posted on: Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions have never been my thing.

I rarely keep one, and when I do I often feel miserable. I enjoy exercising, but when it becomes a daily requirement the fun and excitement of it dissipates quickly. Dieting has also been a concept that I rarely master. I feel as though I eat in moderation, but the need to steer myself away from certain foods or to completely go cold-turkey on a food group makes me crave those items even more.

Instead of setting a resolution that I know I will never keep I've decided to gear my attention towards one word to pave my way for 2012.

This year my source of inspiration is the word focus. It really is a personality flaw that I am trying to overcome. While I believe that I am highly motivated my lack of focus often steers me away from actually achieving simple daily tasks as well as long-term goals.

I love the word focus because I feel that it is pertinent to every aspect of my life.

I plan on being a more focused mother that stops using movies as a way to entertain my child, and I plan to spend more time developing his talents and knowledge base.  
I want to be a more focused wife that tries to see my husband's frustrations not as a backlash against me, but as a need for love, understanding, and reassurance.

I want to be a more focused blogger that doesn't sporadically disappear for a week, but as a reliable everyday blogger with regularly featured posts (to be discussed later...).

I also want to become more focused with a budget. I am not great at couponing or saving every penny, but I do want to be better at balancing my checkbook regularly and knowing exactly how much I am spending. I have often caught myself buying things out of want rather then necessity and I want to begin to consciously think about what I am purchasing.

Minimalism is a great thing.  

This year I also want to focus more on developing my personal talents. Since entering the realm of motherhood many of the things I use to enjoy have been replaced with mother/wife duties. I love where I am at this stage in my life, but I feel that sometimes I loose myself within the day-to-day tasks of helping others.  I truly believe that to be happy everyone needs to have at least one outlet that helps build their talents and skills, rather then always catoring to the needs of others'.

I also want to be more focused at writing letters. I've never been a great letter writer, but I want to become one. The age of email is amazing and creates a convenience that makes letters a thing of the past.  My Grandma also said the most precious gifts she ever received were simple hand-written letters of kindness because they are a true act of sacrifice--they require time, attention, and love.

I want to focus on reading the written word rather then getting me daily entertainment from a television. I love the feeling of being enlightened by a great book, I love the challenge and discourse that takes place when talking about what the author meant and how the reader perceived the story. Books provide a simple pleasure that is not easily found in many other things.

Finally, I want to focus on becoming as knowledgeable as possible about natural birth. When Brecken was born there was a small part of motherhood that I never had the chance to experience. I was sedated, drugged, induced, and medicated to the point that the experience was an emotionless blur.  I never had the chance to be in tune with my body to understand a contraction and the change a woman experiences when giving birth. I never experienced the physical pain and joy that comes with the birth of a child.

I felt as though I was displaced  and out of touch with my own body. This time around, I want to be able to read my body, feel the emotions of childbirth and experience the overwhelming happiness of holding a newborn baby.

I'm asking a lot, right?


I am so excited to welcome in this new year-- to begin re-focusing my life, to prepare for the birth of another child, and to welcome this new chapter with open arms.

What are your New Year's Resolutions? Do you keep them? Do you not? What are you most looking forward in the year to come?

Thanks for stopping in and I hope you have a great night!


Christmas 2011

posted on: Friday, December 30, 2011

This year's Christmas was full of a lot of "firsts".

Maybe it was because Punk actually played with his presents (halle-freakin'-lujah), or maybe it was because it was my first time being pregnant during Christmas.

Whatever it may have been it felt nice.

There was lots of food--it's no exaggeration when I say my Mom makes enough treats that she ends up putting them in five gallon buckets--multiple five gallon buckets.

True story, the lady has this need to cook in bulk.

Loveyoubunches Mom, but your food is making me get some saucy hips.


Christmas was also full of a lot of naps, gingerbread making masterpieces, my parents dressing up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, presents adorned in Justin Bieber wrapping paper (for real), and a very 80s-tastic Obermeyer Snowsuit.

It's an epic snowsuit that only Kambrie could "fit" into--we had to squish her chest into it (TMI?)....don't kill me for telling everyone Kam...

Seriously, Christmas you should come around more often. Once a year just isn't enough.

Hope your Christmas was merry too!

New Year's Printable

posted on: Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Want to make your own New Year's Eve printable? Here you go.

For the 2011 New Year's printable I mixed things up a bit, you can check it out here.


posted on: Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas friends!

I spent the entire weekend without opening up my laptop or typing away on my phone.

That's big news around here.

I was also at my parent's house too so when you are use to wi-fi and then have to resort to dial-up the world becomes a very sloooow place.


I hope you all had a fantastic and enjoyable weekend and I can't wait to post pictures of ours soon.

Hope your day is going well.

A Sweet Treat

posted on: Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've had a hard time in years past figuring out what to give as neighbor gifts.

This year I found a cute idea at a Holiday Show and I decided to replicate it over and over and over again.

You will need: spoons, Wiltons melting chocolates, and marshmallows.

Dip each spoon in the melted chocolate, pop a marshallow on top then let it dry.

Once dry, dip the entire spoon in chocolate, cover in sprinkles, and wrap in celaphane bags. 

We delivered each goodie bag with a Christmas card, but if I would have been more on top of things this year I would have delivered them with hot cocoa packets and mugs.  

Your neighbors. friends. co-workers. teachers. kids. husbands (and you) will love them.



posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bridget from Tales of Me and the Husband chronicled her pregnancy through a series of pictures and letters to her little Parker.

I loved the idea--so I am going to use it too. She's a real genius.

Thanks bunches!

knocked up.

posted on: Tuesday, December 13, 2011

 True story.

Hunk got all suave one day and WA-BAM! Baby on the way.

Note to all you ladies out there: stay away from suave husbands.


We would have announced the big small arrival sooner, but we wanted to make sure we covered all our bases and told friends, family, co-workers, bosses, our cashiers, the mailman, and the garbage man first.


This pregnancy has been such a relief and I can't believe how great I feel. After Brecken's pregnancy and my ectopic pregnancy the thought of having another baby again made me sick/scared/terrified/exhausted.

Initially, I was sick during the first trimester and had the usual signs--nausea, cravings, amazing sense of smell, sore chest, and being tired 24/7.

Now, I am great. I still have energy to play with Punk and other then the occasional flitter in my stomach and the need to go to bed at 8,  I have been been able to maintain a regular schedule.

And aren't you lucky because you only have to wait two weeks until we find out if our bundle of joy will be blue or pink.

We'll  find out. I don't have the self-control to not know. And when the baby kicks my bladder in the middle of the night and makes me pee my own pants in bed and I want to be able to yell at he/she in gender-correct names.

Punk doesn't really understand the baby thing yet.

I imagine if he was older this would have been his initial reaction.


I'll point to my stomach and say "baby" and then he'll point at himself and say "Good Boo Boo."

We'll need to work on it....

Either way, I think he will be a great big brother. He loves to sit on babies (another habit we will have to kick in the butt). 

Can you read his shirt? 

My sister made it for his birthday (it's how we announced the new arrival to the fam)

It reads: 

Only Child
Big Brother


the hunt

posted on: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

After the first tree turned out to be a bust (literally). We went on the Christmas tree hunt again.

We were forced to do the unthinkable.

We bought a tree.

Blasphemy, I know.

We live in Montana and can't scrape up a Montana Christmas Tree.

But this one is probably from China anyway.


no, really.

But time is limited, the days are short, and December is here and we needed a tree like I need some freaking caffeine.  

Home Depot and Lowe's were pitted against each other, and while we scanned both meager selections Lowe's ended up winning the battle.

Better luck next time Home of the Depot.

It was our first for a lot of reasons:
First "bought" tree
First time we had options. Like? no. This one? never. That one? heck no. Over there? Sure. I am freezing..
First tree we didn't have to drag through the snow for what seemed like miles.
First tree that was "bagged and tagged" for us.
First tree that actually resembled a Christmas Tree.
First tree that needed it branches pushed down due to the torpedo shrink wrap.  

Even though it sits in the corner still undecorated because that's how we roll, it is radiating this smell that makes it feel like Christmas every time I walk into the house.

Project Tree Decorating will begin tonight.

Stay tuned for the deets on this epic event...

Some days.

posted on: Monday, December 5, 2011

Some days I wish I had a little girl.

Pink. Ruffles. Bow ties. Curly Hair. Accessories. Frills. Glam. Soft whites. Dainty Feet.

But then I remember that while I may not have a girl I have a boy that is o.k. with satisfying his Momma's girl cravings--until his Dad demands that I remove all clips from his hair.


In other great news. Happy December!

I am a little late welcoming in the new month--but we didn't fail in celebrating it!

Hunk cut down a tree (kinda), we went to a Bozeman Christmas Stroll, witnessed the Bobcats win a playoff game, watched an amazing Christmas Devotional by the church, and pulled out all the lights and glitter.

My camera would have also participated if I knew where my battery charger was at....blasted.

We are also on the hunt for (another) Christmas tree tonight. When Hunk cut down the first one it was so cold (-14) that day that as he was dragging it back to the truck the limbs started to snap off.

Charlie Brown is usually the style we go for every year, but I decided that I wanted something a little more perfect (with all branches attached) this year.

So we are going to attempt the Christmas Tree Hunt again tonight. Wish us luck!

Just so you know...

posted on: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I've been overwhelmed.

It's nothing that can't be cured by a little bit of ice cream and some Grey's Anatomy though.

We've been making a lot of big changes around here--some for the better, some I'm still not quite sure about.
While I feel that I am pretty easy going when it comes to change; it's the decision-making process that often leaves me dazed and confused.

I am one of those people that will buy four bags of chips when I am at the grocery store because I can't decide on just one flavor--the same may be true for ice cream, shoes, and chocolate...


I also must confess. One of the hardest choices has been blogging.

As you may have noticed my posts have been more limited and less creative-like in the past few months.


Last summer Hunk started a new job--which we are so thrilled about.

He is now a CFO at a small hospital--I call him a big deal, he rolls his eyes and scoffs.

While we love the experience he is gaining and the opportunities that await us in the future, the difficulty that has arisen from this new position is that he must travel two hours a day for work and he often has to stay and work late many nights.

This has meant that I have had to step up--in my role as a parent, as a homemaker, as a wife, as a task-manager...

While I use to spend a large majority of my time making projects, sewing, blogging and decorating; now, I need to play the role of a parent to an overly sugar crazed two-year-old, while also attending to the daily needs of the house.

This means I am often the one taking vehicles to get the oil changed, making sure tires get rotated, running errands for Hunk because he is never home in time, and making sure that everything is completely done so that when John walks in the door we can have a few quality hours minutes together.

I'm not sad or annoyed about how our life has changed, it's just meant that for the time being I have needed to prioritize, and sadly, blogging has been one thing that has suffered because of the change.

Let me emphasize...this post is not a gentle way of saying I'm stopping. Heck no, I've worked way too hard to let this baby go.

What I am saying is that there may be some changes (if you haven't already noticed).

It will mean less giveaways and more day-to-day life posts.

Seriously, I could write three novels on living with Brecken.

So you may see a lot of his face, a lot more of my face (not behind the camera), and a lot more about the fun and new changes that are happening in our life.

(I REALLY want to talk about them now....but I must resist).

So, hold on and stay with us as we still try to transition to this new schedule and lifestyle.



posted on: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

After this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Tuesday should be declared a national holiday to recuperate--
running through aisles,
standing in line for hours to get into a store,
scanning ads,
beating an old lady to the last flip waffle maker,
standing in the checkout line for 55 minutes
waiting patiently until midnight to get the best gift online,
having the computer crash at the moment of purchase--it really tires a person out.

I couldn't handle the pressure this year, you really have to mentally prepare for it, so I stayed home and slept in.

But for all of you that did brave the crowds, lines, and fanatics--I "high-five" you from afar.

I also have an exciting giveaway for ya.

Today, I am over at Southern Lovely giving away a ring from the mocha collection and a pair of mum earrings.

No lines, no fighting, no computers crashing--just leave a comment or two over at Southern Lovely and you have a chance to be the winner!

Pretty sweet deal, huh?

Winner! Winner!

posted on: Monday, November 28, 2011

We have a winner of the Shabby Apple Bow Skirt Giveaway!

Congrats #15 The Arave Family!

Send me an email within the next 48 hours!

Also, don't forget that you have until midnight tonight to save 30% on your ENTIRE order in the Spunky Junky Etsy Shop!

Hope you are having a great evening!



posted on: Saturday, November 26, 2011

Would that be my son eating of his cousin's Thanksgiving plate?! For shame, Brecken, for shame!!!

Thanksgiving was chill this year. Not necessarily in the "cold" way, because it was abnormally warm. This year, the Punk and I slept in, woke up and made a huge breakfast--for ourselves. Then we spent the morning lounging in bed watching Robots.

When I lost interest in Robin Williams voice for the millionth time I escaped to the kitchen where I made pies, while listening to Christmas music.

It was nice and quiet.

Hunk was hunting, the laundry had been finished a day early, and Punk entertained himself  all morning, so I say--score one for this lady!

Later the cousins came over and we went to the park where they soon engaged in a vicious game of snowball fighting--I stayed out of their way. Our snowballs are more like ice balls.


Dinner was amazing. Seriously--turkey, potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing have never tasted so freaking good.

My sister-in-law made a white chocolate cheesecake that put my pies to shame. It may have been the best thing ever.


We were smart and decided to not brave the stores at 10 or 12. Good way to ruin the Thanksgiving spirit by pushing people aside to get to the doll that pees and wiggles on it's own, right?

I did kind of miss the crazy people though. Do I need to explain? No, you all know what I'm talking about....

Shopping at 9 in the morning just wasn't the same as shopping at 3 with the fanatics, it may be more enjoyable than airport people watching. Yes, I am one of those people.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you brave the stores and see the crazies? Please say yes, I need to live vicariously through someone....

Somewhat Simple Boutique and a BIG Discount

posted on: Friday, November 25, 2011

Good Morning Friends! Have you recovered from your turkey overload yet?

What time did you leave the house to enter the world of money saving crazed fanatics? I usually am one of those people, but sadly, I'm still in bed rigt now.

Blasphemy, right?

I'll be leaving my house out shortly and I just wanted to stop by and tell you about an awesome event that is going on this weekend.

Steph at Somewhat Simple is hosting her ever famous Somewhat Simple Holiday Boutique, this event highlights lots of amazing shops with awesome discounts that can be used from now until Cyber Monday.

The best part?

I am offering my biggest discount ever!

Right now you can save 30% off your entire purchase in my etsy shop!

Just use code: SIMPLECHRISTMAS11

And don't forget to check out her website for more amazing deals!

Enjoy and Happy Shopping!



posted on: Thursday, November 24, 2011

If only everyday was specifically dedicated to being thankful for the blessings in our lives.

Could you imagine what the world would be like?

Today I thankful for so many things:






Financial stability.

The gospel.



Hunk and Punk.

To name a few....

I wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the best parade of the year and make sure to gourge your face out on some turkey my friends! 


Somethin' for the Boys

posted on: Monday, November 21, 2011

There is now something for the boys in my etsy shop.

Adjustable bow ties.


Chocolate Pudding Pie

When I was 21 I cooked my first full-blown Thanksgiving dinner. all. by. myself.

I've never had a fear of cooking, it has always been relatively easy-follow the directions, measure the ingredients correctly, and cook at the proper temperature.

Cooking is easy. Baking, no so much.

Even when I follow the directions step-by-step I still manage to ruin cupcakes from the box and Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies from the sleeve.

So even though I managed to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself, for the sake of all of those eating my food I steered away from making a pumpkin and apple pie.

But every Thanksgiving dinner has to have pie, right?

So over the next few days I will be showcasing my favorite no-bake pie recipes.

Chocolate Pudding Pie

1-5 oz. package chocolate pudding
2 cups cold milk
1-large graham cracker crust
1-8 oz tub of whipped topping
1/4 cup Wilton's melting chocolates

Mix cold milk and pudding.

Once whipped, mix half the tub of whipped topping into the pudding/milk mixture.

Pour filling into graham cracker crust.

Top with remaining whipped topping.

Melt chocolates in microwave. Poor melted chocolates onto the backside of a cookie sheet, allow chocolates to harden.

Once the chocolate has hardened use a metal spatula to scrape the chocolate off the cookie sheet.

The chocolate with begin to "curl."

Once you have a handful of curled chocolates place them on top of the pie.

Freeze for 5-6 hours. Allow to unthaw for 15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Sorry I don't have my own picture....I always make my pies the morning of Thanksgiving and I thought you would want the recipes before the big day--pictures of my lovelies will follow after the event.

Give Thanks!

posted on: Saturday, November 19, 2011

Today is the big day.

The biggest football game in the State of Montana is about to happen for the 111th time and our house will be bustling with excitement soon!

 I am grateful today for a two-year-old who has given me a legitimate excuse not to be tailgating in this sub-zero weather.

And because I am so grateful for all of you, for two days only I am offering 20% off your entire order in my shop!

Just use promocode:

Have a happy and safe weekend!


DIY Tissue paper ornaments

posted on: Friday, November 18, 2011

My plan was to showcase a few of my new Christmas ideas today, but (and that is a BIG but (hahaha)) that didn't happen.

Have you ever had an idea for a fabulous project, one that seemed so perfect in your mind, but as you were starting and even close to finishing, it became more of a disaster.


Well that was my project--I need to do some revamping and I hopefully will have it up this weekend.

Here is a final tutorial that I did last year that for a Handmade Christmas Ornament Party

And don't forget to link up your favorite Christmas posts today!

 I get totally psyched for Black Friday and I have this weird obsession with clearance racks.

I get giddy over making things for little to no cost and I just love finding things that are so cheap that I feel as though I am ripping off the store.


These ornaments totally fall under the cheap, easy, and "oh so pretty" categories!

For this project you will want:
*Styrofoam balls
*tissue paper (cut into 1 1/2 inch strips)
*glue gun

 I used a pen to poke a hole through the stryrofoam ball for the ribbon.

I then used the pen to push the ribbon through the hole. NOTE: Make sure to glue the ribbon to the underside of the ball.

While the glue dried I started to make the tissue paper rosettes.I took one of the strips of tissue paper and crumpled the end.

Then I began to twist the tissue paper around the crumpled center. Every so often I made sure to put a dab of hot glue on the rosette so it did not fall a part. As I wound the tissue paper around I would switch between twisting inward and twisting outward. It helped give a different kind of effect to the rosettes.

Here is what the rosette looked like when I finished.

For a small ball I made twelve rosettes--you may use more or less depending on how big or small you make YOURS ;)

I then took the dried rosettes and started to glue them to the ball. NOTE: You will want to start at the top and work your way down.

There were gaps in between some of the rosettes so I took scraps of the tissue paper and stuffed them in the open areas.

Cool. Huh?

BUT WAIT...I am not going to sell you a Sham-WOW!!! Jokes.

I love shiny things...yes, I am a typical girl. So I decided to spice up my ornaments!

I used a variety of embellishments, any type will work: buttons, brads, pearls, faux gems.


Finished product:
Tissue paper: FREE
Styrofoam balls: S1.00
embellisments: FREE

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