Thursday, December 29, 2016

McCall Move

I know what you're thinking. Because I thought the same thing. Over & over. But, let me preface this post with a little info on where our McCall, Idaho journey began.

A few months before we got pregnant with Kess, Matt got the job as an administrative fellow. The fellowship was meant to groom him to be an administrator at St. Luke's some day. It was a 2 year program & we thought, "Well, it can't be harder than the 2 year MBA program we just finished." Ohhh, but it was. It was tons of hours & stress on Matt. We knew it would be worth it... eventually. Two months after Kess was born Matt got the opportunity to work on a project at the St. Luke's facility in McCall. He would need to be up there quite a bit, so we decided that Kess & I should go up there, too.

We moved up in September of 2014. I didn't realize how hard it would be to be up there, all while traveling back to Nampa every few weeks so I could continue my job as a Cosmetologist. I had a clientele to maintain & I had to maintain it while traveling with a 2-7 month old. It was a lot of work, but we knew it was temporary. The project was supposed to take 3 months... it took 5. Then Matt was encouraged to apply for a job at the McCall hospital. He would have to wrap up his fellowship early (which was fine by us). It was a pretty rigorous process. Lots of interviews, nerves & waiting... making our total time up there 6 months. In February we found out that he didn't get the job. It was pretty heartbreaking. We had found a home that we liked & that was surprising in our teeny budget. I was nervous to move up there full time, but I was also incredibly anxious to settle back into normal life - wherever it may be. I don't handle ambiguity well (Like, at all).

We moved home to Nampa at the very end of February 2014. We were both ready to move on, get settled back into life and get Kess sleep-trained. We planned on finishing out Matt's fellowship & prayed it would end in a job offer. We were super blessed because about 1 month after moving home & with 6 months left in the fellowship - Matt got a job offer. A really good one. We cried tears of joy and relief when we heard the offer. We accepted instantly & felt like our stint in McCall really paid off, plus we got to stay close to family!

Fast forward to a year and a half & the person that got the McCall job quit. We found out about it when we were a few weeks away from our new home being completed. I all but blew it off in the beginning. We kinda, sorta prayed to make the right decision, but I basically refused to think about it. We just built our dream home for heavens sake... something we NEVER imagined doing before 40, let alone before 30. We were beyond humbled to be able to create a life for our family in a new home that we built to cater to our needs. We moved in - fell even more in love with our home & then the job opened up for applicants. We knew we needed to at least consider it. I instantly felt that we didn't belong there. We belonged at HOME, with our family, in our new home, with plenty of room for Matt to grow in his career here in the valley. I honestly wasn't sure if that was my answer or if my negative outlook was getting in the way. Then Matt told me his thoughts...

We were out to pizza, because I was having a crummy early pregnancy day & didn't want to cook. We sat in the back corner booth, trying to get Kess to eat pizza. Matt said, "Can we talk about McCall?" He then told me that we felt like he needed to apply. Something in his chest was pushing him towards that job. He would regret not applying. We both teared up because we knew exactly what that meant for our family. We decided to go to the temple. Of course, the closest temple to us was closed for maintenance. So we arranged for Matt's mom to watch Kess that Saturday and off to Twin Falls we drove. We sat in the temple for over an hour after the session. We prayed, cried, prayed, talked, cried some more. Seriously, we cried so much that one of the attendants brought us tissues. We were pathetically confused, tired and emotionally drained. Matt finally asked, "What do you think?" I said, "We need to go." I don't know why I even said that. It just came out of my mouth. At the time we were just questioning if we should apply or not. We decided to apply.

I've had more than a few break downs about applying for the job. For those who don't know me well, I'm a super emotional person. Not like Ashley I. on the Bachelor emotional, but I wear my heart on my sleeve and I don't make tough decisions well for fear of making the wrong one. I get anxious very easily & carry that weight around a lot. I remember bawling to Matt on the phone while he was away asking, "Why now? Why not 2 years ago when we really needed a job, when we really needed the money? When we had a 6 month old, not a 2.5 year old. Why now that I'm in the throws of pregnancy? Why after we accomplished so much here in Nampa? Why? We are settled and really happy!"

We have a few answers to those questions now, but not to all of them. We waited for what felt like an eternity after Matt had back to back interviews...  we finally heard. He got the job. I knew he would. That's probably why I was so scared in the first place. Applying didn't make it a possibility - it made the move a reality. Matt told them he would have an official answer for them in a few days. We talked, cried and prayed more than we did before. For some reason we both felt nervous about accepting it. Matt felt nervous because I was nervous. I felt nervous because all of the sudden Matt seemed nervous!

After a few days - we decided to accept the job. We just knew that we would regret not going. We both felt better now that we had decided on a future, but I still felt anxious. I still do. It's scary to move away from family & everything I know. I'm grateful for our few months in McCall, because it truly has made it easier to process. We understand the parts of town better, we know which grocery store we like, which pizza place we like (most important, obviously), where the post office is, etc. 

We put our house up for sale this week, so I've been thinking about why it's so hard to let go of  a house. It's just a house, right? Matt & I both try to not focus on worldly things, but to us - the house wasn't a possession. We worked so dang hard for this home, we poured over numbers to make sure we were making the right choice for our family; to make sure we were staying financially sound as we built was an accomplishment. I have been thinking about why I'm so sad to let it go & it's because I didn't get to do the things I wanted to in it. I won't get to finish Kess' big girl room. I won't get to even start baby boy's nursery, let alone bring him home to this house. I didn't get to finish some details in my salon. We don't get to watch Kess play outside next summer, or build her a swing set. It's those little things that I'm having a hard time letting go of & envisioning in another home. I'm sad to leave my job & clientele, because quite frankly I love working from home, I love bringing in extra money, I love not having to feel super guilty for buying a little more expensive baby gear because I can cover it. It's hard to let that part of myself go; the part that I dreamed about for so long. But, we knew I would cut back on hours once I had baby boy, so it's nothing too shocking, just happening a little faster than we planned. 

The choice to leave our comfort zone was hard. Honestly, it's still hard. I know we are making the right choice for Matt's career & for our family. I felt that in my chest, I know I could never deny my husband something he dreams about or has worked so hard for. I know that we will be blessed, guided and humbled by following Heavenly Father's plan for us. But I'm also incredibly nervous to have no family around (something I've never experienced), to be cooped up in the house with 2 small kids while we wait out the long winter, to not have somewhere to go or a place (Target) to wander around in while Matt works late, to have to travel home for any holiday or event that we don't want to miss out on, not to being able to meet my mom or my sister for lunch, or invite myself over to their houses for dinner. To have to create a new life, to find new friends, new confidants - it all seems pretty daunting. I know that Matt & I will rely on each other (more me rely on him, probably) because we did when we were in McCall 2 years ago. As hard as this decision has been - I finally feel like I can see the light. Our house is up for sale, our cars are up for sale and we have a little home to rent for a while up in McCall. We are getting ready for this little journey of ours. We are excited to make new friends, to dedicate ourselves to the church up there,  to build a new little life up there. I feel like I've had time to soak all of this in, to imagine a life up there again. Matt and I talk about some fun weekends we want to plan, or things we want to teach Kess. This is a true blessing for our family. I'm determined to build a great life in McCall, to be positive through the transition, to look for new things for Kess & I to try. I'm excited to welcome our sweet baby boy into the world up there and to watch Matt flourish in a job that he is beyond excited about. Sometimes we get presented with hard decisions in life. But we trust in our Heavenly Father, he helped us make this decision. We know it.  It feels right. We are ready. 

Thank you all for your well wishes, congratulations & love. It means more than you know. 

Kaisermans in McCall 2014

Thursday, December 8, 2016


I wanted to feature an awesome company today. I-ZIP believes that every woman can have her own back. This company started as a way to help empower women. I love their movement & a portion of their proceeds goes to The Global Movement for Girls' Rights. This movement ensures justice & equality for girls. 

The I-Zip isn't just a way for your to zip up your own dress, but a way for you to feel like you have it all together. Zipping up your own dress (with ease) not only shows your independence, but your self confidence. My message to you - you can do anything! Keep up the good work, girlfriend!'

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baby #2 update

Thank you so much for all your love & congratulations on the announcement of our second baby! We are beyond excited! I'm officially in the 2nd trimester & reeeaaallll happy about that! The first trimester is a doozy for me! I haven't thrown up in a few days & I feel like my energy is finally coming back! I don't know who is more excited about that, me or Matt! Poor guy has been picking the slack around the house for me! 

We are due May 5th, 2017 & find out what the gender is in about 6 1/2 weeks! We are not the people that keep it as surprise until the very end... we can't. We have to know!! 

While I was pregnant with Kess I did weekly bump-date blog posts with my chalkboard, but I think people might have gotten a little annoyed with that, plus I'm not sure I'll have the time this go around, so I'll try to do one every 4 weeks or so. 

I found out I was pregnant on a Monday & Matt had already left for work. We both thought for sure that we weren't pregnant that month based the fact that my symptoms were feeling more period-like than pregnant-like. So we decided to change our mindset & focus on next month.

My period is typically like clock work - it hadn't started in the middle of the night & I felt nothing indicating that it would start later that morning - I have no self-control so I grabbed a test & went for it. Sure enough... teensiest, lightest positive ever. I sat on my bed for a while - squinting & staring. Do I tell Matt yet? Do I wait until tomorrow? Will it even be darker tomorrow? Is this real?

I decided this was the real deal. Kess woke up & she was the first person I told. She smiled real big, but I don't think she really understood what was going on. Then I told my mom, since we were living with my parents at the time - our house wasn't set to be finished for a few more weeks. 

Before Matt & I decided to start trying for baby #2 I asked him how he wanted to find out we were pregnant. With Kess I tested early in the morning, but Matt hadn't left for work yet, so I stumbled into the kitchen in my pajamas, rocking my bedhead, holding a pregnancy test & said, "Uh, this thing is positive!!" Then Matt's eyes proceeded to get huge & he said, "Uh oh!" (Not an uh oh - totally planned, but Matt was pretty nervous nonetheless. I thought it would be nice to share the news in a little better way than that. Matt said he wanted cupcakes & a balloon announcing that we were pregnant with our second baby. We laughed & laughed over it, but once we really were pregnant I knew that would be the perfect way to tell him! 

It almost killed me to wait until after 6:00pm to tell him, but once he got home Kess & I grabbed the cupcakes & the emoji balloon (it was that or a 'happy birthday' Mickey Mouse balloon) & I said, "Kess can you tell daddy what you're going to be?" We practiced all day & she wouldn't say it when it came down to it, so I chimed in for her & said, "Are you going to be a big sister?" Matt looked at me & then back at her, "Kesser, you're going to be a big sister?" She nodded & then Matt looked at me & said, "Really? I thought we were out this month?!" "I know, me too, but it's a positive!" 

Matt then decided that he wished the baby was here already & he didn't want to wait until May!! Sorry honey! ;)

This pregnancy has been better to me than Kess' was. I was miserable during Kess' & this one I've been only kinda miserable ;) I've definitely thrown up less, but I had significantly more nausea than I did with Kess. With Kess I had no nausea - just the constant vomiting. I definitely feel more fatigue with this baby, than I did with Kess, but I'm not sure that's pregnancy related or toddler related. ;)

Again, thank you so much for following along & for all your well wishes! We are so excited to be expanding our family... a little nervous, too but I'm sure we will get over than in a quick hurry! ;)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Shape Mags

My last post was about a month ago. I've turned into the "occasional blogger." Crap. I'm determined to be better - but let me tell you... this move! Why is moving so hard? And don't tell me it's because I have too much stuff... because you're not wrong & I don't want to hear it. ;)

Between unpacking, settling in, making sure our house turns into a home, taking care of Kess & getting used to working from home full time, life has been nothing short of crazy.

Kess has been watching way too many shows & I've put off playing with her because she's so independent and does her own things so well. I've turned a new leaf as we've become settled & when I came across Shape Mags I couldn't help but think about how much Kess would love them! When they sent us their starter kit both Kess & I were so excited to play with them.

Throughout our home building process Kess became really familiar with "buiwding howses" & always asks us to help her build a house out of her Shape Mags. They're easy to use (& even easier to clean) & they keep her occupied. I feel better about her playing and building than I do her watching 27 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse per day. I'm not against screen time, but I've let it get out of hand. If you feel like you need to reign in the TV time at your house & need something fun to do with your kids - Shape Mags are such a fun option. I've heard of people thinking they're the perfect church toy, too. I'm totally sure they're awesome, but as of late we are very late to church & end up sitting on the hard chairs on the hardwood. Tumbling Shape Mags, hardwood flooring & a toddler who has no idea how to whisper cannot be a good combo, right? So maybe if we make it to church on time here soon - I'll bust out the Shape Mags & see how it goes!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long on the blog front. But I can guarantee you that there is some fun stuff ahead & a little house tour, as soon as I clean my house ;)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Family Pictures

We haven't take family pictures (excluding selfies) since Kess' newborn shoot. Seriously. I know... I can hardly believe it myself. I asked my friend Kara to snap a few shots of us & they are just perfect - if I do say so myself. I wanted to take them at Northwest Nazarene University. It's a local university & it's where I went before I married Matt. The campus is gorgeous & I knew it would be the perfect backdrop.

Taking pictures with a 2 year old was a little trickier than I thought, but Kess did pretty dang good & ultimately stole the show... I'm totally ok with that! ;)

Shoes (on sale) here & here
Chambray (old) / similar here
White Dress (old) / similar here

Huge thanks to my friend Kara for taking time out of her busy evening & sharing her talents with us! I can't wait to blow some of these up & scatter them around our new house! Moving day is Friday ya'll! Pray for a smooth move! ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Toddler Meal Template from @realfoodfixes

My friend Erica of Real Food Fixes wrote an all too relate-able letter to us momma's on my blog the other day. You can find it here

She talks about the woes of keeping our kids fed with good wholesome foods. It's much much easier said that done, right? Right.

I not only have trouble thinking of what to feed Kess, but have even more trouble when she isn't interested in what I feed her. Kids are tricky, they are ever-growing & ever-changing their minds.

Lately, Kess is loving "appies" (apples) so I try to incorporate them into most of her snacks & meals. I usually ride this wave until it dies - no lie. Run with it while you can! ;) Kess won't eat a whole PB&J - only if it's cute into cute shapes or small bites. So that's what I do. I think sometimes we get wrapped up in trying to not cater to our kids in fear of creating a monster, but sometimes a mom has to do what a mom has to do!! If your kid loves stars, then cut their food into stars. It sounds super Pinterest-y, I know... but it works. Kess gets so excited when her cheese is cute into shapes & she tells me all about it! 

I read a toddler behavior book recently & it talked about "win-win" situations. Sometimes as parents we have to act like we are losing in order to get a win. Let me explain. Kess is obsessed with Popsicles. I used to make healthier, homemade versions & lately I've been a lazy mom. Truth be told - I have a cheap pack of sugar-filled Popsicles in my freezer. She constantly asks for a "Pupo" or "Wuwo" one. I'd rather not have her eating a Popsicle at 9:00am, so I offer her a yogurt Popsicle instead. She knows it's different, but as far as she is concerned she still gets a Popsicle. I have a package of frozen Chobani Greek "go-gurt" in my freezer. They're easy to break in half & hand over. She loves them & I love that she's getting a healthy dose of good dairy. See- "win-win."

It's ok to seemingly compromise on our kids' foods. Run with the things they love. And give in from time to time. It's ok. They're kids. Make sure you find a good balance of food for you kids. Erica's template helps with that. It's hard to think of meals for our kids - this solves that problem. She provides plenty of healthy options & they're in handy categories to boot! Like, it can't get easier! Giving you kids options is great way to find out their likes & dislikes as well. 
You can download the free template here!

Let me know how much you love it. Mine is hanging on my fridge as I type & I already used it for lunch today. Shhh don't tell, but I might even use it for a few snacks & quick meals of my own! ;)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Guest Post: Erica with Real Food Fixes

Hey momma,

You’re job--providing everything tiny humans needs to grow and survive thrive--is no easy day job. It’s a lifelong career, a mission, a purpose, a calling (covered in cheerios).

I get it. I see you.

I’ve always cared about health, but I never cared as much or worried as much as when I started growing a baby and then feeding a baby.

Did you feel the same way?

I felt the pressure of a thousand eyes, and most importantly my baby’s eyes, staring up at me and trusting that I knew what to do to give her the best life.

Gah. I’m choking up. Being a parent is amazing, but pressure can really get to you and rob you of joy.
I bet you’re doing awesome, and that you’re doing so many good things when it comes to feeding your family.

I have a few suggestions that may help you feed with more joy and less mom-guilt (ugh, that word even feels gross to write).

Involve your child
I remember learning in business management class in college that employees always feel more valuable when they’re included on decision making. Duh. I think we all learned the “it feels better to be included” lesson in middle school, right?

I think our kids feel the same way at home too. When you’re included you feel invested and you’re more interested in what is going on. Your little one will probably eat better, and you will have precious one-on-one time making memories.


As soon as my little girl could stand she would pull at my pant legs and beg to be “up” in the action of cooking. I literally threw in the towel and let her.


I never got into sensory bins (don’t judge me Pinterest), but the kitchen counter was a great substitute. She became curious about food textures and tasting. She wanted to dig her hands into things, and stir things, and cut things. She started commenting on smells of foods in public and tastes of new dishes.

I was in mom heaven; my kid loved food and I didn’t have to stress too much about feeding time.

Enjoy (or tolerate the messiness)
It was messy when my daughter cooked with me as a tiny tike, but now with my 2 year old son it’s 10x worse. I embrace it… somedays.


I think the teaching process can be so rewarding, but home is a place for practice and progress, not perfection. Whether we’re talking about cooking or eating, the same idea applies.

Remember how my daughter was such an engaged foodie? All she wants to eat right now at age 4 is buttered bread. Every meal. Everyday.

It’s totally normal. And it’s totally normal for me to hate it.

But I trust that she’ll grow out of it, and she’ll come around and remember what she once enjoyed. Did you used to hate something you now love? I didn’t eat onions or bell peppers until I was 17 and now they’re my go-to veggies. Go figure.

If we set our expectations up for messiness and imperfection and look instead to enjoy and trust the learning process we’ll be much happier at the dinner table.

Ditch food fears & guilt
There are 101 ways to eat healthy and so many ways to do it right. Here are two main goals to work for in feeding your kiddos (and yourself!):

  1. Eat foods that you supply you with enough nutrients (vitamins, minerals, energy)
  2. Develop a healthy relationship with food; which means a relationship where you’re not obsessing about food or how it affects your body 24/7, a healthy dose of curiosity to try new foods instead of fearing them, and a respect for food’s ability to affect your health.

Everything else will fall into place in a rhythm that works for your family. Organic foods can be great choices, but if they’re too expensive or inaccessible, you can eat a healthy diet without them. Sugar is in everything and we eat too much of it, but if you want to use jarred pasta sauce that has added sugar in it for dinner, don’t fret. Raw vegetables are great, but if your kids like cookes ones, that is fabulous (and sometimes better)!

There is always a cost to be paid in the food choices we make, and some costs are worth more than others. Most of the time when you’re choosing between two nutritious foods, small issues like a teaspoon of extra sugar or an organic label aren’t worth your worry. (Seriously, the worrying is probably worse for your health)!

Feeding a family can be frustrating and unrelenting but it can also be incredibly rewarding, entertaining, and even joyous!

What helps you find joy when feeding your family?

Hey there! I'm Erica Hansen, a registered dietitian with a Master's degree in nutritional science. I am all about getting back to the basics of eating whole food in simple and tasty ways. Nutrition can seem confusing and worrying about eating right and feeding your family can be discouraging. I'm on a mission to help mom's feel confident, smart, and joyous about their food choices in a real-life, no-judgement approach.

I teach free nutrition classes and run challenges at You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. Don't be shy! I'd love to hear from you! Let's connect :) 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


I've been meaning to share our lighting selections for a while now, but the poor blog has been put on the back burner lately. Lighting was so fun to choose. I've never thought much about lighting detail, but as we chose fixtures & chandeliers I realized how important it is to pick the right piece for the right space.

All of our hardware, plumbing fixtures, door knobs, etc are a brushed nickel so we didn't want to detour from that when it came to lighting. 

We chose a  modern mason jar linear light for our kitchen area. We have a dining area that I really wanted a great feature light in & we just loved the look. Our island needed 3 pendant lights as well & the same line had individual pendants that were identical to the large chandelier we chose over the table. Sometimes I have a hard time finding pieces that "go" together without being too "matchy-matchy," but I was really thrilled with the simple option. I think it will look so great over our island, too! Did I tell you how excited I am about our kitchen island. I can't wait to see all of our kiddos sitting at it, eat cereal as I'm scrambling to get everyone to school on time! ;)

We have a built in mirror in our master bath & I loved the idea of these nickel sconces! They provide a good amount of light & contrast really well with the chandelier. Ya... we have a chandelier in our bathroom. Now, don't get me wrong, but I never imagined myself being the type of person who has a chandelier in their bathroom. Like you guys... I'm not that fancy... but look how pretty it is!! We got a great deal through Overstock + we had a coupon, too! Everything else came through Builders Lighting in Boise. I'm super grateful we have our builders to help us design this space, because I'm not sure I would totally trust my own taste! Lighting goes in this week & I seriously can't wait to see it all come together! 3.5 weeks until our move in day! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dry Shampoo Love

I've been doing hair for over 5 years now & I am always looking to help my clients feel great, look great & to personalize their hair routine. Some of mt clients have a real love for product, some want to keep product to a minimum. For me, personally I love product, but hate the feel of a ton of it in my hair. I am a firm believer in a thermal protectant & will forever be a lover & advocate of dry shampoo. 

I get clients telling me that they hate washing/drying/styling their hair every day & ask what I do. Well... I don't. ;) I don't wash my hair every day. It's kinda terrible for your hair. I can go about 4-5 days without washing my hair & it's the perfect "mom hack." 

Funny fact - Matt almost died when I hopped out of the shower without my hair washed. We were newlyweds & he had no idea that I didn't wash my hair daily. I believe his words were, "gross." I think he appreciates the time is saves now ;)

I have used plenty of dry shampoo products & have fallen in love with the one I'm currently using. AG Dry Shampoo is perfect for my fellow brunette friends. Most aerosol dry shampoos spray a white film onto your hair - not cool. So when I was introduced to the colored line I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it! Never fear blondes, AG has a blonde colored dry shampoo as well. It's perfect for a root touch up, too. Double win!! 

If aerosol dry shampoo isn't what you're looking for - don't panic... I've got a little something for you, too! Alterna Caviar powdered dry shampoo is perfect for that minimal product feel! It is white - so keep that in mind, but it does blend into the hair really nicely. Alterna has been once of my favorite product lines since I was in hair school & I don't see that changing for like ever. ;)

Here's a little secret about dry shampoo... I honestly feel that no matter how expensive, inexpensive, professional or nonprofessional your dry shampoo is - you have to know how to use it properly. 

1. Spray/sprinkle your dry shampoo throughout your hair - I use 1inch-ish sections.
2. BRUSH YOUR HAIR OUT. Really. Take a paddle brush & thoroughly brush your hair from roots to ends. This will distribute the product & eliminate the oils produced by your scalp. 
3. Style hair to your preference.
4. You look beautiful!

I'm loving the messy/beachy wave look lately. It's super easy to achieve & really easy to replicate on dirty hair. 

Dry Shampoo for every budget...

Do you use dry shampoo? What is your favorite brand? 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Toddler Meals

Kess hasn't ever been much of a picky eater. She's actually more picky now than she's ever been - I chalk that up to being old enough to have an opinion & a say in what she wants.

She took pureed foods like a champ & once she could pick up small pieces of food I felt like the possibilities were so fun! She loved small noodles, peas, raisins, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, chewy granola bars, little squares of cheese, etc. It was so fun to see what she would enjoy eating. As she got old enough to eat what we were eating her likes & dislikes became more clear. If she didn't like something I never pushed it. I stopped giving it to her & would eventually try it a few weeks/months later to see if she changed her mind. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn't. 

I absolutely love to think of new meals for Kess to try. I think it's so fun. Not sure if that makes me weird, or just a mom. ;)

I have found it hard to not let "mom guilt" destroy my love for meal making. Do you ever feel like if your child's food isn't kale, quinoa, organic or triple washed in unicorn tears then it just isn't good enough? I do. Honestly I pride myself on feeding Kess wholesome good foods, but let's remember that she's a kid. Kid's love macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets & what have you. It's ok to feed your kids kid food every once in a while. 

Below are some of our favorite Kess meals... 

1. Mandarin oranges, strawberries & cut up granola bar
2. Diced pears, cheddar cheese & Costco Dino Nuggets with "wanch" or ranch ;)
3. Greek yogurt with agave, diced pears, & cinnamon sugar toast
4. Cheddar cheese, veggie straws & PB&J bites
5. Jello, mozzarella cheese & mini corn dogs with "chup" or Ketchup ;)
6. Diced pears, pretzels & grilled cheese sandwich
7. Strawberries, diced pars & scrambled eggs
8. Corn, french bread & spaghetti
9. Laughing cow cheese with pretzel sticks, green salad & pizza

Can you tell she likes diced pears? I just buy the little cups of them.. I usually grab the ones that are in 100% juice, but sometimes they're out so I'll get the ones in light syrup & rinse them. Kess loves cheese (got that from her momma) so I bought these super cute mini cookie cutters & used them a lot. She has never been a huge fan of pb&j, so I cut them into mini heart shaped to see if that helped. It so did. I had to make 2 more sandwich that day. Jello is usually a treat & she loves it. She always asked for "mo' je-o?" Sometimes I make a big batch of jello if I'm feeling like it, but we usually just buy little cups of jello & they last for quite a while. Spaghetti is a fan favorite at our house... does anybody else eat corn with their spaghetti? I sure as heck didn't, but Matt loves it. And now so does Kess. Pizza is another favorite at our house. We usually grab a take&bake after a long day & then have the left overs for lunch the next day. And no, Kess definitely did not eat that green salad. A mom can try, right? ;) She did like some ranch off the lettuce though... baby steps?

Some other favorites of ours are Annie's Mac&Cheese, grilled chicken, rice, green beans, skittles ;), greek yogurt covered raisins and much more.

These RePlay Recycled plates are amazing. They wash up so nicely & endure the constant fork-stabbing skills of a toddler. RePlay Recycled kindly sent us an entire set in purple that included the plate, a cup, silverware, a bowl, a sippy cup & a snack container. I am in love with them & want to order more. I love the divided plate for different foods & all the colors are so bright & fun! I can't wait to order more!

What are your go-to meals for your kids? Give me all the ideas! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kitchen Sneak Peek

We have our kitchen selections made. I'm so giddy I can hardly stand it. These are our cabinet, counter top, flooring, & back splash selections.

Matt & I both really love cooler tones when it comes to wood. We fell in love with these grey washed wood floors & we able to plan our kitchen around them really easily. We knew we wanted white perimeter cabinets (wish us luck with those through the next few years of raising toddlers) & I was set on a dark stained island. We went with a simple, clean quartz counter top & a simple gray subway tile backlash to tie into the floors. 

I can't wait to see it all come together. I thought these selections would be super stressful to choose, but it was a blast. What is stressful is thinking about your selections until they are actually placed into your home. We have a few more weeks until our kitchen is finished. I'm glad our builder told me to snap pictures to remember everything we chose. Being able to see our choices has helped so much when purchasing furniture.

Now that we have this new kitchen in the works - it needs new furniture.

We have purchased most of our furniture through Overstock. They have great furniture, great deals & even better customer service. This is not an ad. This is my humble opinion! :)

The furniture we have now is either from craigslist, a family members hand-me-down or a gift. It will still be used in our home, of course but we have more space to fill now. It's so fun to be able to buy something new. And scary... furniture isn't cheap. We've been hunting & researching for weeks to make sure that we not only find something we both love, but to make sure we are finding the best deal, too! Not the easiest thing to do. We've definitely has some "win some-lose some" moments, but we have been able to stay on budget & furnish the house with things we both love. I'm sure Matt is getting tired of my "Your wife is a bad ace!" texts informing him how much money I just saved us by scouring websites to find the best furniture deals, but he deals. ;)

Chairs (in steel) Table  (similar) Barstools (in steel)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kaiserman Hair Design

In July of 2011 I graduated hair school with all sorts of hopes & dreams. My husband had just been accepted into the MBA program at Boise State so we had 2 hard years in front of us. I planned on working my tail off to put him through school!

 I figured I had the wherewithall to start a small business & just do things on my own. Significantly easier said than done, folks. Plenty of tears, lack of clients & heartaches later...

My husband was blessed with a stressful, but wonderful job/career opportunity so he took that & I balanced our finances out with hair. I was only working a few days a week, so I was home enough to take care of everything. My goal was to make sure that Matt had to do nothing but work & school. No house work, no yard work - nothing. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I did a pretty good job of that besides the occasional, "Do I have clean underwear?" ;)

Throughout my career I wondered if I had made the right decision to start my own business instead of working for someone. Honestly, no it probably wasn't the right decision. Looking back over the last 5 years... we struggled. But for our "now" little family - it worked. Matt taking the career opportunities he did made a huge difference of our family. It catapulted him into a career position that we didn't ever see ourselves in before the age of 30 or 40. I have a big enough clientele to work 2 days a week, yet spend the majority of my time with Kess. & it's perfect for us.

1 year ago TODAY I started Kaiserman Hair Design. By the beginning of October I will be home full time. This has been a dream of mine since before I started hair school. We added a little salon into the home we are building & it could not be more perfect!

It shares our mudroom & it's right off our kitchen/family room so I can see my kiddos watching a movie, playing, etc. I will still working 2 days a week, mostly half days while Kess naps, or while she plays. She's actually come to the salon with me a few times already & handles it will so I feel comfortable with it being in our home.

Here is some of my "at-home-salon" inspiration...

The paint color is the color that is going throughout our whole house. It's Sherwin Williams in Agreeable Gray. We love it. It's lighter than the swatch shows. The flooring isn't exact, but it's the closest I could find the the flooring we actually have picked out. It will be throughout the kitchen, dining room & mudroom/salon. I can't wait to hang my huge mirror. It will be hung between 2 windows that face the backyard (for watching my little kiddos play.) I've been dreaming about this salon for years now & it's so fun to see it all come together.

I'l' be taking clients at home starting October 6th.

I'll be posting some of our home selections soon! 


Sunday, July 31, 2016


Over the last few months I have really struggled with blogging. Like really struggled. Blogging is competitive, yet bloggers are a dime a dozen. I really struggled with the fact that I need to "brand" myself & run my blog as a business. I've watched people that I'm not sure I "get" or relate to gain follower after follower. I find myself wondering "what does she have that I don't?" I see them post things that I wouldn't, but it seems to be working for them. I'm all for "keeping it real," but I have noticed that that's all some bloggers & influencers seem to talk about? Like, who are you trying to convince?

I can honestly say that you just see snippets of my life. You see the moments when Kess is being funny, cute or witty. You see the moments when my husband & I finally get a date night. You see the new house that we are building. You see moments when I actually get dressed for the day.

What you don't see is our morning routine. What you don't see is Kess throwing a fit because I won't let her eat Skittles for breakfast. What you don't see is the long hours my husband works in a week. What you don't see is the fact that we prayed, cried & worked to be in a place where we can build this home. What you don't see is that Matt & I lock hands every night & thank our Heavenly Father for everything we have & tell him that we recognize that all of our blessings & gifts are from Him.

Social media is a super fickle thing. Every body approaches it differently, I guess. I try to keep my feed & blog real, honest, but positive. I'm not sure I'm succeeding, you guys. I'll be completely honest - I thought this blogging business would be easier. I thought people would just love me (because I'm adorable) & my following would take off like wild fire. I never imaged that I would notice that I lose 5 followers in 1 day. I never imaged that it would hurt my feelings.

I'm a big believer in balance. I believe in finding a spouse that helps you balance out & visa versa. I believe in eating quinoa & cupcakes (not together, of course.) I believe in finding your own balance. I'm not sure I've found mind. I think it will constantly change. But, I can't help but wonder if I'm making the right choices. Am I finding the right balance? Do I spend too much time worrying/thinking about the blog. I'm constantly worried about content, about how many views a post got, about how I come across to other people. Are these the things I should be worried about? Am I focusing enough time on the people that mean the world to me. Does Kess know that I love her more than anything? Does my husband know that I love him? Does he know that I love that I get to be home with our daughter? Do I even want my blog to gain more attention? Will it take my attention away from my family? Do I focus enough of my time on Kess? Are the perks worth the time & effort? Am I chasing after perks instead or focusing on my main mission? Have I "branded" myself? Do I want to "brand" myself? Have others "branded" me? What do my readers think of me? What about the readers who have never met me?

Even as I type this out I get a little sad. I had no idea this much was weighing on my mind. Is my focus in the right place? One thing is for sure, I love writing this blog. I like having my own little place to write my thoughts & to share... but I would let it all go for my husband & for Kess. in.a.heartbeat. 

A few weeks ago I decided to read Kess a different book that our usual. I grabbed "Oh, the Place's You'll Go" by Dr. Suess. I have heard this read at graduations & little blips here & there, but I have never sat down & read the whole book. As I read it to Kess I started to tear up...


Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself 
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, 
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up 
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's 
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

The bold passages hit me hard. I find myself struggling to find who I am sometimes. I have often talked to Matt about the big dreams I had when I first started dating him. Those dreams were everything. I could feel my own heart beat faster when I talked about them  Those dreams have changed, so does that mean I failed? I had big dreams to open my own salon, to make tons of money, to be the boss.

Now I'm the boss of a tiny little human who tests every boundary like it's her job (because it is.) Now I am gearing up to run my small cosmetology business out of my house so I can be home with my best girl & future babies. Talk about a dream come true! So no, I didn't get to be the big boss of a successful salon, but I get to be home with my babies. I get to be there for everything they need. I get to be there for their "firsts." I get to make their lunches & cut their cheese into star shapes. I get to make some extra money for my family, I get to write my feelings out for the whole internet to read (yikes.) I get to make "Instagram friends."

 I find myself just posting about the things I love, just in case you might love them, too. I'll be over here, posting the things I love - which will mostly consist of  Matt, Kess & more Matt & Kess. I'll throw in the occasional outfit post, I'll share the ins & outs of building our home, I'll post a favorite recipe & I'll share products that I'm in love with. Heck, I don't even know. But thanks for following along & making me feel loved.

Cheers to finding balance.