was using the same accompanist.  We went into a separate room so Bookworm could work on his piece.  No matter how many times he tried, he couldn't get it, and just kept getting more and more frustrated.  He was near tears and so was I.  Actually, once we got in the car to drive over to where the federation was being held, I did have some tears slide down my face.  I was sick to my stomach at the thought of him freezing up like that in front of the judges, and a room full of other violinists.  I knew he would be humiliated, and although it would be due to his own lack of discipline, it still made my heart hurt to think about it.

I prayed.  I believe that Heavenly Father helps us out when we have done all we can on our end.  I knew I couldn't ask Heavenly Father to help him play amazingly, because he hadn't put the work in to be able to do so.  But I prayed hard that he would be able to get through his pieces, and that his mistakes would be minimal, and he would be able to quickly recover his place if he lost it.  There had been times when he was practicing that he played them remarkably well.  Just not with the piano.  And since we'd had precious little time to practice with his accompanist, it really threw him off when the piano got added in.  I felt the impression to remind him that it was the accompanist's job to follow him and that he needed to just tune out the piano and go with the flow of what he had practiced all these weeks, and that the accompanist was good enough that he would be able to adapt to him if they got off on the timing.

It worked.  He didn't play perfectly, but he sounded great, and walked away with Superiors from the judges in both divisions.  Huge mom sigh of relief, and determination to pay more attention to his practicing habits before the next Federation!

Saturday was also St. Patrick's Day - which of course you know.  It's never been a day that I cared that much about until last year.  Now it is a special anniversary.  March 17 is the day I met MiMi in real life for the first time.  Still goes down as one of the best days ever!  You should totally read about it, because it was awesome.  I made sure to send a "Happy Anniversary" text so she would know I was remembering our awesome day!

Standing in a downpour outside Voodoo Doughnuts.  Why is my hair more wet?

Then came Saturday night.  You know, the night I've been waiting for, for like EVER?  Or at least since November 6, when RSL's season ended.

It was the home opener and we got tickets for Christmas and have eagerly awaited our awesome first soccer date of 2012.  And of course my boys didn't disappoint.  The atmosphere was amazing (we have the best fans) and even the rain didn't dampen our spirits as we cheered our team onto victory.

RSL fun fact:  Real Salt Lake has never lost a home opener.  Ever.  We beat New York, in case you care.

So all in one day I had a near-fatal panic attack, reached a special anniversary, and went on the first of many awesome soccer dates, that will end in victory, of course.

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Winning isn't lame....

I'm so lame!  I totally forgot to schedule this post last night because I was so worked up after attending my neighborhood caucus meeting!

But know what isn't lame?  WINNING!

And I am thrilled to announce that the winner of the amazing Cursing Crafter/Ribobn Blossoms giveaway mash-up is....

Brandi!  (B)


I'll get your shipping info and get it sent out to you right away!

Thanks to all those who entered or helped spread the word.  And don't forget to keep an eye on all the cute things we are continually adding to our shops.  There are buttons on our sidebars to help you get there quickly!

Have a happy Friday everyone!!

P.S. I love teaming up with MiMi - she's so a favorite of mine!  I suspect more collaboration in the future!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I know my post yesterday was super lame (except for the part about my awesome giveaway with MiMi).  Today I have something much more blogworthy to post about.
I have a little story to share.  It's about 2 very dear friends of mine.  They are the kind of people who you look at and spend time with, and what you take away from the friendship is the desire to be a better person.  Just because of who they are.  Do you know any people like this?  If so, you know you are lucky to know them.

Matt and Andrea have had some big trials in their lives, and have handled them with grace and unwavering faith.  I'm only going to tell you briefly about one of their trials.  It is a trial that I have never known.  One that many of us have never known, but that some of you do know.

It is the heartbreak of wanting desperately to expand your family and not being able to, while you watch everyone around you continue to welcome new babies into their families.  Matt and Andrea struggled with this trial for 8 years.

Then the joyous day came that they were able to fly to Florida and bring baby Emma home.

 And let me tell you, she is seriously one of the cutest, funniest little girls I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

Emma is now 2 years old and still an only child.  However, Matt and Andrea recently received word that Emma's biological mother is expecting another baby, and is placing the baby for adoption through a private (read: expensive) adoption agency.

What Matt and Andrea want more than anything right now is to bring Emma's biological sibling home to join their family.  And they have committed to do so.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I want to help them, and I wanted to offer any of you the opportunity to help them as well.  No pressure, just putting the opportunity out there.

One of the things they are doing to try and raise money to help pay for this adoption is an online auction.  People donate items to be auctioned off, and the proceeds from the items will go into the adoption fund for Matt and Andrea.  I'm planning to donate some hairbows and a tutu, and wanted to put out a request for anyone who would like to donate anything to the auction.  If you are interested in finding out more, shoot me an email ( or mention it in the comments, and I will send you all the deets, and you can decide if it's something you'd like to do.

Also, if you don't feel like you have anything to donate for the auction, but would like to check out the auction when it goes live, to see if there are any items you'd like to bid on, let me know and I will make sure you have all the information for that as well.

I'll just end by saying that this little baby will be so lucky to be joining such a wonderful family.  Matt and Andrea are 2 of the best people I know.  And I'm not just saying that.  Hubby and I have often talked about how we would love to pick them to raise our kids if something were to happen to both of us (although that would cause some big controversy in our own families if we ever did something like that!), because they are just such good people.  Even my son, who was 11 at the time, and a BOY at that, whispered to me how lucky he thought Emma was to be coming to Matt and Andrea's family when we first learned of her adoption.

So thank you for listening to my story, and wish us fundraising luck!!

Linking up here:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Third time's the charm?

This is my third attempt at writing a post.

The first two were deleted because I thought they were so lame.

I hate when I read over what I've written and think it sounds soooo lame.  Don't you?

That probably never happens to you.

But it does to me all the time.

Unfortunately for you, I usually just hit "publish" anyway.


So since everything I type turns out so super lame-sounding right now, I'll just leave you with this:

Have you entered the Cursing Crafter/Ribbon Blossoms Amazing Giveaway Mash-up?  Today is your last day to better hurry up!  Giveaway closes at midnight!!

And that, as they say, is all she wrote.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday, baby steps toward organization...

So, I'm about to show you more humiliating photos from inside my home.  Don't you judge me.  When you have 4 kids who loooove to draw,paint, enter science fairs that they bring home certificates from, inspirations contests that they bring home certificates from, bring home papers for rec sports they want to sign up for, coupons they earned for local attractions, report cards they're proud of, etc.  AND you are an unorganized disaster - well your fridge can quickly turn into this.

I know, embarrassing, right?  Also, the top of the fridge becomes a catch-all for crap you know you need, but aren't sure where to put it - instruction manuals, oversized workbooks, craft kits you haven't gotten around to doing with your daughter yet,, mini-propane tanks (???).

I also have this adorable personalized magnet reminder board that Tanielle gave me for Christmas.  It is not quite as bad, but still...

So I had to get this mess taken care of.  I pulled everything down and sorted through it.  I filed some crap, threw away some crap, and selected the "treasures" made by my kids that I'm keeping, and stealthily hid the others in the trash. Then I scrubbed the fridge, especially on the top where it gets that grimy grease-dust.  Does anyone else know what I'm talking about, or does that stuff just appear in my filthy house?

Here's how it looks now (please excuse the late-night editing to disguise personal info):

Now the magnet board contains 2 pieces of time sensitive info, and a cute little "important phone numbers" list that I put together in MyMemories Suite.  I've been meaning to put up that list forever so it will be by the phone when my kids are home without us, or if we take the older kids and hire a babysitter for the younger ones.  I feel much better now that I've finally got it up!

Here's the fridge!

It has my shopping list white board, and this way cute weekly "menu at a glance" sheet inside a sheet protector so I can fill it in with dry-erase marker and change it each week.

I got the printable here.  And while I was on a roll, I printed up some other great organization sheets and have put them together in a handy-dandy binder.  I've filled out the weekly menu plan and am working on filling in the other sheets.  You should click the link above if you want to check out some great organization printables.  I'll keep you posted on how they're working for me!

The first page is a weekly goal sheet that has a spot for weekly goals, and then a section for each day of the week so you can break it down.  at the bottom there is a spot for monthly goals so you can see the big picture.

These next 2 sheets are "The Eat Sheet" for weekly meal planning (left) and a blog planning calendar (right).  There are a bunch of meal planners on the website, but what I liked about this one was that the spots for each day go down the left side, and there is a shopping list section down the right side that lines up with it, so I can easily write down items needed for each meal that I don't have on hand right next to the meal they belong with.  it helps me keep track of what I still need to get for each meal.

The blog calendar has each day of the week down the left side where you can write down what you'll be blogging about.  Then the right side has a spot for "to do's" like take pictures, or finish the project you want to blog about, etc.  Then a section for blog parties you don't wanna miss (like TTUT!), and a section for ideas for next week.  We'll see how it works!

So that's what I tackled this week...please keep your fingers crossed that it works for me!!

Linking up with these ladies:

Seriously Shawn

p.s  the Cursing Crafter/Ribbon Blossoms Amazing Giveaway Mash-up ends tomorrow - so be sure to go enter!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bidding farewell to the red KitchenAid

Once upon a time a pretty little shiny red appliance came to live on my counter top.  We'll call her Red.
Red was a Christmas gift my MIL bought for herself when she sold her home and also received a small inheritance when her Dad passed away.  She was living in a town home at the time.  Eventually due to some tough times she decided to move into my BIL's home.  BIL's wife already had a fancy Bosch mixer, and therefor Red was not welcome in the new home.  That is how Red came to live with me.

Oh the times we had together.  Trying new recipes, making old favorites with so much less hassle than in my pre-Red days.  It was a match made in foodie heaven.

But alas, as we all know, all good things must come to an end.  And so it was with Red and me.  At the end of last year my MIL qualified for some really nice, new senior housing that is near her work and moved out of  BIL's house.  And heartbreakingly, she called for Red to return to her.

We had one last hoorah, Red and I.  Making a new recipe that I discovered over the Holidays.  And it seriously might be the best thing I've made in my life.  Ever.  And so I'm going to share it with you.

I found the recipe here via Pinterest.  And I made a slight change.  Because I'm cool like that.  I'll post the recipe at the end, and tell you the change I made along the way.

We mixed up the ingredients for some rockin' egg-free cookie dough.  It seriously tastes amazing.  Like I could totally just sit down and eat this stuff with a spoon. (And may have.  A little.  I'm not admitting anything.)

And it always helps to have a beautiful young assistant for this step.

You cover that stuff before you can eat it all gone, and stick it in the fridge to chill for an hour.

Next, you roll it into little 1 inch balls and place them on waxed paper on your cookie sheet.  You stick those in the freezer for 20 minutes.

I totally used foil instead of waxed paper because I was out of the WP.

The next step is the fun/messy part.  Melting some almond bark and dunking those tasty little suckers.  The recipe calls for dark chocolate, but since the mini chocolate chips were already semi-sweet, I used milk chocolate, and also some white chocolate.  Dip them, and then let them set for a few.

I promise you, you will NOT be able to stop eating these.  They are soooo addicting.  My faves are the milk chocolate, about half my family prefers the white, but we all agree that both are muy delicioso.  Also, for the record, my mom made some with the dark chocolate coating, and they totally weren't as good as the milk or white, in my opinion.

With that, we unplugged and cleaned Red for the very last time.  Here she sits waiting for MIL to come take her away.

I miss her - but I have my eye on a couple of new cuties:

Which do you like better?

Here's the recipe for the amazing cookie dough truffles.  Go make them right now!  They will change your life.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

YIELD: 3-4 dozen
PREP TIME: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 2 1/2 hours


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz dark chocolate candy coating


Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add soymilk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1" balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler or in microwave according to package directions. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Tap fork on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week (though good luck making them last that long).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Confessions, confessions....

Linking up with Mamarazzi today for Friday Confessional.  You should try's good for the soul.

I confess...

I've gotten into it online this week.  More than a few times even.  Not sure what got into me.  It started out as defending someone awesome that I love against some completely unwarranted criticism/attacks.  And it just snowballed from there.  I guess it left me feeling combative - because I was jumpin' into "debates" all over the place!

I confess...

My husband found it somewhat amusing.  Does anyone else find it slightly insulting when their husband is "amused" at a time when you are feeling so worked up about something?  I do.

I confess...

I'm over it.  The being annoyed at my husband part, I mean.  Because even though he doesn't get as worked up as me, he still supported me in one of my "causes".

I confess...

I'm a little bummed at the low entries in my fabulously awesome giveaway mash-up with MiMi.  Because we rock.  So you should enter.  Or at least spread the word to help us get popular and crap.  Mmmkay??

I confess...

Yes the above confession was a shameless and pathetic plea for attention to our giveaway.  So?

I confess...

I've been seriously conflicted every time I see this: #KONY2012.  I've spent ridiculous amounts of time (seriously wasted the entire day yesterday) reading supporting and opposing viewpoints, watching videos, and second-guessing everything I read.  But I am glad to say that as of this post, I am at peace with my decision not to support this campaign.  If you care to know why, leave me a comment and I'll email you my thoughts.  I may do a blog post about it, but then again I may not.

I confess...

I have been feeling blah the past week.  I'm not sure why exactly, but I've learned that the times I am feeling low are usually the times I'm thinking more about myself, than focusing on serving others, and being grateful for my blessings.  So I'm making a big effort to redirect my focus, and see if I can pull myself out of this funk.  I've already been working on it a little, and feel more than a little better.

I confess...

That one thing that is seriously cheering me up (that is completely shallow, and unimportant in the big scheme of things) is that the Major League Soccer season officially starts tomorrow!  First Kick for my RSL Boys is at 8:30 tomorrow night in L.A.  And it will be a family TV night for sure!

Keeping my fingers crossed that this boy will be able to play - it was still questionable last time I heard.

Chris Wingert courtesy of a cleat to the face.  Credit
For a way grosser picture, before the stitches click here.

I confess...

Confessions are sorta fun - even if you aren't Catholic.  So you should do it.  That's all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Amazing Giveaway Mash-Up!

 It's seriously the best mash-up since NKOTBSB (if you don't know what that is, I'm so sorry)!!  I'm talking The Cursing Crafter meets Ribbon Blossoms!


equals:  AWESOME!

Seriously what could be better?  Did I hear a NOTHING?  Well that is ALMOST correct.  The only thing that could be better is a Cursing Crafter/Ribbon Blossoms mash-up with FREE stuff for you!!

That's right - we're combining our super powers for a totally awesome giveaway!  Here's the scoop:  

MiMi (the fabulous Cursing Crafter) thought it would be a fantastic idea to pair one of her stinkin' adorable handkerchief dresses with a pair of my (Ribbon Blossoms) sassy hair bows.  A match made in Etsy Heaven, right?  So of course I was totally on board.  

Do you have a special little girl in your life?  Or know someone who does?  Then you are going to want to win this!  What an awesome Easter present this would make!

Here's what's up for grabs:

MiMi made this darling Owls on Parade handkerchief dress (can also be worn as a shirt for older girls) and then I made 2 coordinating hair bows.  Cute, right?!

So here are the rules to enter.

Both of our shops are looking for promotion.  We need likes on our FB Fan Pages, shares on FB, Twitter, Blogs, etc.

So by doing each of these things, and leaving a separate comment for each thing you do, you will get the designated amount of entries.  You have a lot of chances to get a lot of entries!

Also, you can comment here or at Living in France, but please don't comment on both, so we can keep track of entries.

**Mandatory Entry**
Visit each of our shops and tell us your favorite item from each.  Go here for Ribbon Blossoms, and here for Cursing Crafter.

"Like" Cursing Crafter on Facebook (1 entry)
"Like" Ribbon Blossoms on Facebook (1 entry)
Heart Ribbon Blossoms on Etsy (1 entry)
Share the giveaway on Facebook (1 entry)
Tweet the giveaway!  You can do this once daily (3 entries for each tweet)
Blog the giveaway (3 entries)

We know it seems like a lot of stuff, but the name of the game is promotion!

If you refer someone to one of our shops and they buy something, you get 10 entries!  Just let us know that you sent them!!

So how's that for fabulous?  No really - tell me how fabulous it is!  Actually just get busy earning your entries!  You have until 11:59 p.m. MST on Wednesday March 14!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where was I?

Oh yes, Sami and I had just ended Hawaii Five-O night and I was telling you about the rest of her visit.  To read part 1 go here.

So we had gotten Sami some sweet new skinny clothes, and now it was time to accessorize!

Tuesday we headed to a friend of mine's house because she was selling Paparazzi Jewelry, but has decided to stop selling it and was getting rid of her inventory.  Sami left with some sizzlin' new jewelry to accessorize her new hot wardrobe!  But we weren't done yet...

Tuesday night was hair flares!  I know you've heard me talk about them before.  As had Sami, and she was feeling adventurous.  So my stylist friend came over and put some sparkling gold hair flares in for both of us.  Sami's looked awesome because of the color of her hair.  I mostly just got them for moral support, because I knew Sami was nervous about getting them.  And I think her husband was as well!  I told her that when she went home he was either gonna love me or hate me!  But according to her he liked the hair flares, so...phew!

We loved having Sami in our home, and we hope she comes back soon!  Every time we sat down to dinner, Monkey said, "I get to sit by Sami!".  She was as amazing in person as I knew she would be and I feel blessed to call her friend.  Wednesday morning came all too soon, and we had to drop her off at the air port.

I'm grateful we got to spend time together, and I'm so proud of her for working so hard to reach her goal.  I also was inspired by her to get my butt in gear.  I had a blast watching her try on adorable clothes that she looked fabulous in...but I'm not gonna lie - I was also jealous that I couldn't do the same!  So I am going to kick it into gear and get it done!  Then maybe we can have another "reward visit".  She did say she would come back and go shopping with me when I reach my goal - so I'm gonna hold her to it!

People who don't blog don't "get it".  They think it's weird to make friends over the internet, and then meet them in person.  But I know you all know that making friends blogging is a "true" way to make good friends, and those lucky enough to meet some of those friends in person will agree with me that blogging creates lifelong friends.  I love you Sami - can't wait to hang out IRL again!  Very soon I hope!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

Blogging has definitely taught me this!

Last week I had the opportunity to meet a dear blogging friend whom I have considered a real friend since long before we actually met in person!

I went back to try and find the first time I commented on her blog, or she on mine, but then my eyes got tired, and I never figured it out.  Let's just say my friendship with Sami started a couple of years ago when we found each other through blogging, and then you know how it goes - emailing back and forth, exchanging numbers and texting, and finally the actual "voice" interaction!

Our first actual phone call happened because I got her hooked on Hawaii Five-O (through a blog post - what else?), and she needed me to fill her in on the story line because she started watching partway through the first season.  Ahhh... such a tender memory.

ANYWAY... Sami has sort of been on a blogging hiatus as of late, posting a couple of updates, but really not much action in the way of blogging.  So I will let you know that she has been on a "slim-down" journey and has been fabulously successful!  When she first started talking to me about her goals, we sort of "hatched" the plan that her reward for reaching her goal weight could be a trip to Utah to visit!  Her husband agreed and the plan was on!  She would be coming for a week, and stay the first half of the week with Evelyn (another friend she met and got close to through blogging who she got to meet LAST year when Evelyn flew to Texas.  Are you following?) and then stay the last half with me!  And last week was that week!

She flew in Wednesday night, and stayed with Evelyn (whom I actually met a few weeks earlier when she ordered a tutu and bow set for her daughter's birthday and we met to make the "exchange").  Thursday I went to visit at Evelyn's (who actually lives like 90 seconds away from me!) and got to meet Sami in person for the first time!  I'm not going to say I wasn't nervous, but it was so good to finally meet her.  I stayed for a short while because I knew she and Evelyn had plans for their time together.

Then Saturday night the 3 of us met for a girls' night and had such a great time.  So cool that I actually got 2 new friends out of the deal, and one of them lives so close!  After dinner Sami and her luggage came home with me and she stayed until the following Wednesday.  Here's a little run-down of our time together.  I know y'all don't need a play-by-play, but this is my journal too remember!

Saturday night we stayed up way too late talking!  Then Sunday she came to church with us, and afterward we all went to Temple Square (which she has been to before) and saw "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration" (which she hasn't seen before) at the visitor's center.  We walked around for a bit after and then headed home.  Once again we had a late night chatting.  In fact that was the case pretty much every night.  I was sooo tired when her visit came to an end, but it was so worth it getting the chance to share things with each other, talk and get to know each other and each other's stories so well.

Monday it was shopping day!  Sami's husband had sent her with a new wardrobe allowance because she needed some new threads that actually FIT her rockin' new bod!  So we hit the shopping plaza near my house.  Then I took her to show off my school, because I'm really proud of it, and it's not really MINE, but I like to call it that, and I like to think I had a little bit of a role in it's awesomeness.  We had lunch at the best sandwich shop in the world, and snuck a sandwich in to Tanielle at the hospital, because she had her baby the same day Sami came to stay!!  After picking the kids up from school, we had more shopping to do!  On to the mall!  We tried on awesome (and by awesome I mean insanely crazy) sunglasses, and took pictures of ourselves in tiaras, because we knew it would make MiMi jealous (she wants to be a princess,you know.  With a tiara - in case you've never heard her say that).  I only have one lame picture because the rest are on Sami's phone, and she texted them to me, but then I forgot to save them before my inbox got full and the messages got erased!

I think the 17 year old working at Claire's thought we were kinda special...but we didn't care!

Sami went home with a fabulous new wardrobe.  I bet her husband was THRILLED when she modeled some of her sassy new threads for him!

After a long day of shopping, it was time for Hawaii Five-O!  After 2 seasons of texting each other back and forth while we were watching, we actually got to watch it together!  It was the bomb-diggity!

And now, because this post is getting soooo long, I'm going to continue it tomorrow.  I hope you come back!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Confessional - celebrating my randomness

So, forever a little while ago, my sweet friend Tanya over at Frou Frou Britches gave me a little award.  You should seriously check her out - she is so one of my favorites!  And since I have taken forever to post it, and I have missed out on Friday Confessional for too long, I decided to combine them - because I'm clever that way.  I was given the Versatile Blogger award - basically because I am just all over the place!  Here's what it looks like:

I'm supposed to tell you 7 random things about myself (are there any left?), which I will do in the form of 7 confessions, and then pass the award to 15 others, which I will do in the form of not doing it, because I'm lazy.

Ready?  Here we go:

1 - I confess that I have some FB friends who I would like to delete, only I can't because it would be very obvious if I did, and it would cause hurt feelings and drama.  Don't worry - no one who reads this blog.  I think.  I mean no one who I KNOW reads this blog, anyway.

2 - I confess that judgmental people bother me.  But what bothers me more is that I know I am one.

3 - I confess that I have watched this video about 13209 times already.  I watch it at least once a day.  Sometimes more.  Partly because I want to memorize it, but mostly because it is 1 minute and 16 seconds of  pure awesome.  I don't care who you are - it is awesome.  Just watch it - you'll see.

This was a fan-made video, and it blew up - we're talking the news, the official team page, the players tweeting and facebooking it.  It has been adopted as the team anthem and I'm going to be one of 20,000 strong singing it on March 17.  I can't wait.

4 - I confess that I would rather wait in line behind 11 people at Walmart, rather than use the self-checkout lane.

5 - I confess that I cannot stand Adele.

6 - I confess that Cowgirl lost a tooth Tuesday night, and the tooth fairy has forgotten for 2 nights in a row now.  Thank goodness she remembered to set an alarm to remind her tonight (techinically LAST night by the time you read this).

7 - I confess that this isn't the first time that the tooth fairy has forgotten her duties.  Or the 2nd or 3rd even.  What can I say?  Mother of the year right here.

Whew!  Feels good to get that all off my chest.  Now click the button if you'd like to link up some confessions of your own - or just read everybody else's deep dark secrets!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's important to show gratitude....with candy

First let me say that if you haven't gotten a visit from me very recently, it's not because I've abandoned you!  I have just been hanging with my bloggy turned IRL friend Sami.  And it was awesome.  And I will be posting about it soon.  But not today.

Today I'm going to share what we did for a quick, yet heartfelt thank-you a couple of weeks back.

You may remember that Bookworm and Pixie performed in the school talent show last month.  Sometimes it's hard to share your talent without the help of someone else.  For example, Pixie had just barely started taking piano lessons, but she really wanted to show what she had learned.  Her piano teacher Lisa (who also happens to be the musical director and Discovery coordinator at our school) worked with her on a new song, AND played a duet with her to help her showcase her talent.  Bookworm needed an accompanist for his violin piece.  It was REALLY fast, and Lisa's sister Emily (who also happens to be a founding member and former Board member at the school) volunteered to play for Bookworm at the last minute (when our other plan fell through), and had to quickly learn the piano part to his number.  Both of them took extra time out of their days to practice with my kiddos.  Letting us come over to their homes, and intrude on their family time, coming into the school early the day of the talent show to run through their performances and make sure they were both comfortable with their pieces, and just being generally kind, supportive and encouraging.

I think it's important to show gratitude when someone is generous with their time and talents, and I think it is extremely important to teach my kids to show that gratitude as well.  We were going to make some amazing treats (that I will also share soon), but then I remembered that my hand-mixer had broken.  And my Kitchenaid that I had inherited from my MIL when she was living with my BIL, had reverted back to her ownership when she got her own apartment.  So homemade treats were out.  Then I remembered the awesome candy bar Birthday invitations I made for Pixie's 8th Birthday, and thought they would also work well for some cute and yummy Thank-you's.

I stopped at the store and picked up a couple of the GIANT Symphony candy bars.
I had Bookworm and Pixie each write a thank you note to Lisa and Emily.  While they were doing that I whipped up a cute little "thank you" label.  

Each of the kids picked out some scrapbook paper (okay really Pixie picked them both because Bookworm is not into picking scrapbook paper).  After carefully removing the outer paper wrapper from the candy bar, they used that as a template to trace a label onto the scrapbook paper.  I had them make it a little bit longer, just because scrapbook paper is thicker, and I wanted a little more overlap so that it would hold better.

They wrapped the scrapbook labels around the candy bars, securing them with tape, and then glued the "thank you" labels on the front.  We paired the candy with the thank you cards from the kids, and dropped them off at their houses.  

They turned out really cute, and it was a perfectly "sweet" way to say thank you to some really sweet friends.

You can make these as simple, or as elaborate as you want.  I didn't have the time this time, but I also thought it would be cute to scrap the flowers onto the thank-you label, instead of just print them.

I made the label in MyMemories Suite.  I am finding so many awesome ways to use this software!  Remember you can purchase the software here, and use this code for a $10 discount, plus a $10 coupon for the MyMemories store! STMMMS392

What are some simple, yet heartfelt ways you have found to express your gratitude?

I'm linking this post up to Serenity Now's Weekend Bloggy Reading!

Weekend Bloggy Reading