Friday, April 24, 2015

Duke & Cole review!

*I received this product in exchange for a review and I know the shop owners personally, however all opinions are my own.

I am so excited that I've been given the opportunity to do a review for a headband + leggings set from Duke & Cole!

First, let me tell you a bit about the sweet mamas behind Duke and Cole.

These two are the sweetest, cutest ladies ever. Best friends (and some of mine, too!), went to high school together with me, both pediatric nurses at the same hospital, and both expecting baby girls this summer (less than 3 weeks apart!). They make adorable, quality leggings (sizes 0-3 months to 5T, boys and girls), blankets, hats and now headbands. They love to work with their customers and will even make custom listings when asked!

Duke and Cole

I love the print I received for Miss E!! Floral is my jam right now! I love the floral on floral that I put sistergirl in for these pictures, too (though my husband might disagree, haha, he's not into the floral... psh, what does he know!)!

^^ Loving her new leggings, obviously!

All of their leggings are a super soft knit fabric and seem like they will hold up really well to the test of time so far(and active, messy 10 month olds)!  Ellie pretty much wore these leggings every day this week because they are so cute and soft. :) I was able to give them E's measurements to make sure that the leggings fit perfectly (another reason I love them... custom fitting!). I got them a little long so that they will fit her for a long time.  

Like I've said before, I love supporting small businesses and other mamas (or soon-to-be mamas!), but I especially love it when their products are affordable! Leggings are currently going for only $12 a pair in their Etsy shop. Also, go follow Duke and Cole on Instagram so you can see new products and so you won't miss out on any giveaways! There is a rumor going around that there might be a giveaway coming up next week. ;) Guess you'll have to follow them to find out! Mwuhahah.

I just love how sweet my girl looks in these leggings and I'm already planning on getting another floral print that isn't listed (yeah, I've got connections). :)

Please just do yourself a favor and follow Duke and Cole on Instagram or hop on over to their Etsy page to check them out and help support a small business!! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Easter was so good. SO good.

After having such a rough day the day before, I woke up on Sunday with a renewed spirit and ready to spend the day celebrating the Savior. I had a hard time feeling the spirit on Saturday during General Conference because I was frustrated with the kids and had such a bad attitude. But Sunday was 10 times better. Your own happiness really does come down to your attitude and how you choose to feel about situations that come your way.

We started the day with our stereotypical Mormon "Conference" cinnamon rolls for breakfast, haha ;) and then watched the first half of conference together. Then we headed to my mom's house that afternoon (we recorded the second half of General Conference to watch later) and spent the evening having Easter dinner there with my sister and her family and my Grandpa Bob, who was in town visiting my mom. Dinner was fabulous and Luke had a blast with his cousins, as usual!

I totally forgot to get my big camera out and didn't take many pictures on my phone.... and I'm kind of glad. I just enjoyed my family and my kids and wasn't focused on getting a perfect picture. I did manage to snap a few though. :)

^The happy kiddos playing with their Easter loot. :) It doesn't take much to make them happy. I think they would have just been happy with a basket of plastic eggs. :)

^Sister girl and I loving life. 

 ^All the boys had fun on their egg hunt... Grandma Cheryl is the best! :)

I am so grateful for the Savior's sacrifice for me, for all of us. But more importantly, I am grateful for his victory over death. I know that he lives, and that he knows me and my every struggle. Because of him, I don't have to bear those struggles alone. Because of him I am made alive.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
     -1 Corinthians 15:22

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter! xoxo

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Unexpected General Conference Reflections

     Now that the day is almost over, the kids are in bed and I've got cinnamon rolls baking in the oven for tomorrow's breakfast, I have time to sit and reflect over the first half of General Conference today. I'll be honest, it wasn't how I expected it to be.

     I've been looking forward to General Conference all week and went into the day with such high hopes for spiritual nourishment and revelation.

     But I was exhausted from the kids not sleeping well the night before, the morning was rushed and chaotic and the kids were so crazy during the conference I barely heard what any of the talks were about. I felt like I didn't take much away from it and felt .... disappointed.

     I was feeling so frustrated, even though I knew that it would be hard trying to watch it with the kids. I had some questions I was hoping would be answered, and was bummed that I didn't even get to hear some of the talks! But then it dawned on me as I was trying to finish making cinnamon rolls later that day, with children crawling all over me, I suppose I did get my answer after all.

     My answer was this: that I am in the season of mothering- specifically of young children- and that I needed to just really focus my energy and efforts on them. I mean, obviously I do that. But I mean, REALLY, joyfully, focus on them.

     See, I've recently (finally) discovered some interests and passions of mine. The only problem is: I barely have time or energy for them! I had started to become frustrated, annoyed, even a little resentful, that my kids took so much of my time and energy that I felt like I could never get anything done that I wanted to! Why did I wait until I had two small children to finally figure out what hobbies and possible career ventures I wanted to do??! I am kicking myself now for not using the free time I had before I became a mother to focus on these things, but I guess all I really wanted before I had kids was to become a mother! And here I am now, annoyed at these precious babies that I prayed so fervently for. {insert mommy guilt here}

     I had been praying for time to do everything that I wanted and to know how to manage my time better. But today I really understood that this is just the season I am in. I need to give my all to these precious beings that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with. I know I need to take care of myself, too. And I still plan to pursue these new interests, but my main purpose right now is to raise my babies and give them what they deserve. I suppose a mother doesn't ever stop raising her children no matter what "season" they are in, but at my children's young ages, they just need pretty much 100% of me and I need to give that to them. And I know that, as I do that, Heavenly Father is (and always has been) there for me. I have never felt more close to my Savior and Heavenly Father, and have never had my prayers answered more directly (and have never prayed so much!) and felt more valued as a Daughter of God, than I have since becoming a mama. As we approach Easter tomorrow, I know now more than ever that the Savior knows exactly every pain and struggle I feel, even if my struggles are so seemingly small in comparison to his own. Raising a family, though difficult in it's varied ways, is truly the work of Heaven. Motherhood is a divinely appointment role and I don't want to take it for granted or wish my days away for better ones ahead. My children are here right now, and they need me (and so does my husband, for that matter). Even if it exhausts me to no end, there is no greater role than this.

     I guess what I'm trying to say is, my answer was that I need to take my time with my new endeavors (though still pursuing them), manage my time better and not let them get in the way of my most precious work- my children. It reminds me of this talk by Dallin H. Oaks, "Good, Better, Best". While there are many good things I can spend my time doing, I need to focus most on what will help me develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen my little family.

     I think I knew this deep down anyway, but having this confirming revelation come to me through the holy spirit today has given me a new energy to follow through with it and do so more joyfully. I am the biggest influence on my children; I am their safe escape from a big world; they need me, all of me.

"Children are NOT a distraction from more important work. They ARE the most important work."
-C.S. Lewis

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fun with Peeps: Peeps Preschool Experiments & Peep Pops

We had so much fun experimenting with Peeps for preschool today. It was super simple (right up my ally) and Luke had a blast.

We started off by writing down Luke's predictions about the Peeps and then experimented to see if he was right.

  • It will taste: "Sour" (then later he said it will taste sweet like candy).
  • Will it float: "Float"
  • What will happen in the microwave: "It will freeze and it will break"
  • What will happen to it in the freezer: "It will freeze, REALLY freeze" ;)
  • Final results/thoughts: We discovered that Peeps taste sweet, they float in water (and they turn the water yellow!), they will puff up really big in the microwave, and will explode like a volcano out of a plastic bottle, and we never got a chance to see what happens to it in the freezer because Luke ate the last Peep when I wasn't looking. Obviously, we discovered that Peeps are yummy, too! :)
There are many different "experiments" you could do, but I just wanted to keep it simple and fun for Luke. I really want to get some beakers and safety glasses for my little scientist now and do some more experiments!


     Another cute idea I came across are these little Peep pops! I made a few for Luke's Easter basket. Instead of just sticking a whole container of Peeps in his basket, I made three of these Pops... they will have much more of a wow-factor when Luke sees them and now he is only getting three candies, instead of whole container and a sugar-high. ;)

Head on over to Simple As That to see her original tutorial and get a free printable to go with it. These would make great neighbor and friend gifts for all of your PEEPS, as well! 

9 Months!

     Last time I posted, I promised I would post Ellie's 9 month update "in the next few days".... now that Ellie is almost 10 months old, obviously that didn't happen. ;) I was out of town at the time, and then ended up getting a horrible stomach flu which cut into all of my plans, and then we have been so busy since coming home from our trip! We to California and Seattle (and even stayed at my mom's in Yakima, too). I will post on that next. I promise this time!

     Anyway, here is sweet sistergirl at 9 months!!

  • Weighs: She is 15lbs 6oz on our scale at home! We missed her 9 month appointment while we were out of town, so I don't know all her stats yet.
  • Wears mostly 6 months clothing, but still fits into a lot of her 3 month clothing and can fit into a few 9 month items.
  • Wears size 2 diapers.
  • Says "mama", "dada" and babbles a lot. I swear she is trying to say hi when she waves, too. She also squeals all day long. She has the girliest squeals ever.
  • Loves to blow raspberries and always sticking her tongue in and out. She has a super long tongue, also. See:
  • Can stand up on her own sometimes! She still can't figure out how to get from the ground into a standing position, but I bet she will be able to figure it out soon. 
  • Is cruising along the furniture and getting into EVERYTHING! She can open drawers and cabinets and is pushing her limits and keeps hurting herself on everything. I really have everything babyproofed, but she still manages to get herself hurt or fall over. I hate it! I love seeing her learn how to do things though.
  • ^Is super active and all over the place. 
  • Flips over/tries to crawl away/starts a wrestling match with me every.single.time I try to change her diaper or clothes. She is a she-man baby, too! So strong! 
  • Doesn't care for strained baby food (unless its in one of those pouches), but will still eat it sometimes. She mostly prefers table foods and whatever we are eating and loves to feed herself! Miss independent! 
  • Still nursing. Won't take formula, but will take a bottle of breastmilk if I can manage to pump enough. 
  • Still NO teeth, though I think I can finally see two bottom teeth trying to come through.
  • Waking up two times a night (sometimes more on occasion), once about 30 minutes after she goes to bed, just for a little bit but falls back asleep on her own, and then once usually to nurse. She usually sleeps in pretty good, too, thankfully!
  • Naps twice a day.  Sometimes she takes great naps, sometimes she doesn't. It's hard when you have a big brother who loves to be loud. :)                       
  • Loves her brother more than anything, though! Luke is FINALLY starting to really like Ellie and wanting to play and interact with her more. It makes me SO happy. I just want them to be best buddies forever. 
  • Is starting to get a LITTLE bit of blonde hair coming in, especially at the back of her head, which is good because she is starting to resist the headband and usually tries to take them off. 
  • She loves getting tickled or playing the "I'm gonna get you" game (you know what I'm talking about), but isn't crazy ticklish like Luke and me both are. 
  • Smiles the biggest, eye squintiest smiles. :) I love it when she smiles with her eyes. 
  • She is so feminine and dainty, but she definitely likes to play rough and play with all of Luke's "boy" toys and sports balls. I hope she is into sports as she grows up! I always wanted to play a sport but was never very good at any of them. :)

I just love that sweet smile! :)