Saturday, December 15, 2012

Semester Roundup!

School is almost over for us for this semester.  We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!  I have a nice week long break and than start right back up.  In just two more semester I'll be all done and have a Bachelors in University Studies.  It's not really the degree that I wanted or planned, but there are certain sacrifices that you sometimes have to make for the whole family.  Ben's job was to good to pass up in Idaho Falls and I just couldn't bear leaving Brynlee so much during the day to commute and go to classes in Rexburg on a daily basis.  However, I am so glad I am actually finishing and completing a Bachelor's Degree! I'm really grateful for all of the experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that BYU-Idaho has given me.

This semester has been a doozy!  School was busy, life was busy, Ben was busy, basically the one word that sums up this semester is busy.  The one thing that always made me slow down was Brynlee (most of the time).  I try really hard not to work on homework when she's awake, sometimes I do though and she's totally fine with it and she entertains herself with lots of books, toys, and simply exploring.  Brynlee is growing up so fast and has developed quite the little personality.  She can be either a little sweetie or a total spitfire.  God help us when she's a teenager! But seriously most of the time she's great.  She's LOVES hanging out with me in the kitchen and helping me "clean".  Mainly she's obsessed with the dishwasher and thinks it's just amazing.  She's walking up a storm now.  She's actually much better at running then walking.  When she runs she goes pretty far and fast before she falls, but when she walks slow it definitely takes her a lot longer to get anywhere.  She also has developed a love of screaming.  She screams with joy when she is happy and excited.  It's so funny to watch, but I feel bad for our neighbors.

Other than Brynlee and school I've really committed to fulfilling my desire to gain a skill in photography and educate myself.  I've gotten a lot of experience over the last couple of weeks.  I've had 2 couples shoots, 2 families, and 2 maternity session.  And next week I'm doing a senior session with my beautiful sister in law!  It's been busy, but I have to say I have loved doing each one of these and have been able to learn a lot.  One thing expect the unexpected because it will happen, children and snow last...30-45minutes tops so you better hurry and be hilarious.  I can't wait to do more!! I'm happy to have a hobby once again, or at least something that makes my brain work a little hard :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

When it Rains it Pours...Literally

I had to make a trip up to Rexburg to check out the gardens and get a feel of the flow for a maternity session that I have coming up.  Since this is my first session I wanted to be as prepared as possible and have a game plan so she wouldn't have to go from sitting to standing and walking around everywhere then back to sitting then standing then sitting get the picture right.

Well my plans did not got accordingly.

The weather was nasty, but when I left Idaho Falls it said that it was overcast in Rexburg....not raining.

Literally when I got into Rexburg it started to rain...of course.  Me being the stubborn person I am was not just going to head back to Idaho Falls.  I used almost a quarter of a tank of gas just going up there!  I also didn't realize that they changed the parking (again) since I had last been there.  I was worried I would get a ticket so I parked as far away as possible.  I park literally in the farthest corner in the parking lot that is past the right near the temple.

Well when I left my car it wasn't raining that much, just a little drizzle.  Brynlee was bundled up really good to and had a blanket in her stroller so I thought she would be just fine for a few minutes.

Well I got down to the gardens and then it really just started pouring.  So, I ran to the I Center...that is when I basically got stranded.  It was raining really hard and Brynlee was wet just from the walk down from the car.  I didn't have a bottle of formula with me because I didn't think we were going to be there for that long.  I spent the next 30 minutes walking around the I Center trying to wait out the rain.

I then came to terms that the rain for not stopping any time soon, so I ventured out into it.  It was horrible.
I used Brynlee's blanket to try to cover the stroller and block the rain.  But Brynlee kept on pulling it off.  So she was getting drenched.  Then she started crying.  People are now starring and probably thinking who is that stupid girl taking her baby out for a walk in the rain.

I wasn't using the jogging stroller and was in boots, but I attempted to run up the hill.  That is a big stinking hill to! Brynlee was really crying loud now.  She had kicked off her shoes...and her socks.  So now she is completely bare footed in the rain.  Worst mom award right here.  I thought I saw her pink boots about 20 feet away so we ran back down to get them and found her socks as well.

Now I started to cry.  Seriously, right in the middle of campus.  Me and Brynlee just sobbing in the rain trying to get these wet shoes and socks on her feet.  There was really no winning in this situation.

Then all of a sudden I lost my mind.  There was a little go-kart driving by and I totally flagged them down.  I didn't realize that they used them for a tour, I thought that it was just campus employees.  Well I begged them for a ride to my car.  They couldn't believe it, but how could they say no to a crying wet baby!

It was embarrassing.   But, I'm so happy that they gave us a ride.  It was the longest 3 minute ride of my life. I can tell you I was never happier to be home after that.  Brynlee was not a fan of the rain one bit.  She absolutely loves water to, and is not scared at all of it.  But cold rain...not her thing.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fall Weather

This girl is so sweet and fun.  She was even trying to eat the leaves.  I'm thankful everyday that I am her mama and she's my babe.  I'm also really grateful for how hard Ben works, his accomplishments, and his sacrifices  He's a great husband, dad, and friend.  Today I need to remind myself of all of the things that I am grateful for when I'm feel down in the dumps or just kind of crappy.  I've got a lot of things to be thankful for; an awesome family who I can talk to anytime and know that they love me, a warm bed to sleep at night, food in our cupboard, a healthy baby, and most importantly the wonderful peace and happiness that is found in the gospel.  Nothing can replace knowing the love that Heavenly Father has for me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh Cakes

I'm been trying to get some hobbies lately, because when Brynlee is alseep, the house is clean, and my homework is done for the day I just feel board.  Especially on the weekends because even though Ben has Saturday off, he usually has to spend at least 8 hours playing catch up on homework.  

So I've been experimenting with cakes.

Here's the valuable lessons that I've learned.

  1. I am not a professional so my cakes will not look exactly how I want them to. 
  2. Fondant is the devil. Period.  
  3. When you think you've followed the directions to a T, just wait...something will happen.  
  4. It's okay to practice on Styrofoam   In fact I 100% recommend it if you are doing technique that you aren't familiar with.  No sense in wasting cake.  Decorate the Styrofoam how you want and then wipe all the frosting off and do it again.  
  5. Butter cream is delicious and your child will go nuts over it. 
  6. Remember that decorating a cake is supposed to be fun!
  7. Sometimes simple is better

Monday, November 19, 2012

Prop Insanity Giveaway

Are you looking for an awesome giveaway?!

Head on over here to Prop Insanity!

If I won this it would make my year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Re-decorating Bug

It's bad.  I caught it.  The dreaded RE-DECORATING bug!  Look out bank account.  Just kidding, I'm keep myself in check (and by "I", I mean Ben).

Lately I've been really want to change things up.  Whenever the season changes so does our living room.  I really don't redecorate in any other room besides the small dining area and the living room.

Here's what I have been up to....
Spruced up outside with some fall decorations.  I'll be adding something "halloweenish", soon
 Moved the bookshelf into the office, hung up an old mirror, and got this lovely accent table and lamp for a really affordable price off of craigslist.  This girl created a little store of home decor in her garage.  Everything was made-over by her, I was in heaven.  It was the best thing I've ever seen, and I'm slightly (massively) jealous of her and her incredible talent to turn old junk, into beautiful pieces.  I will hopefully be going back!
I'm not a fan of Halloween decorations inside, other than something small.  No cobwebs and vampires in this house!  This is my version of Halloween...Subtle...and basically non-existent.  Maybe I'll get a cute print to display on an end table or hang up some spooky bunting...but that's as far as it goes!  This was an extremely easy and cheap craft to make.  I simply had a distressed frame, had a wooden 'S' lying around, and one sheet of scrapbook paper from Porters.  The frame is open and I just hung it up with a small clear tack, and I had one of those velco-sticky things that go on photo frames and I just attached it to the back of the 'S'.  I think I'll swap out the S every so often for a different pattern.  I know, so silly.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

What's Happening

So we have been pretty low key lately.
Both of us are working so hard in school and pulling straight A's.  Ben works his bum off every night, typically coming to bed at 2 am.  It's been an adjustment but it will all be worth it once it's over.

I'm doing really great in school as well!  I officially will be graduating in December of 2013!  Almost one year from now.  Next semester I am going back to work part-time at night.  I'll be going back to good old T-Bell workign about 2 or 3 nights a week.  It's going to be a weird transition but we really need to get out of debt before both of us graduate.  Taco Bell isn't the most glamorous job, but I am certainly proud of the work I do!  It allows me to stay at home with Brynlee during the day and only have to have a babysitter for about an hour before Ben come's home.  I'm actually a little excited to go back just a couple nights a week, because sometimes I just feel lonely here.  Don't get me wrong, Brynlee is awesome but I miss interacting with people my own age.  I think going a couple nights a week will be good for all of us!  We are also moving in March.   We're still going to be here in Idaho Falls, but we want to get a cheaper apartment closer to Ben's work.  We've been keeping our eyes open and will probably move into ones that are identical to Hyde Park back in Rexburg.  They are cute (and tiny), but really right now is the best time to downsize.

We celebrated Ben's birthday conference weekend.  He turned the big 28!  I made an awesome breakfast, we went shopping for him (and me).  And then got dinner.  He had a ton of homework to work on, but it was a really good day.  Watching conference Saturday and Sunday was just what we needed in order to get a better perspective on all the changes that are coming.

I'm still loosing weight!  I'm now down a total of 15 lbs.  I still have a long way to go (another 30 lbs), but I already feel better.  I exercise in the morning now so I don't have an excuse at night time anymore to not go.

Other than that not much is up with us.  We are taking our Fall family pictures this Saturday which will be really fun!  And then on the 16th we fly out to Minnesota for a week to visit Ben's family.

I'm also starting to decorate for Fall.  I'm just in search of a small little stack of hay to put on our front porch.  I got these adorable little lanterns and a funky pumpkin from the dollar spot at target.  And I have an old frame and a free fall printable to put out there too.  We are hoping to go out and do some pumpkin picking this Saturday to put out front to.

Don't you just love Fall!  Sweaters, boots, scarves, leaves, hot cocoa, and crisp air.  Is there any better season?  No, I think not.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Weekend the Crafts Never Ended

Well, I was lucky enough to finish all of my homework by Friday night.  Needless to so though I didn't do anything fun during the week!  So Saturday I was definitely going to make the most of it.  I also knew that Ben would have to do probably at least 8-10 hours of homework on Saturday, so I needed to find something that would keep myself busy so I wouldn't bother him.

I had a blast going to every craft store in Idaho Falls and finding almost everything I needed!  However I couldn't find miniature unfinished wooden candlesticks so I had to buy them online (they are for my teeny tiny little cupcake stands).  I bought a 9 in, two 6 inches, and a pack of 5 for the 3in candlesticks.

Here are some of the projects that I completed this weekend.  Just click on their titles to see a good tutorial for each one.  

Decorative Clothespins- I'm using these to hang pictures from for Brynlee's Birthday Party 
and then I'll hang them up in her room.  
 Flower Headbands 
 Funky Frames for out picture collage in the living room
(great deal from Cut It Out Already )  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weight Loss Update and Fall Style 2012- Baby Girls

I am 3 more lbs down!! Woowho! I'm really proud of myself and since I started this weight loss goal 3 weeks ago I have lost a total of 8 lbs.  I'm right on track to be at my pre-baby weight by Brynlee's 1 year birthday!  Nothing but exercising at least 3-4 times a week, very good portion control, frequent low-calories meals, and no eating out.  We actually go over the portion sizes of everything that we are having for dinner and I get out the measuring cups and measuring spoons and we get only 1 serving.  If we're still hungry then there is always vegetables and water.  I have to admit though that it took time for our stomachs to get used to just eating the single portions.  I never realized how much we ate!  Well, not anymore.  Ben is starting this running goal on Monday.  He's going to be getting up before work to go on a short run.

Enough of this weight loss talk though, lets get to something fun!

I absolutely love shopping for our little girl Brynlee.  However, I do not like the prices at stores charge.  Way to expensive for what you get, and how long you will actually you use.  So I have buying her clothes down to a science.  Ebay.  Seriously, it's awesome.  Sometimes the clothes are used and other times they are brand new with the tags.  I also tend to buy her clothes online from normal stores to.  I weight till I get discount codes in the mail, or if you sign up for newsletters you usually will get money off as well.   I search hi and low online trying to find free shipping codes, and I usually do.  Also, I've learned that you can get a lot more bang for your buck, by shopping at the end of seasons or beginning of the back to school sales.  When you are buying clothes that are bigger sizes (that they won't fit into right now) make sure it's appropriate for the season.  It also helps to know which brand may run bigger.  For example, Gap and Old Navy run quite big on my little B.  She'll be 9 months in just 2 weeks, and the 6-12 months clothes are still quite big on her.  Expect Gap jeans- those are absolutely perfect.  However Children's Place seems to be just just right.  OshKosh and Carters I found to be quite big as well.  

Here's a loo at some of the goodies that I was able to grab up for Brynlee a couple of weeks ago because of the back to school sales.  Everything I bought was 40% off or more and I had free shipping.  It was a sweet deal! PS.  Can you tell how much I love sweaters and cardigans.  Layering is perfect for babies!  Because they loose more body heat then adults, typically they should be wearing one more layer then we would.  Layering is a perfect way to keep them warm during the fall, but if they get to warm inside you can easily take the sweater off.

Good luck shopping and be sure to check out used clothing stores or ebay, because sometimes they have serious gems!          
Fall Style 2012- Baby Girls

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Five Fall Must Have's

I love Fall!  It's by far my favorite season.  There are tons of options for sweaters, layers, and some fabulous and actually comfortable boots.  This year with all the back to school sales I have already picked up these 2 pairs of boots (as shown below), some fabulous scarves from Old Navy, and my much lived in cardiganss.  Ask anyone I pretty much wear layers every day.  I've also been hitting the gym so I can look DANG good in a sweet pair of skinny jeans.  The fact that I have to loose as much weight as possible in about two months just got much more real!  We are doing our fall family pictures during the middle of October and just a couple weeks later we have heading to Minnesota to visit Ben's family.  While we are there guess what we are doing...Family Pictures!  It's kind of funny, but made me realize that I really need to kick my butt.  20 lbs. in two months....I think it's possible.  We'll see, but any weight lost will be awesome.  Speaking of weight loss this is another reason why I love the Fall.  It's so much easier to exercise outside and it feels awesome to.  Also with the Holidays coming up I want to be in as great of shape as possible before Brynlee turns one.  My goal is to loose 30 lbs. in the next...15 weeks.  I definitely think this is possible if I stick to monitoring my calories and exercising a ton.
Favorite Fall Must Haves

Old Navy striped top

Forever 21 cable sweater

High heel

Low heels


Old navy scarve

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another 2 lbs!

Progress, Progress, Progress!!

I lost another 2 lbs. this week which makes for a grand total of 5 lbs. in the last two weeks.  I am extremely proud of myself for what I've been able to change in my life.

I've read a lot about staggering your calorie intake throughout the week.  I've cut it down though so it varies from 1,000-1,300 every day.  Apparently this is supposed to trick your metabolism after doing it for a period of time.  We'll see, but for right now it's working fine and dandy.

I'm using Daily Burn to keep track of my calorie intake, plan out my meals the week before, and I get one cheat day a week.  One of the things that I love about Daily Burn Tracker is that it creates a pie graph for you showing what percentage you have eaten of fat, carbs, and protein.  We've also gotten used to smaller portions of food.  And I have a jar of healthy snacks to much on if I get hungry.  

My foot is also basically completely heeled.  I can put pressure on it when using the cross trainer, but I'm not able to run on it yet.  I'll try again in a couple of weeks.  Other then that I've just been making a conscious effort to exercise at least for 45 minutes a day.  Either I go to the gym or go for a walk with Brynlee.

Now I just need to keep it up for well...the rest of my life.  Hopefully though at the rate that I'm going I will be able to loose 20 lbs. in the next 4 months.   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brynlee's 8 month pictures

Taken by the wonder Chelsey from CeeCee Photography.  I highly recommend Chelsey to take your pictures!  She has tons of options for indoor baby shots with backdrops and accessories, and she is really talented.  She is also super affordable, which makes it actually a possibility for people to have pictures taken.