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. 

Friday, July 22, 2016


The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opened to the "public" this morning. That just means that if you don't have early access, it's not open to YOU! I'm pretty sure I'm gunna need early access next year! ;) Last year my sister & I were shopping this sale (baby-free) in Salt Lake City. It was so perfect & I left with some great staple pieces that I still wear! 

I'm going to share a few pieces with you that I loved. You guys know that I love a good deal about as much as I love a good staple piece! It's all about versatility, you guys! We don't budget a ton of money for clothes and fancy things, but my hubby is a sweetheart & let's me buy a few things from time to time (even now that my birthday money is spent)

My sister bought these leggings that year. She had just found out that she was pregnant & was on the search for something comfortable & fashionable. These are it. They are perfect for working out & going out. Plus, they are thick enough that they won't show your undies (or cellulite, in my case.) I didn't buy them & totally regretted it. You better believe they are in my shopping bag right now. 

These distressed jeans are perfect! I'm praying they restock them. They aren't in my size, but they're totally what I've been looking for. I love the raw released hem & the distressing. I struggle with distressed jeans because I don't want my garments to show through. I have found a little trick that helps with that though. Grab an iron on denim patch from any sewing/craft store & iron it onto the inside of the jeans to cover the distress. That way you get to rock the distressed look without feeling too exposed. *Update - I found these jeans on Nordstrom Rack, they're the same jean minus the distressing. More sizing choices. Same price! Boom. Bought! 

I love a good striped tee for the fall. This cute tee is on sale for $15, but it has a high neckline, which is great if you don't like to layer (like I do.) It comes in 2 colors. I give you permission to buy both! ;)

This cute to boot fall cardigan is a must have. It comes in Oatmeal or Gray. Both are great for brightening up your fall wardrobe. I love a good cardigan/white tee/jean/bootie combo. Perfect fall outfit. Not to mention it looks so put together, but it's easy to throw together. Perfect mom-on-the-go outfit! 

And last, but not least... booties. Can't get into fall without a solid pair of booties. I have a pain from Aldo that I bought during a 50% off sale. Matt almost died that I spent $65 on boots. Boys!  $65 for booties is practically free! ;) I digress, I tried to find you some under $50, but I couldn't. So under $80 is ok, right? These blocked heel booties are perfect. I love the wrap detail on the ankle, too! 

There you have it friends. The non-fashion blogger Nordstrom Sale round up!

What do you have your eye on?! Tell me!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kess is 2

Two feels like such a milestone, not sure why, but it does. I'm loving 2 year old Kess. She is talking more and more, I swear she learns something amazing everyday & she truly is so sweet (even is she isn't the greatest sharer.) 

Kess loves to watch "shows", she loves her Kane dog "Tane." She thinks "jumpeeeen" on the tramp is the best thing ever & loves her daddy. She thinks scooping dog "poo" is awesome. She even says, "Poo, yuck yuck!" She points out everyone's car in my parents driveway & loves to cuddle before bed. We are loving all of her new words and mannerisms. I get so excited when I hear her say or do something new. We bought her a little kitchen for her birthday & she's loving it - even if she did put her stuffed puppy in the microwave. Oops. 

For Kess' birthday day I was still in desperate need of a swimming suit I felt comfortable in since we were planning on taking her to Roaring Spring Water Park later than afternoon. I didn't have much luck at a few stores the day before, so we hit up TJMaxx & I found 2 that I really loved. I settled on a black/black mesh one with some tummy control (mom win) & scored it for $30. I definitely didn't feel like a Victoria's Secret model in it, but I'm about 5 lbs down & am starting to feel pretty good. I decided to suck it up, not wear a cover-up or shorts & just have fun with my girl & you know what... we had the best time in the kiddie pool at the water park. 

After finding a suit, we ran home for lunch & nap time. She conked out & Matt came home a little early from work so we could spend a few hours at the water park. Kess was pretty nervous at first. She's like her mom like that - always a little apprehensive, but then she found a floaty tube to play in & she was set. We convinced her to go down the yellow kiddie slide once. Once & only once. She seemed to have fun when we went, but she was not having it any other time we tried. Kess lasted about 2 hours before we decided to head home for dinner. We gave her her present then! She was pretty dang excited about it, but was mostly excited about the little telephone that comes with it, "He-o?"

(A little nervous to post this ^, but this is real life folks, I'm a momma - not a VS model.)

It wasn't much longer before she was all sorts of cranky from having a super busy day. Believe it or not, Kess isn't always smiling & happy. Girlfriend has a cranky side, too! We got that cute girl all snuggled up in a new pair of jammies that I swore looked way too big for her, but they totally fit just right, & off to bed! I felt a little sad as I dressed her for bed. She's growing so quickly, it's hard for me to wrap my mind around it. Matt & I wrapped up the evening by hot-tubbing (We will miss that when we move out of my parent's house) & finishing off Kess' birthday cake like the stellar parents that we are. ;)

Thanks for celebrating & for all the birthday wishes for our sweet girl! XO

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kess' 2nd Birthday Party

Ok, first things first. How in the holy heck is my baby 2? 2?! I don't even know how it happened. Time seriously flies. I remember people telling me how quickly times passes when I first had Kess. I also remember thinking, "I wish time would go by fast! I miss sleeping. When does this thing sleep through the night?!" Well, she sleeps through the night now & I creep into her room just to smell her yummy, freshly washed hair & give her extra kisses... #momisweird 

I wanted her little birthday celebration to be low key, but ya know... walk into Zurchers Party Store &... I want to buy all the things. I kept it in check like a champ, but just couldn't leave without colored plates & matching M&M's because what kind of party would it be without those?! 

I made her cake in case you couldn't tell ;) I never said I was a cake decorator. I had never worked with fondant before, but I think it turned out pretty cute & it didn't cost me $40+ to have someone else make it. Kess even knew it was a "keeety", so there ya have it. Win win. We opted for a simple BBQ, salads and chips. I whipped up a few cupcakes last minute for those who love chocolate (me.) 

Kess wasn't so sure about everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to her, but she got over that in a hot second & loved it! She even blew out her own candle, which brought on the applause, which she didn't hate! ;) She didn't really care to open her presents, but has loved playing with them after everyone left! I think kid parties are so fun to throw. I really do try to keep them super simple, but put enough effort into them to make them special. (Hence that sweet homemade cake haha) 

Kess' little outfit was one of my favorite parts of the day. Granted, I knew that adorable white dress wouldn't stay clean for long, so we snagged pictures while it was semi-clean. I paired her cute little white dress (from Old Navy - in-store) with some sandals that I've been eyeing all summer & bought on sale (for $6) last week. And to top off her little outfit were these colorful baby tights from Lunaby Baby! They're made with thicker material, so that's super nice! Plus, the color is so vibrant & wild that I just couldn't help but add them to her birthday outfit! 

Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes for our sweetest girl. Her actual birthday is Wednesday & we have some fun plans as a family of 3. We decided to just celebrate all week long! She's totally worth it! 

Have a wonderful week, my friends! XO

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fourth of July 2016

Matt took Thursday & Friday off for the 4th of July so we had an extra long weekend! It's so nice to have Matt around extra. He works so dang hard & tends to work some long hours, so we soaked him up all we could!! We spent the weekend furniture browsing, finalizing some plumbing fixtures for the house & finally getting to see the upstairs of our home! Framing is pretty much complete & it's so fun to see our plans come to life! We are loving all the progress at the house, but I think it's making me even more antsy so get moved it! We can't wait!! 

On Saturday we decided to go out riding with some of my family. We headed out to the Silver City area & hopped in the side by aides. We put Kess' car seat in the back & she was not having it! I finally convinced her to get in because I was sitting in the back with her. I thought she would totally love it, she only seemed slightly amused while riding. But, boy does that girl love the outdoors & the mountains! She was all about picking up sticks, rocks & cow poop (gag.) I don't know what it is, but everything tastes better in the mountains, too! Nothing beats a hot dog & some chips hahaha! After lunch we went out riding again & Kess finally fell asleep for a 25 minute cat nap. 

We pulled into town long enough to rinse off & head out for dinner. Kess was pretty restless so Matt & I took turns going on walks with her until our food came. We were all so dang hungry we inhaled our food & headed out. That's where Kess lost her cool ffr being a trooper all day long. We couldn't make it home for bed fast enough (you know, one of those types of tantrums.) 

Monday morning was spent out at the house. We were able to finalize a few things with some electrical outlets & plumbing rough-ins. It doesn't sound that exciting, but it really was for us! 
After Kess' nap we got into our patriotic gear & headed to my sisters for a BBQ! I am a sucker for holidays & family get-togethers! The food is always good & the company is awesome! 

Fun fact: my sister & I married brothers, so she's my sister & sister-in-law! ;) and the 4 of us showed up all sorts of matchy matchy! And my sister is just as cool as I am by wearing last years 4th of July shirt! ;) 

I hope you all had a wonderful & safe 4th! We are starting off this 4 day week with potty training! Wish us alllll the luck! ;)