Friday, November 29, 2013

A Black Friday Story

Thanksgiving 2011.  All the girls, minus my sister Kellie who was on an LDS mission.

Are you a black Friday shopper?  I have never been big on it.  I don't like shopping all that much (but I DO, but I don't.  It's complicated) and I love sleeping in (despite being a morning person) and since I just contradicted my two main points I don't have much ground to stand on except to say, it's just not my thing.

But I do love fabric.

So two years ago, Olivia was only 8 months old and we had come home from Thanksgiving at my aunt's house earlier than Adam (Adam cannot leave a party.  He will be the last one there.  It's a good thing he doesn't drink)  In fact Adam didn't come home, he spent the night.  Olivia was a 6am riser in those days and so after feeding her breakfast I thought, let's just swing by JoAnn's, it's soooo close.

I arrived, strapped Olivia into my front pack carrier, and took a number.  As I shopped I paid attention to how fast the numbers were being called and when I was done collecting fabric they were still a long way from my number.  And Olivia was starting to fuss because it was getting to be nap time. 

I knew we weren't going to make it.

It was a long shot, but I thought maybe I could park my cart in a less trafficked area and come back for it.  I parked it towards the back of the store, and decided that if I came back and it was still there, great.  If not, well that was okay too.

Olivia and I went home.  She took a nap, I showered, did my hair, ate, Olivia woke up, I fed her.  We headed back to JoAnn's.

Sure enough, there was my cart, full of my fabric bolts.  They were about ten people away from my number.  They called it, I got my fabric cut and we were on our way.

That is the only way to do Black Friday. 

What is your craziest Black Friday story?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A small family gathering

Five years ago on Halloween this guy asked me out.  Less than four weeks of dating, and my family was coming to visit for Thanksgiving.

"Do you. . . want to, like, come play games with my family on Wednesday?"  I was super nervous to ask him.

"Let me ask my mom what we're doing and I'll let you know"  Which is code for, You're kind of freaking me out.  I need some time to think about this.

So I was cool, it's no big deal.  Think about it.  Take your time.

Cool worked, he came. He met my mom and dad, my siblings and my uncle Doug and his family

On the actual Thanksgiving day he and I exchanged a few facebook messages.  He worked bright and early on Black Friday.  My family used that day to take family pictures. 

I was hoping to find a picture of ALL of us, but I did find this picture of my dad and his siblings.  He is the middle of 7 children.  Four of them are girls.
Top row: Dad, Linda, Janette, Grandpa, Grandma Lois (my grandpa's second wife), Phil.  Bottom row: Renon, Myrna, Doug.
While we were taking pictures, one or more of my aunts told me to invite my boy to pizza dinner that night.  I guess I texted him "Do you want to come over for dinner? My aunts want to meet you."  He interpreted this as a small gathering.  Most of my dad's siblings have four children.  My aunt Myrna has four children AND they're all married with children of their own.  Pretty much ALL of my cousins were there.  It was a HUGE group.

Adam still teases me about this.  But let the record show that he left my side five minutes after we arrived and spent more time talking to my family than he did me. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

30x30 Giveaway

I dropped out of the 30x30 when life became too stressful during the move.  I was having a little anxiety attack one night and I realize, this was one thing I could drop with out much repercussion.  So I did. 

But I still wanted to support the other girls and join in the giveaway!  So I did.

Maybe just a little cash to help with some Christmas shopping, or to treat yourself during the long hours of shopping and wrapping and cooking and decorating that comes with the holiday season.

And may the odds be ever in your favor (I totally watched Hunger Games last night in preparation for Catching Fire)

The ladies of the Fall 30x30 challenge wanted to get together and thank you for supporting! Using the Rafflecopter below, enter to win a $50 giftcard to your choice of Target, Old Navy/Gap, Loft, or Forever 21!

Dreaming about Someday / justjacq / It’s My Life / you, me & capri / Raising the Rogers / Olive the Things / Fox Tales and Ponytails / Shop School Sleep / Curly Crafty Mom / One Blessed Jess a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2013

Public Service Announcements

A picture from Thanksgiving 2008, because I had no kids and I looked so rested.  I'm in the back left corner, in case you couldn't recognize me.
 Happy Thanksgiving week!  We are in California for Thanksgiving this year.  This is the first time that Adam has gotten to celebrate with my family in Lancaster (usually they come up to Salt Lake or it's his family's turn).  I haven't had Thanksgiving in my own house in over 6 years!  (I'm trying to remember if the year my brother came home from his mission we had Thanksgiving at my grandma's or at my mom's.  That was in 2007!)  In any case, I am so excited to be here since we probably wont be coming down during Christmas.

Today I wanted to tell you some things I think you need to know:

In case you need to bring something to dinner on Thursday here are five of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Did you know that pumpkin butter can be made in the crockpot?  Just whip up this recipe and cook it on low for 5-6 hours, stirring every hour or so to keep it from burning.

Speaking of pumpkin butter, I saw this on a talk show cooking segment.  They spread a pumpkin mixture (pumpkin, sugar and spices) onto Pillsbury crescent roll dough and rolled it up like cinnamon rolls (instead of pulling the crescent rolls apart, you kind of push to seal the perforations), cut them into circles and then baked them for a little pumpkin Thanksgiving treat.  How much better would that be with pumpkin butter that has been cooking all day! (such a deeper flavor!)

In case you don't follow me on twitter, you should know that this is the cutest boy outfit I have ever seen.  I'm telling you this only now that I bought Axel's because I would not want them to sell out before I got my hands on one!

Also, if you're picky about candles like I am (I do not like anything that smells like baking (like cookies or cake or whatever) or vanilla) THIS is the candle for you.  I had it lit all morning on Friday and when I went grocery shopping I put it out (duh) and when we came home our house STILL smelled so Christmasy and not at all like paint! 

You may have noticed that I kinda stopped doing the 30x30 challenge.  We moved, I can't find my camera (too many boxes got labeled "misc." at the end there) I was spending so much time painting that I obviously wasn't in my cute clothes, I got sick, my clothes got stuck in the laundry room for 36 hours. . . etc.  BUT I still wanted to participate in the giveaway they do at the end, so check back tomorrow for a little shopping money!!!  And I wont tell anyone if you want to spend it on yourself :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Food Friday: Pepperjack mac 'n' cheese

I used to have a cooking blog, Kimberly Cooks.  I posted like five times before getting pregnant with Olivia and cooking pretty much stopped.  My domain expired over a year ago, and suddenly I couldn't look up this recipe on line anymore. . . I finally dug up my old wordpress account information and pulled off those five recipes so I can post them here and give them new life. (Never occurred to me to write them down somewhere else)  This was the recipe I was most excited about.  

This fun grown up macaroni and cheese recipe starts with one of the five French mother sauces, a bechamel.  A bechamel sauce is essentially a white sauce.  Then I added some yummy pepper jack cheese and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour this onto some fully cooked pasta shells and it is divine!

  • 2 T white flour
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper (if you have it, if not, black pepper will work just fine)
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded.
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 c uncooked pasta shells, cooked to your desired firmness.
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Cook butter and flour on medium heat, about five minutes to remove the floury flavor and texture.  Be sure to stir constantly.
  2. Wisk in onion powder, milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper.  Stirring constantly, cook until thickened and then stir in cheese and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and serve immediately.  Or, place in an oven safe dish, top with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 350 if you prefer a crusty mac and cheese.
A couple of notes:
-I call this a grown up mac n cheese and it really is.  Olivia helped make it, she was so excited to eat it and sadly it turned out to be too spicy for her.   Any cheese can be substituted for the pepper jack cheese.
-Since I wrote this recipe before having kids, the fact that it only feeds two didn't bother me.  But when Olivia couldn't eat hers, both Adam and I were eager to help her out.  Maybe double it, especially if you like leftovers.
-I like making this with pasta shells, but I totally blanked on buying pasta when I was at the store.  Luckily we had some actual macaroni in the cupboard and that (obviously) was great.  I just like the way the cheese gets trapped in the pasta shells.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The best time to get sick

So I woke up last Tuesday with that feeling in my throat that told me "you're getting a cold".  So I Zicammed up and hoped for the best.

Wednesday I told Adam I didn't know how I would make it through the day with two kids feeling like I did.  Once I got going I was okay, but laying down and colds don't really mix well, do they?

Thursday I was getting pretty depressed.  My house was in shambles.  I had been so excited to move into my house and it wasn't at all like I imagined.  I was supposed to be decorating my Christmas tree, not painting during nap times and having no couch to sit on.  Plus, you know, I was sick.

Ug, I thought.  This is just not a good time to get sick!

Is there a good time to get sick?  Really.  Really?

I thought about it.  The week before would have been so much worse!  We were moving and packing and it would have been awful.  The week after would have put my cold so close to Thanksgiving that I would probably still be coughing a little.

Yeah, my life was still packed away, but at least we could snuggle in my bed and watch an iPad movie (once we got internet anyway) or we could hole up in Olivia's good sized room and kill a couple hours.

The more I thought about it I was super grateful that I managed to land my cold at the exact right time!  But from here on out, I'm taking Emergen-C like it's my job.

Tonight I'm going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra for my anniversary. I seriously love these guys. Since this post needs a picture, here's the one from last year.

Monday, November 18, 2013

All my clothes were in prison for 36 hours

Every post needs a picture, right?  Here is my laundry room.  Full house tour coming soon.  I know you can hardly wait.

So Monday every thing was starting to feel great.  Moving into a new house always starts out like camping, you know?  No heat, no hot water, eating on paper plates because you don't know where that box is, sleeping on the floor because your bed isn't assembled yet.  That was Saturday and Sunday.  By Sunday night our bed was set up and our gas turned on (thank you heat and hot water!).

Back to Monday.  The kids were playing so great in Olivia's room.  We still didn't have TV or internet so the camping feeling remained a little bit, but I was starting to think we'd never need to watch a show again the way these two were playing! (the novelty of new rooms wore off when Axel discovered the stairs.)

One of the things I loved most about this house was the laundry room.  Most other townhouses we looked at had the bifold doors with washer and dryer behind them, but this one had an actual laundry room.  While the kids played I sorted lots of laundry and started a load.  Soon Axel came crawling out to play with a box of trash (because we need to buy trash cans for the kids' rooms).  I put the box on the dryer and because I was somehow worried he would get it up there (huh?) I went to close the door to the laundry room.

It didn't quite close.  The dryer stuck out about 1/2" too far to close the door.  So with Axel in my arms, I used my hip to kind of shove back the dryer.  I probably didn't even move it.  I tried the door.  Still a little tight.  But, eh, what the heck, I bet I can force it closed.  So I did.

About two minutes later I went to open it. . . and nope.  The dryer had been pushed back by the door when I shoved it closed, but it had popped back into it's place once the door was out of the way.  Does that make sense?  The dryer was blocking the door from opening!  Not to mention the load of clothes washing in there, I'm sure the spin cycle vibrations didn't help keep the dryer from wiggling forward a little.

I panicked.  I tried to open it with force, no dice.  I texted Adam right away.  I've learned in marriage if you do something stupid like over draw the checking account or get the dryer stuck in front of the laundry room door, it's best to confess it right away.  Then I texted my friend Rachel in a panic.  She helped me calm down, but I was still certain we were going to have to bust down the door.  My new house!

Well Tuesday night my father-in-law came over and with the use of a crazy little tool (I have no idea what it is supposed to be used for) Adam was able to shove the dryer back just enough for me to open the door.  Then my father-in-law scooted the dryer back as far as possible.  The door clears it now by maybe an 1/8 of an inch.

I keep it open.  Olivia closes it a lot.  Good think my FIL let us keep that little tool. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What would you do with. . . $20 at Target?

This is not a sponsored post, but dang I wish it was. If you know how I could set that up, seriously let me know. 

The second Wednesday of the month means it's. . . 
Aubrey and I are both spending $20 at Target!

Adam, I had to spend $20 at Target. It was for a blog post.

Best topic. Ever.

You know, we're moving and what not. Yadda yadda, I was going to wait until we were settled and buy something for my house but our moving date kept getting pushed further and further back. Then I thought about shopping for Christmas but I couldn't post about it before Dec 25th, so that was out. 

Enter Friday night.

Friday nights usually go something like this: Dinner at 5:30. What do you want to do now? We could go to Target (once I said, we could go to the mall, or go to Target.  Adam said, why would we go to the mall? Gosh I love him).  Okay, let's go to Target.

So I find myself shopping at Target most Friday nights with my three favorite people.  I lead a good life.  And last Friday, there they were.  The tank tops I dream about.

Let me explain.  No there is too much, let me sum up.  I bought a Mossimo tank many many years ago.  I loved it. It got a hole (do all of your shirts get holes in them from your jeans buttons?  I hate it!) so I ordered what I thought was the same tank on their website. WRONG.  It was a ribbed fabric, and it had a much more casual look.  You do not understand my excitement when I saw the original tank at Target on Friday. (You can find the dream tank here.  I got the black textured one. Next I want this one.)

Then I had to decide what to get with my remaining ten dollars. 

I wanted to get Olivia a new dress to wear to church because. .  . we're going to a new ward (LDS congregation) this Sunday and I wanted her to look cute. So sue me.  Let's just say, I'm going to have to go back when I'm not limited to 20! Circo had some darling gold and silver tulle skirts for $14 (click here). 

Everything I wanted to get here was 12 or 14, I was starting to lose hope. UNTIL.  These leggings.  I die. I let Olivia choose between the polka dot and the green with stars, but I probably emphasized the "stars!" when I said it so you know, she was manipulated.  I did really love the polka dots though.

So we have 10 for the tank, 8 for the leggings. Add tax and the grand total is 19.23!  Which technically means I win because I know Aubrey went over, but hey. We're shopping at TARGET, everyone wins.

I'm also going back to buy a sweater I saw there because one of my #fall30x30 sweaters from H&M looked like, in Adam's words, a big blanket. Not cute.

I cannot wait to see what Aubrey bought!

(If you want to join us, next month is What Would You do With . . . a box of candy canes!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

The words I banned from my classroom

Picture from Emily Henderson.
I was just writing a blog comment and I remembered something from my teaching days.  (Isn't it funny how something that you think about daily for several years can be lost from your memory when your situation changes?  That's kind of scary!)

I used to ban certain words in my interior design classroom.

Obviously swears weren't allowed in any of my classes.  That's not what I'm talking about.  After teaching design for a few weeks I realized my students weren't accessing their full vocabulary when describing rooms for their portfolio pages.

Cozy, homey and nice.

"Describe the textures in the room and the feeling that they give the space"

"The brick makes the room feel cozy"
"The couch makes the room feel cozy"
"The rug makes the room feel cozy"

I'm not kidding you, I had a student turn in three pictures and she described them like this.  And I don't even have to protect that kid's identity because it wasn't just one.  It was like half of them.  That's 90. 

So I banned the words cozy, homey and nice.  They were no longer considered specific enough for use in my class room. 

Other words I allowed in place of cozy: warm, inviting, intimate and comfortable.

This is the reason I feel the need to apologize to my students, because I totally just used the word cozy and I realize now that it is specific enough.  Homey and nice are not.  So sorry for not letting you use the word cozy, I just needed a break from it.  Still those examples I listed would only be worth 3/5 points.  The still don't fully describe the textures.

Homey is just a weird word.  What does that even mean?

Friday, November 8, 2013

30x30 Day 1-6

I started the challenge a little before November so that when we were moving I could take a day or two off and just wear work clothes.  Also, we're driving to CA for Thanksgiving and I'll probably want to wear something comfy in the car.

Day 1
October 28
I decided to do this challenge on Oct 27, so I started wearing my items the very next day.  I didn't have them all picked out, but I knew I wanted to include these items.  I only wear earrings for pictures, Axel is at that super fun age where he likes to rip dangling earrings right out of my ear.

Day 2
October 29
I do not like my hair cut (I wanted a pixie and the hair dresser told me no and gave me the worst mom hair of all time) but it's growing out now and I really liked my hair on this day.

Day 3
October 30
I'm trying to learn the ways of not washing my hair every day, so don't mind the braid in both my pictures :) This shirt is actually a pajama shirt from WalMart but I love the length and the sleeves and the price so I got it. 

Day 4
October 31
We went trick-or-treating at Adam's work after morning nap time and I wore this so that if pressed I could just say I was a Barbie (you know, because of the pink)

Day 5
November 1
I started my healthy eating/5k training today and it feels really good!  This is right before I went for my run. 

Day 6
November 3
We got the keys to our house on Saturday so we did some moving and carpet cleaning and I just wore  jeans and a sweat shirt.  So day 6 skipped a head to November 3rd.  We went to church, otherwise I don't know if I would have gotten dressed this day either!

Check out the other lovely ladies participating in the challenge!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The post I stole from my brother

I say it all the time, my brother Rob is freaking hilarious.  He used to be in an improv group and even though I never got to go to one of his shows, he makes me laugh with almost everything he says so I know he was awesome at it.

I asked him to write a guest post a while ago but he never responded to my email, so I'll take that as a solid NO.  But he did comment on some pictures I posted of Axel, so I'm going to steal his commentary and post it here.

That was way to much build up for one joke.

This is why Rob hates it when I tell people he's funny.

All together now: "How funny is he?"  (do you remember that episode of Full House?)

And so I present to you, The Five Stages of Swing Pooping.






Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, I am over you

"You're over me?  When were you under me?"

Moving on. . . .

A picture from last year at the Patch.  Sad that this one hasn't seen the light of day until now. 
I like Halloween.  I really love it on October 1st.  I start to think about costumes for Olivia (and Axel this year) and I want to decorate all the things. 

But by oh. . . Oct 25th or so, I guess I'm kind of over it all.  I don't really like scary things, my imagination is way too active and I'm more surprised when clowns with bloody knives don't jump out of my laundry room at 6am.  I know not all of Halloween is scary, I'm not one of those people who thinks Halloween is celebrating the devil or whatever.  But even the non-scary stuff is still cute monsters and happy jack-o-lanterns with jagged smiles.  It wears on me I guess.

By October 25 (or so) I'm ready to move on to the heart warming gratitude of Thanksgiving and then the life affirming love of Christmas.

And for the love, stop giving me candy.  (Because I seriously cannot say no)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall 30x30

It's time for the Fall 30x30 challenge!  Warning: This post got really wordy.  Feel free to skim.

I decided to participate in another 30x30 challenge.  I don't think I explained it very well last time, but basically you pick 30 items of clothing and you mix and match those to create 30 different outfits.  It ended up being more challenging than I thought back in May, but I loved packing for my trip using only those items.  We're moving this month so it will be nice to know what items I need to leave out of the boxes.  All the rest can go!  Except one pair of boots I packed up already I want to use this month so they'll probably show up towards the end of the month.

So look, I'm not a big fan of having a ton of pictures of myself on my blog.  But that's the best way to show you what I'm wearing so. . . there you have it.  I know I'm not a fashionista (despite having it embroidered on the back of my Student Gov't sweater when I was a teacher.  Let's just say I was a much better dresser in those days, plus I taught fashion so it made sense) so no worries if you don't want to look at my "fashion" posts.  You can skip them, I wont be hurt.  :)

Unlike most of the girls doing this challenge, I don't really think about the items I pick, I just pick 30 things I love to wear, try to balance out the tops and the bottoms and hope I can make it to the end!  That's the fun of it for me.

Sweaters: This is the main reason I agreed to do this again, I have so many sweaters!  That didn't stop me from buying two new ones on sale on H&M's website.   So I don't even know if they'll look good on me!  Risky.
1. Forever21, 2. Aeropostal, 3. Ruby Moon, 4. H&M, 5. H&M

Tops: A lot of these are layering tops.  I actually plan to use my white layering tops too, but I didn't include them because they're BORING plus I don't know how much action they will really get (hey it's not cheating, Aubrey doesn't even include shoes!)
1. Forever 21, 2. Shade, 3. Bella Bird, 4. WalMart, 5. Old Navy, 6. ModBod

1. Nikibiki, 2. Target, 3.Target, 4. Target

Skirts: I thought about choosing more skirts, but since I pretty much only wear them to church on Sundays (I change diapers on the floor and skirts make that difficult!) I just stuck with two.
 1. Made by me, 2. Bella Bird from WalMart

Dresses: Now short dresses with leggings, those I can wear any day because the leggings give me a little more modesty and the dresses are loose and give me more range of motion.
1. Target, 2. Calvin Klein via TJ Maxx

Pants: I'm including a pair of leggings in this category because they're thick and can be worn as pants (yes, yes, only with LONG shirts, I know) but I'll probably use other leggings this month too, just more like tights. (if any of that makes sense. . . )
 1. Forever 21, 2. I don't remember!, 3. Thrifted, 4. Thrifted (because if you are hoping to lose weight there is no sense in buying new jeans) 

Shoes: Not everyone includes shoes, but I think it's part of the fun.  I pretty much live in my boots in November, but I included my Toms and some heels in case I wanted to change things up.
1. Gift (maybe JC Penny?), 2. Toms, 3. Gift (I have no idea where)

I have a few items missing.  I haven't had time to do all of my fall shopping so I haven't been able to pick my last few items, plus a pair of shoes that I packed in boxes before deciding to do this challenge.

Here are the other ladies participating this month!