Thursday, December 30, 2010

6 months

Congratulations Caroline- you've made it halfway around the calendar!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry & Bright

Santa Claus comes tonight and my kids couldn't be more excited. We'll be spending the day doing some last minute baking and gift wrapping and if I have time, I might also try to make a beautiful snowflake garland like the one pictured above. You can find some how-tos here and here if you want to make one too. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yellow Shoes

I know it's flipping freezing outside but someone should buy these, tuck them away for a few months and then wear them with a cute summery skirt. Just an idea.

Camping Trailer

Just before Thanksgiving, Jared and I became the proud owners of a vintage (late 70s) Tag-Along camping trailer. It's in great shape and it even has a cute stripey awning! We're hoping to take it on a maiden voyage before the New Year (hopefully somewhere a little warmer than Ohio.) I've already started planning some epic family road trips for the future in my head: Yellowstone, the Pacific Highway and New England are high on top of my list.

Update: The trailer pictured is not Jared and I's camper. (Ours isn't nearly as cute...yet!) However, the one pictured is available for rent in the UK. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Love Your Style: Lauren Hutton

In case you don't stalk the J.Crew website, American style icon Lauren Hutton is currently featured with some very valuable words of wisdom regarding fashion:

You never want to look like you've spent too much time getting dressed.
I like mixing expensive with inexpensive. And i like easy things that don't normally go together...
Get to know your proportions. one of the secrets to figuring out your proportions is to really listen when people pay you a compliment, especially if you're getting the same compliments over and over. If someone says something looks good on you, look in the mirror and take note. There's a reason.
It's massively important for me to feel comfortable in what i'm wearing. it just makes me feel better, then my face looks better. When you show the world your best face and your best self, you quite often get that back.
Developing your very best personal style...involves a lot of trial and error.
I want to wear whatever looks good on me, no matter where it comes from.
Don't shy away from color, but be sure to learn what works best with your skin tone.
Fashion is what you're offered four times a year. Style is what you pick out of that's what you make of it once you've learned what to accept and ignore based on what best suits you.
Click here to check it out!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well Hello December

November sort of slipped through the cracks but here we are in December and winter has officially arrived. On the very first day of December we were greeted with light flurries which left a delicate dusting of snow all over. It has been flurry-ing lightly every since so we have had a snow covered yard almost all month which makes for high Christmas spirits. And, speaking of the Christmas spirit, I had the pleasure of attending my very first performance of Handel's Messiah Sunday evening. Wow. Marietta College collaborates with the community to put on the performance each year at St. Mary's Catholic church on 4th street. The venue in and of itself is spectacular since the church is huge and beautiful at every turn but the performance was equally breathtaking and so powerful. For a little history on Handel and to watch a performance of the Hallelujah chorus to get you in the spirit, see here.

Friday, October 29, 2010


There are very few things in this world I enjoy more than seeing little kids in Halloween costumes. This year Spencer dressed as a cowboy and Mitchell was a superhero he called "Stormy." He and Jared created the concept and then Mitchell took the liberty of designing the costume, right down to the rocket boosters on his boots. I took these pictures last night- right before we went trick-or-treating with my sister and her kids in our old neighborhood in Columbus. We are looking forward to more Halloween fun this weekend with cool temperatures, a little more trick-or-treating and hopefully a date night for Jared and I to a local attraction called The Castle which offers eerie ghost tours this time of year. I hope your Halloween weekend is spooky and spectacular!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hot Diggity Blog's Best Places to Live 2010

Jared finishes his graduate program next summer and will be gainfully employable as a Physician Assistant. (Hip hip hooray!) The cool thing about his career is that PAs are needed just about everywhere. This puts us in a lucky position of being able to choose where we would like to live. Our families are both from Ohio and aside from his 2 year mission in Brazil and my two years of college in Utah, we have always lived here. We love Ohio (most of the time) and we love living close to our families (most of the time), so chances are we'll end up sticking around. However, we can't help but wonder if there is something we are missing somewhere else (I'm thinking mild, sunny winters) and by choosing to stay in Ohio we are missing what might be our last great opportunity to pack our bags and experience something new before our kids get older and we get settled comfortably right here. Anyway, it is something we have been thinking a lot about lately and we have been all over the map: from Alaska to Virginia, from Texas to North Carolina, from Idaho to Michigan. So, I'm posing the question to you - If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would it be and why? Perhaps it is the city where you are currently living, the state where you grew up or a place you frequently visit for vacation. Don't forget to include the why- I'd like to know the reasoning behind your choice (good schools, close to family, low cost of living, great weather etc.) Okay. Ready, set, go!

(United States pin map from here.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Speaking of Babies...

Caroline keeps getting bigger by the second! She's getting more and more animated- babbling, cooing and smiling. She loves to play pat-a-cake, stand up in my lap and kick and play in her bare buns. I'm loving her sweet little lips, her chunky thighs and her oh-so-dainty eyelashes. :)

(3.5 months)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I watched a really good documentary last night called Babies. There is no commentary, just film accompanied with music and it follows the first year of four babies from different parts of the world. Seriously, such a great little film! It was interesting to see the circumstances in which the babies came into the world and how different their surroundings are but I also enjoyed seeing the similarities in their development. (Even kids in Mongolia unravel the toilet paper!) All the babies were super cute but I'd have to say the little boy in Mongolia was my favorite. You can watch the trailer here and if you have Netflix, the movie is available on-line.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and post about my trip to Houston. It was short but fantastic! My younger brother and his wife have the cutest little girl with loads of thick dark hair. I considered trimming a bit off and fashioning a wig for Caroline! :) Aside from lots visiting and feeding babies, we also went to the beach in Galveston, the boardwalk in Kemah and a quick shopping trip to old town Spring (the suburb where they live.) I was pleasantly surprised by Texas and happy to report that many things there are definitely bigger- all except for the babies. Check out chunky Caroline compared to her more petite cousin, Roslynne! (Caroline is six weeks older, but still...)

My mom and three of my four siblings.

Pretty palm tree on the boardwalk in Kemah.

Caroline visits the Gulf of Mexico!
(She's not so sure about the bright sun.)

O-H-I-O! Just bringing a little Ohio pride to the Lonestar state.

Caroline and her cousin Roslynne.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Lone Star State

I'm hopping on a jet plane tomorrow headed for Houston. My brother and his wife just had a baby so Caroline and I are going to go visit them and meet her newest cousin. I'm excited because I have never been to Texas and word on the street (well, at least the streets in Texas) is that everything there is bigger and better. I guess I'll find out for myself and bring back a full report next week. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monogram Totes

I got my craft on last week (for the first time in a long time!) and made some easy monogram totes. You can find the canvas totes at any craft store. (I got mine at JoAnns.) They come in packs of four and if you use a 40% off coupon, they end up being about $1 per bag. I used Microsoft Word for the letters (the font is Elephant, the size is 550), printed them onto cardstock, cut them out and then traced them to fabric which I had backed with Heat'n Bond ultra. Once the letter is traced to the fabric, cut it out and follow the heat'n bond instructions for ironing it to the bag. Finally, embellish as desired!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

This recipe (from Cooking Light) is soooo delicious. It's been a personal favorite for quite some time. It is easy for a quick family dinner but sophisticated enough for a dinner party or other special occasion. Try it for yourself-you won't regret it! Find the recipe here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


When it comes to big box stores, I'm definitely a Target kind of gal. (But really, who isn't?) However, since the closest Target is now two hours away from me (sniff, sniff), I've been doing more shopping at Wal-mart. On a visit last weekend, I found some random things I thought were worth sharing.

Black ballet flats. I tried on a pair in the store and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they are. Although they have no arch support, they are made of cloth and have a bit of cushion which helps. Also, they come in a variety of colors including a dark chambray and black with white polka dots. Really, a great little shoe for under ten dollars.

Classic White dishware by Canopy. I have always preferred plain white dishes (they go with everything and I think food looks better without a pattern inferring.) I haven't purchased dishes since Jared and I were married so we are running a little low on bowls and plates. Not all white dishes are created equal, mind you, and not only do these feel nice and sturdy but the design is simple and classic. Love! (The on-line reviews basically confirm that these are the best dishes in the world so if you are in the market for new dishes, look no further!)

Timex Men's Classic Leather watch, $35. Although it is designed for men, I tried it on and there are enough holes in the band that it sizes down to fit my wrist nicely and it doesn't look too bulky. (I do like my watch to be a little on the large side though.) I also like the white stitching on the band. Wal-mart. Who knew?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Purl Soho

Lots if beautiful and inspiring images over at Purl Soho have me craving a sewing project (or a pretty wall display.) I'm especially loving all the bright, funky floral prints in the Tana Lawn Classics line by Liberty of London. Speaking of Liberty of London, don't these little coin purses look delightful?

Monday, September 13, 2010

One Year Older (and wiser too!)

I turned thirty yesterday and ate me some coconut cream pie to celebrate. And just in case you are wondering, thirty is totally the new twenty. Totally.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stripes + Flowers = Perfection

You may have already heard of the on-line shop, EmersonMade. (She makes fun flower accessories and clutches.) I popped into her shop a few weeks ago to delightfully discover that she has expanded her brand into an adorable clothing line. Pieces are pricey but it's worth a look just for the excellent styling. Makes me want to buy some ducks and chickens and chase them around the barnyard wearing cute clothes all day. Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Wedding/Blessing/Birthday Weekend Part II

Sunday, we blessed Caroline at our church and celebrated Mitchell's 5th birthday! Here are some photos of the fun:

The best picture I could get of the entire family.
After 3 hours of church it's an almost impossible feat.

The birthday boy, who requested spaghetti for dinner.
(He is a picky eater and likes his spaghetti straight - no sauce.)

The spectacular rally car cake, made by Jared.

Cake number two, provided by Mitchell's grandpa (my dad)
You know it's going to be a good year when it starts out with two cakes.
Happy Birthday Mitchell! And happy blessing day Caroline!

The Wedding/Blessing/Birthday Weekend Part I

On Friday we attended a wedding celebration for our nephew Luke and his wife Nyla who were married in the Columbus Ohio Temple the week prior. First, the happy couple:

The weather was perfect for their backyard reception. The boys had fun dancing with their cousins...

and I had fun hanging out by the trifle buffet (yum!) and admiring all the twinkling lights they decorated with. These hanging votives made from baby food jars were my favorite!
Congratulations Luke + Nyla!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Just Ate Way Too Many Cookies

I had a some grated zucchini in my freezer that I wanted to use up so I thought I'd give this recipe a try. Oh me, oh my! These cookies are soft and chewy with a cake-like texture and are really yummy. (Just an FYI: I've made similar recipes that are equally as good flavor wise, but for whatever reason always crumble on the bottom when I take them off the cookie sheets? Anyway, I didn't have that problem with this recipe. Also, I'm thinking grated apple would be a good substitute for the zucchini if you are looking to mix things up!)

Soft Zucchini Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups grated zucchini (I didn't measure and probably only used two cups)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream shortening, sugars and eggs until fluffy; stir in zucchini. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to zucchini mixture. Stir in oatmeal until well blended. Add nuts and chocolate chips or raisins. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until barely golden around the edges. Delicious!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Firm

Two months post baby and it is time to "firm" things up again. Perhaps you are looking to firm things up as well? If so, the above video is hands down the best workout video ever made. Jared's sisters recommended it to me several years ago and although it is really one of the only work out videos I've ever done, it is still really good! Note: it is a bit dated. The people in it are wearing leotards, leg warmers and way too much blush and the music is super lame but it is still the best workout! You can find it on VHS pretty easily on Amazon but I also stumbled across the DVD too. I have another sister-in-law who is an aerobics instructor and she recommends the Get Ripped series by Jari Love. I own a few of her DVDs and it is also good, especially if you like working out with weights like I do. I just wanted to share a few of my favorites but I'm always up for trying something new. Leave me a comment if you have another great recommendation!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cloth Diapers

I am considering taking the plunge into the world of cloth diapers. I realize it is better for the Earth, which is nice and all, but I'm mostly thinking about it because it is better for our wallet- (diapers are expensive)! Although the initial investment seems hefty, over the long haul, we could end up saving a substantial amount of money, especially since we are not done having kids. However, I still haven't decided if the hassle of cloth diapers would be worth the amount saved. I've only done a little research on-line but it looks like many brands, including g diapers and bum genius, are pretty easy to use with a fit that resembles a disposable diaper (no folding or pins required). Cloth diapers have really come a long way because seriously, are those pink ruffley buns not the cutest thing you've ever seen?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black Flats

As my 30th birthday approaches, I have come to the realization life is way too short to wear uncomfortable shoes. Especially flats. Really. I am still trying to figure out the mystery as to why most flats are extremely uncomfortable. Maybe I'm too finicky but the flats I've tried on are always WAY too wide and either too big (so my heel slips out when I walk) or too small (so my big toe is smooshed to the front.) Also, how hard is it to put a little cushion and some arch support in a shoe? With that said, I am in need of a new pair of basic black flats. I feel they are a chic alternative to tennis shoes for running errands and the like. Since I spent a lot of time searching, I figured I'd share a few comfy options I found on-line in case you are in the same predicament:1. Ruby&Bloom, found here.
2. Cole Haan, found here.
3. Puma, found here and here.
4. Calvin Klein, found here.
5. Born, found here.
6. J.Crew, found here.

Apparently a little comfort comes with a hefty price tag. Aside from a pair of Doc Martins I bought in high school, I don't think I've ever spent more than $50 for shoes. What are your thoughts? Do you think a comfortable shoe is worth the higher price tag? I'm curious to know your thoughts on the subject.