Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Sunday was my 25th birthday. This year it snuck up on me, like two years ago when I was pregnant and focusing on the coming baby. I used to get so excited when my birthday was coming because in my family birthdays are huge. Everyone makes a big fuss. You get spoiled: no chores, whatever you want to do, whatever you want for dinner, family party, friends party (when we were younger), presents, the whole works. You really feel special on your birthday. I missed it when I went off to college.

Anyway, since it was Sunday we didn't do anything special, but it was a good day. Justin curled my hair with the hair straightener he got me a couple months ago as an early birthday present. I got a lot of compliments on it.

Caden behaved decently at church and stayed in Nursery the whole time! Justin took him, stayed for 10 minutes, then left, and Caden didn't cry at all. I hope it wasn't a one-time thing! After church we just hung out. We played some board games and watched VeggieTales with Caden. I talked to my family on the phone and on Skype. Adam and Kirsten came over and we had ice cream and played Imaginiff. Kirsten got me more Cricut mats.

Monday Justin and I saw Mirror Mirror at the dollar theater. It was entertaining but certainly weird. Then we had lunch at Kona Grill, my parents' gift. The food was delicious.

When we got home, Kirsten surprised me with a small party. I've never had a surprise party before!

The theme was cupcakes, my favorite dessert. I blew out 5 sparkling candles on an Oreo cupcake.

We chatted and played Catch Phrase.

Justin and I ended the day with America's Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior. Not a bad birthday at all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

LDS Etsy Team Giveaway: 1 Winner, 16 Prizes! [CLOSED]

As new captain of the LDS Etsy Team (Mormon Etsians), I have put together a huge giveaway for all of you! One winner will win 16 different prizes:

1. Customized Address Stamp (any design) from E Hernandez Designs
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Coupon code: LDSETSY for 10% off

2. Yellow Hair Flower from Simply Sal Boutique
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Coupon code: LDS10 for 10% off

3. & 4. 2 Reusable Shopping Bags from Callie's Craft Cottage
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Coupon code: LDSTEAM10 for 10% off

5. Any 8x12 Print from Edeevo
Coupon code: FINEPHOTOFUN for 25% off

6. Any Printable Wall Art from Sugarhouse Ink
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7. Hand Embroidered Bunny Pillow from Can Do Stitching
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Coupon code: GIVE10 for 10% off

8. Colorful Bunting Banner (9 ft. long) from Grow Home
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Coupon code: GROWHOME20 for 20% off

9. Personalized Family Tree (25-40 people) from Made by Maggie Mae
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Coupon code: LDSETSY for 20% off

10. Any Small Tote Bag from Pair Tree
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Coupon code: GIVEAWAY1 for 15% off

11. Hooray Greeting Card from Kirstynish
Coupon code: IAMBATMAN for 15% off

12. & 13. All Occassion Gift Tags and 100 Heart Confetti from The Shop at Pooh Corner
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Coupon code: GIVEAWAY for 15% off

14. Any Customizable File from Ryan WordsWorth
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Coupon code: Take20percentOFF for 20% off

15. Wood-burned Russian Dolls from Bug a Boo Crafts
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Coupon code: DISCOUNT10 for 10% off

16. Any 5x7 Photo from Katria's Creations (or from her blog)
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I am so jealous of the person who wins all these amazing prizes! Many thanks to these great shops for their beautiful donations. Check out their shops for more LDS and non-LDS creations!


Mandatory Entry (1 comment): Follow this blog AND like the LDS Etsy team Facebook page. Leave your Facebook username. Members of the LDS Etsy team may not enter this giveaway.

Additional Entries
1 entry each (8 total): Like the shops' Facebook pages (see list above). Leave your username.

1 entry each (14 total): Heart the shops on Etsy (see list above). Leave your username.

1 entry each (10 total): Follow the sellers' blogs (see list above).

1 entry each (4 total): Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your blog.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, June 7. The winner will be announced on Friday, June 8. Please leave your email address in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. & Canada only. Good luck!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Monkey Escapes from the Phoenix Zoo

MESA, AZ- Police report that a monkey escaped from the Phoenix zoo and invaded a Mesa citizen's home. The citizen, Francesca , says that ever since the monkey came, her baby went missing.

"One day I woke up and my baby was gone," Francesca shares. "In his place was a loud, destructive monkey!"

The monkey, who strikingly resembles Francesca's lost son, has taken over the household. He wakes up at the crack of dawn, eats bananas all day, climbs on all the furniture, makes loud ah-ah noises when he's hungry, screeches, makes messes, and clings to Francesca.

Although Francesca misses her sweet, little baby, she is focusing on the positive in the situation. "He's extremely smart and communicates via sign language. He's also very affectionate and cuddly. Now if only we can get him potty trained, we just might let him stay!"

--Arizona Times

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cheesy Kids' Shows I Can't Believe I Watched

Did any of you watch these really corny TV shows growing up?

1. Shining Time Station (included Thomas the Tank Engine)

2. Kidsongs

3. The Big Comfy Couch (I happen to be one of the few people left in the world who like clowns)

4. The Puzzle Place

5. Zoom

Monday, May 14, 2012

Inspiring Christian Movies You Should See

Last night, my husband and I were trying to find a Sunday-appropriate movie on Netflix. We settled on Rust, made by a guy from one of our favorite shows. I cried my eyes out. It was amazing! It is at the top of my list of inspiring Christian movies you should see (warning, they're all tear jerkers!):


Summary: A minister with doubts refinds his faith and brings peace to his home town after investigating a house fire his childhood friend is accused of, and has admitted to, starting. Rated PG.
My Rating: 5 stars! One of the best and most life-changing films I've ever seen.


Summary: A firefighter on the verge of divorce tries a love dare at his father's request, and in the process of saving his marriage also finds God. Rated PG.
My Rating: 5 stars! Gave me a completely new and realistic outlook on true love and a Christ-centered marriage.


Summary:  A young girl works for and learns how to sing from a disfigured man whom the townsfolk dislike because he is different and supposedly responsible for them losing their homes (takes place during the Great Depression). Rated G.
My Rating: 5 stars! A great family film with a beautiful soundtrack.

Saints and Soldiers

Summary: Four American soldiers and one British pilot try to get back to Allied territory to pass along valuable information during World War II and learn much about each other along the way. Based on actual events. Rated PG-13.
My Rating: 5 stars! Deep themes and characters we can all relate to and many situations we cannot.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mother's Dictionary

A mother's dictionary would define the following words as such:
  • Dumbwaiter: One who asks if the children would care to order a dessert.
  • Feedback: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.
  • Full Name: What you call your child when you're angry with him/her.
  • Grandparents: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.
  • Independent: How we want our children to be for as long as they do everything we say.
  • Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into.
  • Show Off: A child who is more talented than yours.
  • Whodunit: None of the children who live in your house.
  • Bottle-feeding: An opportunity for Daddy to get up at 2 am.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inspiring Sports Movies You Should See

When it comes to inspiring sports movies, we're all familiar with big hits like Remember the Titans and The Blind Side. I recommend becoming familiar with these lesser known inspiring movies.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Sport: Golf
Summary: About an amateur golfer playing in the 1913 U.S. Open against England's champion, Harry Vardon. Rated G.
Famous Actor: Shia LaBeouf
My Rating: 5 stars

Seven Days in Utopia

Sport: Golf
Summary: About a young pro golfer who find his game and God through a rancher in a small Texas town (fictional story). Rated G.
Famous Actor: Robert Duvall
My Rating: 4 stars

The Perfect Game

Sport: Baseball
Summary: About a Mexican youth baseball team playing in the American Little League World Series in 1957. Rated PG.
Famous Actor: Cheech Marin
My Rating: 5 stars

Forever Strong

Sport: Rugby
Summary: About a troubled young man who turns his life around after playing rugby for Highland, Utah (specific story is fictional, but the team and coach are real). Rated PG-13.
Famous Actor: Neal McDonough
My Rating: 3 stars

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ten Ways to Reuse Clothes

photo by Fleur Suijten
You finally cleaned out your closet and drawers and discovered you have a pile of clothes you never wear or are worn out. Instead of throwing them away, try the following ideas to reuse your clothes.

  1. Remove shirt buttons to use as replacement buttons for other clothes or to use for crafts. Sort them by size and color to make finding a match easy or store them all in jar for crafts.
  2. Tear up stained and holey clothes to use as cleaning rags. Test different fabrics; some leave lots of lint and others are not good for cleaning. Regular cotton works best.
  3. Use quality fabrics and patterned clothes for craft projects.
  4. Cut cotton t-shirts into strips to turn into upcycled headbands, infinity scarves, or bracelets.
  5. If you are good at sewing, use clothes that no longer fit to make clothes for small children or dolls. You can also use old baby clothes to dress stuffed animals.
  6. Sew old ties together to make a skirt or use a tie as a fashionable belt, headband, or other accessory.
  7. Make a costume box for Halloween, costume parties, and playing dress up. Add in clothes, shoes, hats, jewelry, and other accessories.
  8. Put clothes you never wear but that still fit you in an emergency kit. Be sure to include clothes for different seasons and weather conditions.
  9. Wear stained and holey clothes for painting, gardening, and other dirty work. Keep reusing them or throw them away afterward.
  10. Donate to charity, sell, or pass along whatever clothes you can’t reuse but can still be worn.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Mini golfing in St. George, January 2008.

When I think of lovers meeting for the first time, I imagine them at a mutually enjoyed activity, such as a concert or art fair, or being introduced by mutual friends dying to get them together. They hit it off and walk off into the sunset doing those hobbies and hanging out with their friends together.

That's not quite how it went down for me and my hubby. My husband and I are the epitome of opposites attracting. He grew up in the boonies of Wisconsin, outside of Green Bay. He's a jock and huge Packers fan. He likes punk rock and rap, junk food, and action movies, and his friends are usually jocks and their cheerleader wives. I, on the other hand, grew up in the suburbs of San Diego, raised by parents from New York but influenced by California life. I love watching plays and ballets, reading books, exercising, and generally eating healthy. I'm not into team sports, and my friends are usually more academic and creative.

Sometimes I wonder how in the world we got married and have stayed married. It has been a challenge finding things to do that we both enjoy. (At first it was a lot of movies, bowling, and miniature golfing.) But it has been a challenge that has brought us together and expanded our interests. For example, our first Valentine's Day as a married couple my husband bought us tickets to a ballet. He also took ballroom dance classes when we first started dating so he wouldn't have to watch me dance with other guys, and he discovered he was good at and enjoyed it. I took a beginning golf class, found out I liked it, and played and practiced golf with my husband.

I still don't like football and Justin probably won't watch ballet again (unless it's our daughters dancing), but that's ok. We've found plenty of things to do together and with other couples we both like--now if only we can find the money to do them!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Save Money on Trash Bags

Trash bags are usually not seen as an expense to worry about, but why not save money wherever you can? Pennies add up, so follow these tips to save money on trash bags.

The best thing to do is save plastic bags from shopping to use as trash bags. Grocery ones work well for small trash cans in bedrooms and bathrooms. The bigger ones, like from Target when you buy large items, can replace kitchen trash bags. You can use small ones too if you are willing to take out the trash more often, which helps with the smell anyway.

If you still want to use regular trash bags, at least throw away raw meat, rotten foods, and dairy products in a small grocery bag and immediately take it to the dumpster or garbage can outside. When possible, use your garbage disposal to get rid of food waste, which accounts for a lot of trash and odors. Food makes your kitchen smell bad quickly and attracts bugs, making you have to take out the trash perhaps before the bag is completely full.

Other ways to increase room in your trash bags are to recycle what you can, flatten or crush large items before throwing them away, and press down paper products. If trash cans are mostly filled with harmless items (such as paper, plastic, and other non-germy junk), then empty the trash cans into one bag or straight into the dumpster/outside garbage can and reuse the bags until they need to be thrown away.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Featured Seller: Leigh Ann from Lime Green Lemon

I found the shop Lime Green Lemon through a deal site. I immediately fell in love with the featured item: upcycled t-shirt cuff bracelets. I'm not a die-hard green person, but I love upcycling and recycling.

I bought every single color (there are even more colors in her shop). When I had a special request, Leigh Ann was very accommodating and friendly. I got the bracelets Monday and yesterday I wore yellow and dark grey. Today:

I love how versatile they are! I can wear one, two, or three in any color combination. I also love how casual and cute they are. Most jewelry and accessories I feel I have to dress up for, but these are great for a mom on the go. And they're kid proof. What is there not to love?

Check out Lime Green Lemon for more upcycled goodies!
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