Stella's 4th bday

DIY presents for the win!

I have mentioned before that I love DIYing gifts when possible. Especially when I can make something that I KNOW will be adored! One of my nieces turns 4 years old today! It’s so hard to believe that it’s been a full 4 years since she was born. She is a spunky little girl that loves to play dress up.  Her favorites at my house are McKenna’s tutu’s (which I don’t even let her play with – I will explain that another time) and a tie dye silk scarf that the girls use as a super hero cape. I decided that I would make both a tutu and a cape for her birthday present.

Stella birthday pic 1

Let’s be honest, what’s better than being a ballerina princess and a super hero all at once?! I’m totally loving that girls are growing up these days with strength and femininity both available to them. McKenna loves the typical girl stuff but she also adores toys that people typically think of as “boy toys”.

Stella's b-day cupcakes1

Ok back to my niece! Since I watch these two nieces once a week we had a little birthday celebration the day before her birthday. I made some “monster cupcakes” and we had a little indoor picnic lunch (we live in AZ people, it’s too hot outside!) . We were going to do lunch first but I caved and let her open her present right away and she was beyond excited! I am so glad that she loved the cape and tutu as much as I thought she would. The rest of the day was spent playing in her newly acquired dress-up items and dancing around to Disney music on Pandora.

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TTD right now

Trying to DIY right now…

be healthy tag



I had forgotten how hard it was to get food inside me when I’m pregnant. Nothing sounds good to me most of the time. If I’m lucky enough to have a food sound appetizing you can probably bet that it’s not healthy for me. :-/ Because of this I’ve started looking on pinterest for pregnancy snacks. Generally “pregnancy snacks” mean something filled with protein or maybe other necessary nutrients. I found a few lists of snacks that I’m forcing myself to look over on a regular basis until I pass this stage of pregnancy. Here are some of the ones I’ve found:

be thrifty tag


I’m working on using every bit of food that we buy. When we don’t get to it, it goes into the freezer! There are a lot of ways to save food (meal form, puree’d, cooked, raw, etc) At some point I will organize a bunch of ways that I use our freezer to save money.

feed tag

Along with the healthy snacks for me I need to entice McKenna to eat more healthily – a friend turned me onto these muffins that she calls “monster cupcakes” but really they are filled with spinach and banana (plus no frosting, mwa hahahaha)!

maintain tag


I saw a shirt that says “Napping for Two” and that is exactly what I’m doing  (when I can). I have been sooo exhausted. Needless to say I’m back to following the advice I received when McKenna was a baby. If McKenna is sleeping, I’m sleeping.

make stuff tag


I’m making one of my nieces a matching pink sparkly (of course) tutu and super hero cape for her birthday since those are her favorite toys when she comes to our house. Making a tutu is so easy! I’m making up how the cape will be but I plan on doing that as easily as possible but with a little flair.


nest tag


I’m in the middle of working on my command center and laundry room. I am so excited to get both of these done because it will make life soooo much smoother. If paper and laundry take over we are all doomed. If I call for help it may be too late.

raise a little tag

We have been so busy together lately! I’ve been focusing on counting with McKenna and made a cute toy to help that I’ll be sharing. I found this fun mermaid tail craft that I want to do with McKenna and the nieces that come over every week. We are also talking a lot about emotions ever since seeing Inside Out (we loved it!) and I’m hoping that I can help McKenna learn to express herself better and process her emotions. I found a few fun activities on Pinterest that I may share once we’ve tried them out.

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15 week collage -new

Dear Future Baby, 15 weeks

How far along: 15 weeks

Gender guess: I’m still team boy for my guess. Brandon firmly wants to believe that it is a girl. McKenna thinks I’m having twins still so when I ask her if she thinks it will be a baby boy or baby girl she responds with “boeff of dem!

How I’m feeling: I have had a lot more pain with this pregnancy but I’m trying to stay positive. I’m going to try to do some yoga that is geared towards children with McKenna this week. I used to do yoga in the mornings before she woke up. Buuuuut let’s be honest… I’m way too tired for that business right now.

Highlight this week: 

Miss anything: I miss being energized. I keep thinking that it will get better and then I’m just as exhausted the next day.

Movement: I think I might have felt something! With McKenna I didn’t feel any movement until 28 weeks due to my placenta placement. I’m really hoping that the feeling I had wasn’t just in my head.

Cravings: Nothing. Food sounds pretty gross most of the time as of late. Every once in awhile I am able to eat a lot, but it really just depends. I had a great breakfast casserole at a Pampered Chef party yesterday. I think I had 3 helpings.

Looking forward to: I have an appointment today!  I have some questions about the pains I’ve been having and whether or not marginal previa of the placenta is likely to be a problem if it was last time. Hopefully I will feel a little better after I get these questions answered.

What Brandon says about the baby: Brandon says “It’s past the zygote stage, riiiight?” < that’s my husband….

What McKenna says about the baby: McKenna wants to give the baby hugs and kisses… and binks of course. Binks = Love for her. Clearly that is something that we need to work on.


Dear future baby,

How come you need to hurt me so?! Ha ok, well you will be worth it. I can’t believe that by January of 2016 we will have you in our arms. It is an amazing thing to think about. We still have no idea where you will sleep after the initial new born stage. We wonder what you will be like. Heck, we wonder if you will be a boy or a girl! We wonder about you all the time. We wonder, and we are struck with awe.

McKenna will love you, there is no doubt. But we also worry about jealousy and how she will handle you coming into her world. I think one of the things that I am most excited for is seeing her with you. Seeing the love in her eyes for you. I know there will be times that you guys fight. But I also know how fiercely you will love each other as siblings. I know because I fiercely love my siblings. It’s gonna be great. I will leave you with that.


Love, your future Mama

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independent kiddo

Independence doesn’t mean they don’t need mama love

McKenna has always been super independent, but she has grown even more so. The other day I saw her racing to go potty so I called after her saying, “honey, do you need some help in the bathroom?” Immediately she responded with, “no! I got this, give me some space!”

I stood there shocked. Where had she heard this phrase? What made her think she needed or wanted space? At 2 1/2 does my daughter really not need me?!  After the shock wore off  I gently reminded her of the need to wipe, flush and wash hands.

What happened next was an even bigger shocker. Once she was done she wanted to read books and have some “mama love”. Mama love is a phrase I taught her to say when she needs attention, cuddles and love from her mama. I never would’ve figured that directly after such an independent act she would want to sit and cuddle with her mama. But she did.

I have no problem with my sassy independent child. She likes her space. Guess what? So do I. I don’t expect space anymore, but McKenna does give it because she wants it herself.

I keep wondering what my next baby will be like. Will he/she be just as independent as McKenna? Or will he/she be stuck to me like glue? Either way I’m super excited to meet him/her and I’m glad to have a toddler who is mostly independent, but who also knows how to tell me when she needs mama love. Before this week I was slightly concerned that she would be seen as the independent child and I would have more urgent cries to attend to. I’m so grateful to know that she will speak up for the mama love she needs and deserves.


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are you really happy or just really comfortable

Motivational Monday – Are you really happy?

I have to say that at this point in my life I am actually really happy! I have struggled with depression for most of my life and if I’m being completely honest it’s not always easy to stay happy. Maybe at some point I will talk about some of the things that have worked for me. But this post isn’t about that. Have you ever been in a situation where you were truly comfortable but maybe not happy? I have known SAHM’s who are at home with their kiddos but really don’t feel fulfilled by it. I know people who stay in positions at work where they make a lot of money but are absolutely miserable (golden handcuffs, anyone?). For me personally I’m sure I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been comfortable but not as happy as I could be. I don’t really stay in that position long. I’m actually not comfortable unless I am happy. It’s maybe even more than happy when I let loose of what isn’t bringing me joy and move into what does.

Are you really happy PRINT

Feel free to download the above printable for your personal use by clicking on the image to make it full size and then click on “save image”

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old command center

Dreaming and Scheming – Command Center

Our command center DID work for us… for awhile. But as you can see, it doesn’t work for us at all now.

What worked:

  • I loved having pens, markers, etc in the little basket on the hook
  • I had detailed lists of things to do, calendar items and other pertinent info on our roll of paper.

What didn’t work:

  • Because the paper was just a big blank space it required that I prepare it every time and well… I’m lazy – so that didn’t happen. That’s why it has since become an empty sheet of paper.
  • We always have miscellaneous papers and business cards on the magnetic strip that don’t look purposeful. It’s incredibly sad looking.
  • AND the worst part is that I’m losing stuff (not to mention my mind), forgetting appointments, and I’m generally cranky when things are crazy like this.

It was time to make a change. I started looking around the beautiful interwebs for ideas and here are a few things that I found that I might just be able to incorporate into my command center area.

command center ideas


1. I love the clipboards in the first image. I think they are beautiful and functional – plus I already have a bunch so it’s free!

2. I really like how papers are corralled by that bar and it still looks nice and put together.

3. The pic is a little distorted but this is probably my favorite! It is a mail station that Damask Love made with Home Depot. I didn’t see any instructions so I will have to play around to figure it out if I decide to do it. I have a lot of the stuff I would need from an old IKEA piece so I may try that soon. It would be really nice to have an area to sort through mail right away and then I can close it right up so that the mess isn’t seen.

4. Oh Vintage Revivals, how I love you. Mandi comes up with the most unique and useful ideas for her home. I absolutely love this calendar. My SIL recently made it which gave me the confidence I need to make one for myself. I may adjust it slightly for our needs but this is definitely happening. I have got to stop double booking myself.

I can’t wait to get my command center under control and make my life a little easier as well. Once I get it fixed up I will be sure to show ya’ll!

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to preschool or not to preschool

To Preschool or not to Preschool

That is is the question. There is a lot of discussion about Preschool when kiddos are around McKenna’s current age (2.5). On top of that we are in a Mommy Group where the kids are all about a year or so older than her, so it’s been a topic for quite some time! I have thought long and hard about whether I should put McKenna in Preschool. There are some definite reasons why Preschool is a big help. Here are the main 3 that I have kept in mind:

1. It helps children to learn their basics ahead of the game (obviously).

2. It teaches children how to  be in social situations.

3. It creates a setting early on for how to listen to directions, especially to someone other than the child’s parents.

As I consider these and have tried to think of more reasons (besides just being fun) that Preschool would help McKenna, I just can’t think of a reason to put her in. The truth is, McKenna is a smart cookie. I have gotten very lucky with her, in that I teach her something and she usually picks it up pretty quickly. Well, except for counting, ha! But that’s a story for another time.

McKenna has had the opportunity to be around a lot of children. We have our Mommy group (which has been great for her to get to know other children), we have close friends and we have cousins! When I worked she went to an Aunt’s house every day and got to spend that time with 3 of her cousins most days and 5 of them on others! Now, I watch two of her cousins once a week and she gets that time with them.

Because she has had the chance to be watched over by her Aunt and she is super comfortable with about 10 other adults watching her, I know that she listens well to other adults giving instruction.

As of right now I’ve decided not to put her in Preschool unless I see other benefits. To be honest, we almost were a part of a Preschool Co-op this summer that we were really excited about, but it was way different than most. It fell through but I’m open to other opportunities to help McKenna learn if it’s a fit for us. For now I’m happy teaching her myself and sometimes a friend or two as well!

What is your stance on Preschool? Are there other reasons I should consider putting McKenna in Preschool?

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13 weeks pregnant

Dear Future Baby – 13 weeks

How far along: 13 weeks

Gender guess: I still think it’s gonna be a boy!

How I’m feeling: I have been less queasy, but when I look at uncooked meat I do want to hurl. I am also getting food aversions like I had with McKenna (meat mostly). Almost all food sounds disgusting. I’ve also been super exhausted – except for one day where I got a ton done around the house. Then the next day I was back to blah.

Highlight this week: I had one day in the last two weeks where I felt energized and was able to get some things crossed off my list. That. Was. Amazing.

Miss anything: This week we hosted a couple for dinner and I watched 3 adults down 3 bottles of wine while I drank an Italian Soda… so wine.

Movement: None yet.

Cravings: Pizza rolls. I watched an episode of Scrubs where Turk had some and that’s all I wanted after that. To be fair, nothing else sounded good.

Looking forward to: It feels like this pregnancy is taking forever, so I’ve already started planning the gender reveal party and I’m super excited for that even though it won’t be until September!

What Brandon says about the baby: Brandon says he’s tired already, lol!

What McKenna says about the baby: McKenna is still obsessed with the heartbeat and wants to tell everyone she sees about it.



Dear future baby,

We are so SO excited for you to be here. Your daddy and I are already starting the good fight over names, and we don’t even know if you are a boy or a girl yet! I personally think you are a boy, and he thinks you are a girl. I refuse to fight over girls names yet because he is SO ridiculous about girls names. Don’t worry, whether you are a boy or a girl I won’t let you get stuck with an awful name 🙂

I’m already scheming the gender reveal party, and we are so thrilled to find out whether you will be a boy or a girl. We don’t really care which you are; we just want to start planning.

McKenna is also super eager to hold you already. She begs to hold our friends’ newborn twins all the time and when we say “no” or “not right now” she looks at my tummy and says “but I get to hold MY baby!” I’m already gearing up for that fun…

So! Be good in my tummy please!

Love, your future Mama


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I don’t share well… the covers that is!

via Apartment Therapy

I don’t know about you guys but I’m no good at sharing the covers (or dessert but that’s a whole other story). Now why am I telling you this? Well, we are upgrading to a king size bed soon and I’m starting to look at bed linens and it might be weird but I’m leaning towards getting two twin sized down comforters and duvets instead of one king size.

If you look at the article from which I took the header image you will see that I’m not alone! It’s apparently a common thing in Scandinavian countries! I’m gonna put the blame squarely on my heritage now since I’m Swedish and Danish.

There are a couple of factors at play here. The first I already mentioned…. I’m no good at sharing. The second is I hate making the bed. I’ve read a bunch of the studies about how making your bed affects your productivity, blah blah blah… I just don’t care. Let me rephrase… I must not care enough. It ranks low on my list of things that need to be done. In fact, the other day I tried to make the bed. Do you know what happened? It tried to suck my pregnant self in and wanted me to stay all day! Anyhow, now I’m looking at options and I think if I find a solid or a small pattern for the duvets it could look ok. I may be trying to just make myself believe that but either way I’m pretty sure it’s gonna happen.

Here are a couple of options from ikea that I have considered:









I think I’m leaning towards the blue and white stripes. Any suggestions? I’m open 🙂


Motivational Monday – begin!

This quote has been in my mind for the past few months as I’ve started to think about getting this blog up and ready. Of course it still took me a long time to start hitting “publish” and to stop worrying, but I am enjoying it so immensely now!

Disney Quote


Feel free to download the above printable for your personal use by clicking on the image to make it full size and then click on “save image”

I hope that whatever it is that you want to get started, that you take Walt Disney’s suggestion and “quit talking and begin DOING.”