Friday, February 27, 2015


We have officially moved back from McCall. For those who didn't know, we moved to McCall, Idaho temporarily for my husband's job. He had a project to do at the hospital up there. So, instead of being apart - we decided to have Kess & I move up there, too! It's a dang good thing we did because the project took about 2 months longer than we thought it would!

Our McCall adventure was really hectic and long. Traveling back and forth every few weeks with Kess as a two month old baby was very rough. We got the hang of it and Kess was a champ! It eventually got tough on her to settle and sleep well because she was constantly in a different place, and it only got harder as she got older. We are very happy to be sleeping in one place!
My parents came up for the last 2 days we were in McCall. They had some work to do there for half a day and then we got to play with them for the rest of the time! We hadn't tried McCall Brewing Company yet, so we gave it a try for lunch! It was delicious!! Totally recommend it, if you're ever up there!
Matt got off work early, so we got to relax and enjoy each others' company before dinner at Toll Station Pizza. This is one of our favorite restaurants in McCall. Yummy pizza, amazing salad bar and good customer service. Another place to give a try if you're ever up there! A few of our other favorite restaurants were Pueblo Lindo, My Father's Place & The Pancake House.

It was such a huge help to have my parents up there to help us move all of our crap home! I couldn't believe how much stuff we had up there (mostly baby stuff, but still!!) Matt and I decided that it's yard sale time! We have been able to live out of suitcases for 5 months, so we are trying to be minimalists and clean out our home! I'm a total hoarder. Any advice for me? I have an odd attachment to things that I should just throw away! HA!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Yard House

We went out on a date without Kess for the first time today! Yes, really! We've been slammed for months, so going out together was dang near impossible! We left Kess girl with my parents and took off for a few hours this afternoon. It felt weird not packing Kess around with us, but it was also very nice! It was great to be able to chat with Matt over a meal without handing Kess girl cheerios ;)
We went to The Village at Meridian. I'm pretty sure we are the last people in the Treasure Valley to go to The Yard House. I've been dying to go since it opened, but it's an outrageous wait on a Friday/Saturday night. So we decided to go on a day date and catch a late lunch. The lettuce wraps for an appetizer were really delicious! Matt got the Asada Street Tacos & I got the Penne with Chicken. Yummy!

We took a stroll around the Village, grabbed some frozen yogurt & drove back to pick up Kess. It was so nice to get out. We missed our little girl! It's amazing how much you look forward to having alone time, but then you can't get back to your kids fast enough!

Have you guys tried The Yard House? What's your favorite meal? We definitely want to go back!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Favorite Swaddle Products

After reading multiple "how to survive with a newborn" books, I knew that swaddling was one of the best ways to help babies sleep longer. I was all for that! ;) Kess actually loved to be swaddled. I really do think it helped her sleep longer and better. We had been given a few different swaddling blankets for Kess and found the Carter's blankets to be the very best! They wrapped around her tiny little shoulders really well. I found some other blankets to be stiff and didn't wrap around her like I wanted. These have a ton of stretch, so we could get them pretty snug and she couldn't bust out of them. We used these blankets until she was about 3 months old. They are usually on sale at JCPenny's and I've even found them at Ross! 
Around 3 months old, I switched to the Halo SleepSack Swaddle. I loved this! Kess slept so well in this. She loved to be swaddled so this was a great way to let her move her little legs while she slept, but keep her arms snuggled up. We used this every nap time and bed time. I was starting to feel that swaddling Kess was a crutch. I wasn't sure if/when I should wean her off. I couldn't tell if she was giving me signs or not. She stopped sleeping really well just before she turned 5 months. She hit a growth spurt and had some sleep regression. Then a month or so after that she started busting out of the swaddle, but she would wake up and not be able to settle back down to sleep. So I kept thinking that she wasn't ready, but could tell that she was uncomfortable. 
Honestly, I was clueless. Something had to give. Momma needed some sleep.
I did a little bit of research and stumbled across the Zipadee-Zip swaddle transition.. You guys, I love this! Kess hadn't slept well for about 2 months (it was slowly killing me) and the first night - she slept all night. It had to be a fluke, right?! Nope, sure enough she is napping and sleeping much longer stretches! She can safely roll over, sleep on her side or tummy - whatever position she is comfortable in. I ordered Kess' Zipadee-zip in fleece. That way she wouldn't be cold. I will probably buy another one for back-up, too! I couldn't be happier with this purchase! Cheers to more sleep! Hallelujah!

Any other swaddle or sleep recommendations? Let's hear them! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Party Mix & Our Love Story

Happy Valentine's Day my friends - I wanted to share mine & Matt's love story in honor of Valentine's Day!

Also, I wanted to share a quick yummy treat. I have loved white chocolate popcorn for years. It's super addicting. I usually add some cute sprinkles, but I recently saw that someone added pretzel sticks and Chex cereal. This made it more like a party mix, rather than a dessert! Dangerous! It's so yummy! I could eat a whole bowl of it myself.
It's super easy... which is a problem ;)

I like air popped popcorn. I usually put a cup of kernels in and pop away.
Once it's popped, I scoop it out of the first bowl to another bowl, that way you leave all the 
un-popped kernels in the first bowl. 
Then throw in a few handful of Chex and pretzel sticks. Pour melted vanilla flavored almond bark or white chocolate (almond bark sets up quicker) and mix it all together. Once it's coated lightly, lay it all out on wax paper. Melt more almond bark and drizzle it all over the popcorn. Then add sprinkles. I love that you can add whatever sprinkles you want to make it festive! I've even put crushed candy cane in it for Christmas! 

Viola!  A delicious and incredibly addicting snack! 

And I can't leave you without a picture of my cutest little Valentine!
Gah! She melts me!

Recipe modified from Little Baby Garvin

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day Favorites

Happy Valentine's week, my friends! 
I have been shopping small a lot lately & I'm determined to do so more often, in hopes of finding great products and supporting awesome small business owners! I have loved seeing all the fun Valentine goodies on Instagram & Etsy!  I've rounded up a few of my favorites. There's a little something for me, Matt & Kess. 

-I'm really excited to burn this candle this weekend! I ordered it & it should be here in the next few days! Can't wait to smell it! -These shirts are too cute! Plus, I love a good Mommy&Me matching outfit! -I bought this card for Matt! We usually skip the presents and do cards on Valentine's Day. This one had me cracking up! Totally cute and super adorable! 

Do you have a favorite small shop? Tell me! I wanna check them out!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day! xo

Friday, February 6, 2015

Winter Carnival 2015

Have you guys ever been up to McCall, Idaho during Winter Carnival? It's crazy! This small town of 3,000 people gets bombarded with thousands of people! I've been to the Winter Carnival with my family once or twice as a little kid. But I don't remember it at all and I've just seen pictures.

To kick off the Carnival, there is a big fireworks show over the lake. We could see them from our front yard, so we bundled up and watched them for a bit. Kess wasn't so sure if she liked the fireworks or not, so she got a little nervous and cuddled up on daddy.

(sorry for the crummy quality - nighttime and  outdated iPhone pictures don't quite mix)

We have been watching the sculptures come to life over the past few weeks, so it was fun to walk around and see them finished. We coordinated between Kess' nap times and decided to bundle up and head out for part of the afternoon. Our first stop was at the hospital that Matt works at. They got Honorable Mention for their sculpture of a train going through the arch near Smith’s Ferry, Idaho.

We then headed downtown. The lake has been froze over for a few weeks now and I've been dying to walk on it and it's something that I've never done before, so I had to do it! We marched through the snow down to the beach - stroller and all. I'm sure we were quite the sight and such a gorgeous day! There were tons of people out in the middle of Payette Lake. I wasn't that brave, so we stayed close-ish to shore.

 After being pushed and shoved all around our tiny little town, we decided to head back and enjoy the rest of our evening at home.

The carnival is still going through this weekend, so if you haven’t experienced it you should give it a try. Matt and I are hoping to grab some vendor food before it's over, which I’m a total sucker for! Don't judge me, I'm still breastfeeding and need the calories ;) right?

Side note: We are currently living in McCall, Idaho temporarily for Matt's job. We are originally from the Treasure Valley! So we are trying to soak up the little town of McCall while we can! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Purpose Behind The Words

Throughout High School I kept a journal. I would write down every detail of every day. Eventually it went to every other day, every week, and eventually I stopped writing altogether. I found writing to be very therapeutic, and it was easy for me to get all my raw emotions out on paper. I remember multiple occasions where I would cry as I wrote, or smile, or laugh. Whatever I was feeling went on paper, but also came out in waves of emotion. I miss being able to look back on those entries and being able to remember exactly how I felt when I was writing them. I also miss being able to see myself grow and change as a person. From one page to the next, I changed.

I've thought about starting this blog for a while now. I've kept a personal blog for family and friends to keep up with the daily happenings of my husband and I, and now our little daughter. But I've needed something more lately. I've needed to reconnect with who I am, and who I want to be. My life has been lacking something – me, living. Now don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing life – a life that I have wanted for as long as I can remember. I have a wonderful, hardworking, supportive, loving, (and let’s not forget – very handsome) husband, and we have a beautiful daughter who lights up my world. I couldn't ask for better people that surround me and love me. I am truly happy! But my life has been lacking personal passion and growth.

My husband lights up when he talks about fishing, hunting and the outdoors. He will gladly wake up at 4:00am to go fishing, in a freezing cold river, knowing full well that he might not catch anything that day. 4:00am you guys! I have nothing that I would gladly wake up at 4:00am for. As much as I love my daughter, I’m a little bummed when I have to wake up at 4:00am just to give her a pacifier.

Sure, I have things I like to do. I like to run, be fit and cook. I like fashion, skin care, hair and make-up. I like shopping and finding a good deal. I even do the occasional craft or sewing project. But in all honesty I rarely step out of my comfort zone – it’s easy and it’s so comfortable. Now, if you asked me if I was a hard worker, in a heartbeat I would tell you yes. I believe in hard work and a killer work ethic. But if you asked me if I really – I mean really – live my life to the fullest, I would look down at my feet and tell you no.

In order to live we must put forth effort. I have found myself on multiple occasions taking the path of least resistance. I will do what’s comfortable before I branch out and give something new a try. So, that’s one of my goals this year and the purpose of this blog. I am going to branch out, to try something new, to get out of the house, to make a big deal out of the little things in life, to make my daughter’s day, and to make sure that my husband knows that I am really living my life to the fullest.

This blog isn't about becoming or being perfect. This blog isn’t about being happy 100% of the time. This blog isn't even about posting all the wonderful new things that I’m trying and making sure my Instagram feed is top notch. This blog is about my personal effort to find passion, to try something new, and to stop waiting for life to happen to me. This blog is about being real, honest and genuine. It’s about living a life to be proud of. I am a determined, smart, happy person, and I’m going to share all of that with you.

This is where you come in. If you’re interested in trying something new or just interested in my little story, then please, follow along. The more the merrier and I promise we’re going to have some fun! I would love for you to share something with me or to give me something new to try! (I draw the line at skydiving, though!) It can be something as simple as a new recipe for dinner, or wearing a new shade of lipstick (I’ll even go out in public). Or, it could be reading a book that I wouldn't have even considered, or trying a new kitchen gadget or product.  I’m going to try to make little holidays a bigger deal in my home, or I might even go on a date with my husband that doesn't include the usual stand-by of Chinese food and renting a movie from Redbox.  ;-)

This blog will also include other bits and pieces of my life. It might even include something that is “tried and true” at our house, so you can try something new at yours. It will include things that make me smile, and things that I’m proud of. You better believe you’ll be seeing plenty of pictures of my family, my sweet daughter, and snippets of our life.

This blog isn’t so much about finding passion in any one particular thing, but is more so about being passionate about life in general, and ensuring that I put forth effort to grow as a person, as a wife, as a mother, and as a daughter of God. I understand that we can’t constantly be on the go, and we can’t always be 100% all the time – that’s life. But I do want to give this life of mine everything I have and my best foot forward.  I’m very excited to welcome you into my life and my little adventure of growth.

I hope to make connections with people, to have genuine conversations, and to say something that makes you think “I've been there, too!”  I hope that I give you something that resonates within that you can appreciate. I hope to create a community of people who are going through the same things I am – being a new mother, being a wife, running a home and juggling about a hundred other things. I hope to be candid, truthful and sincere, but to do so in a positive light. I hope you enjoy this journey, because I’m sure going to. Welcome to my “Beautiful Effort.”

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