monday thoughts + a last minute bachelor recap

1.25.2016


+ I am a TV watcher, which I know I could probably be doing something more productive with my time, but usually I am doing something productive while watching TV- which I think makes me super productive. Multitasking is my favorite thing to do. I finished Jane The Virgin, which at first, I was like, what in the actual crap is this show? Then I fell in love with the characters. It's a modern day telenovela. If you are a desperate housewives or actual soap opera, but also like the humor of modern family- you will like Jane The Virgin. It's a good one.

+ Speaking of TV, since Jane has left a void, I started Pretty Little Liars. It's sort of one of those cult followings, because the groupies always say PLL, sort of like ANTM, which I'm apart of. I get it, even though you look like a TV obsessed, whack job. This show gives me Gossip Girl feelings. It's young, filled with pretty terrible acting but it's dramatic & I love commitment to television, so I keep watching. Granted, I'm only 6 episodes in, but the early 2000's filters are killing me. I'll probably love it by the end of it, because even if I hate it, you better believe I'll watch all 18 seasons.

+ I've been trying to not eat cake for breakfast & I even went to the gym four times last week, which is 4 times more than I have gone in the last 10 months. Next the gym I attend, there is this juice bar, which makes me sound like a kale loving a-hole, but it's actually delicious. Really delicious. I don't even have to pretend their things are brownies, because they taste delightful on their own. If you are local, it's Ivie Juice bar. The beach babe (or something like that) acai bowl is my jam.

+ I feel a little hazy (maybe high? I've never been high, but maybe that's what this feeling is) off of NyQuil. Before I tell you all of my dirty secrets, like I want to be pregnant again, I'm going to leave.

Watch some netflix for me. We can talk about it. (ALSO, I AM MISSING THE BACHELOR TONIGHT.)

Wait, maybe we should talk about this since I've missed the last two recaps. Without seeing this evening episode, here are some of my thoughts.

+ I've let this next statement simmer within me for a while, because this is serious business, as you know. I'm team olivia. You gasped. Hear me out. She gives me Michelle Money feelings. Remember how our homegirl michelle was edited to look like a total nut job on her first season because she is dry & hilarious? I think Olivia might be the same way. I find her hilarious. At first, I was like, oh hell no, but now I am like, let's be friends because you are a good time.

+ All of the other girls are non-faces to me still. Every time they pan to another girl, I say, "Wait, who is that?" I feel sad that Lace dismissed herself, but it was probably for the best. She was really putting a dent in the alcohol supply in the basement of the mansion.

+ I still think Caila is cute, despite her breakdown after realizing she has entered into polygamy, by contract. It's a rough go.

+ I'm not going to say anything mean about JubJub. Partially because her childhood is actually awful, but mostly because I think she could kill me in my sleep.

Since it's been a week, those are the dusty thoughts I had about last week. I may be back tomorrow with fresh feelings about the episode tonight. Who's your favorite?

lexi's pink party

1.15.2016

When Lex showed up at my house with a positive pregnancy test, I started planning her shower right away. I accidentally always planned it for a girl, so good thing Olivia is on her way, or her potential boy would have had a really fabulous, pink shower.

prep
I purchased The Alison Show's Party With Alison course for some party-planning help. The entire guide is brilliant. If you love throwing parties or if you absolutely hate parties but are required to throw one, you should buy it. Parties are my thing, & Alison was able to help me be more intentional & organized with my planning. She talks a lot about having objectives for your event. What's your end goal? I had two. 1) I wanted it to look fabulous & over the top. Partially for vanity reasons, but mostly becauseI show my love through how much garlands & glitter I can put up in one location so I wanted to deck the place out for Lexi. Also, I like things to look pretty. 2) I wanted to create a party that isn't awkward. I'm awkward. Social situations totally stress me out. I don't like being that one weirdo sitting alone in the corner at a shower because I don't know anyone else. Luckily, Alison had a remedy for that as well.

the invitation
I'm really lucky to have a talented designer as my BFF & sister-in-law, Bri, to make all the things for all the parties. I decided the event was going to be all about pink! Flamingos are all the rage & I wasn't ready to let them go quite yet, so we had flamingos sprinkled throughout.
Then, oops, I found a giant pack of multicolored confetti at Hobby Lobby, which needed to be included in each invite.
If you are local, Copy Tec in Pleasant Grove is one of my favorite places to print.

the exterior
Bri built a beautiful home last year & was nice enough to let me host it at her place. I made a tiny hats for each flamingo because these flamingos were here to party, but when it was actually the time to party, I didn't have time to put their party attire on, which still bums me out today. However, I had more important things to do than to make sure the flamingos were looking their best.
PS. You can buy a flock of flamingos here.

italian soda bar
Remember the part when I told you that I have meltdowns in the midst of social situations? Right. This part of the party was for me & all others who feel stressed about going to parties. The queen herself said to make sure to give your guests something to do when they walk in. Sort of like real parties when everyone is carrying around a martini? Insert italian soda here because we are all mormon.
Let's break it down, top to bottom.
Garland hack #1: Buy pom pom fringe at your local craft store. It's like $1 per yard & no stress over making one yourself.
Garland hack #2: If you have or have access to a sewing machine, use it! Cut out a bunch of shapes out of paper & sew them right together. It's so cheap & so, so fast. Plus, disposable because nothing is worse than untangling garlands, am I right?
The "sip, sip, hooray!" cutout was made with blood, sweat & tears. This craft is not for the weak of (crafting) heart. I printed out each letter on printer paper, cut it out, traced it backwards onto this gold glitter cardstock, then cut it out again. It took forever but I was so happy with how it turned out.
Luckily my friend Andy gave me a crash course on making italian sodas. I'd had them before & knew they were delicious, but wasn't quite sure how to execute properly. Bri made the adorable instruction graphic for our guests.
These plastic champagne flutes are from Zurchers, along with these metallic gold straws. The pink bows were found by Bri on clearance at Target. Steal of a deal.
I opted for Pellegrino because it looks fancier than liters of club soda, plus I prefer less carbonation. We really didn't need more gas floating around the party than absolutely necessary. I was worried about keeping ice frozen, but no fear, this pretty ice bucket from Target worked like a charm. I picked up 4 different kinds of Torani Syrup from my local kitchen supply store. (The Bosch Kitchen Supply Store on Center Street in Orem, if you are local.) They were an expensive purchase ($7.50 for the syrup, $4.50 for the pump,) but I've used them for every event since so it was worth the price! You can't go wrong with whipped cream & heavy cream in a pretty glass from World Market, all atop a  tray from IKEA that looks like it's rimmed with boobs. I'm serious, just look at it.
The linens were both borrowed, however, I know you can get the coral & white striped fabric at Hobby Lobby. The gold sequin tablecloth was borrowed to us by one of Bri's lovely friends.

the mantel

If you haven't ever used festooning, do it! This was another trick my fellow party planner, Andy, told me about. You can find it in the same isle at your party supply store by the streamers. You can probably make your own, but that sounds like a nightmare. I had a very specific color palette I wanted & apparently peach & blush aren't normal colors to carry, so I ordered most of it from Oh Happy Day.  Luckily it was the Christmas season so I picked up a few packs of tinsel from Walmart for $1 to throw into the mix. The "Oh Baby" garland is from the party line at Target.
My bestie, Cait, & I made the vases for another event. We scoured a few thrift stores for cheap vases, taped them off & sprayed them with gold spray paint, & wallah! Easy, peasy.
the food table 
This was admittedly my favorite part of the party. I mean, baked goods & that damn backdrop. I say that with a bit of fire, because it was a BEAST. If you are going to make one, I suggest not starting it at midnight before the day of the event. I recruited Cait to help me with this & it seriously took until 4 AM to complete it. But, it's beautiful. High fives to Cait because she is a wizard.
A run down as to how to make it. We laid out butchers paper & cut/taped it to size. Then you go hog wild with the tissue paper. Tape, cut into size, cut the fringe. Repeat. About a million times. The smartest thing we did was buying pre-cut gold, table fringe. Bri had a photo backdrop contraption that we were able to tape the tissue backdrop to. I suppose you could also tape it onto a piece of pvc, string fishing line through it & secure it to the ceiling to give it that floating effect. It was time-consuming but worth it.
Food! I decided to outsource the majority of it because girlfriend didn't have a lot of time. I custom ordered the donuts from Provo Bakery. The sugar cookies were from Swig, then cut in half. I made the mini-cupcakes, topped with a pink sugar ball. I picked up a bunch of white fudge covered oreos, then drizzled them with pink candy melt.
I cut out a sign, like the sip, sip, hooray, that said "pastry shoppe" but you couldn't even see it over the backdrop. That was one of the only hiccups, but it happens. Onward.
me, bri, lex & cait. My people.
the crepe bar
As I'm writing this up, I think I might have gone a little out of control. You probably don't need a italian soda bar, a pastry shoppe & a creperie, but I'm a crazy person. This was a touch self-serving because crepes are my favorite. This particular part of the shower was an absolute hit. It's relatively easy to do & the people love it. It feels more intentional than a pot luck, which is still delicious. (I'm hungry. I want all the food right now.)
Another adorable print made by Bri. My mother in law came & made crepes for our guests which was so nice of her. We had a variety of toppings for the guests. Nutella, cookie butter, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, butter syrup & whipped cream. Very healthy. Basically carrots.
I picked up the pink striped cups at Target in the party section, along with the metallic gold, striped napkins. The neon pink plates were purchased here.  The gold glitter pennant banner was purchased at Zurchers.

the favors
Lex loves Trader Joe's cookie butter. In turn, I really wanted to use that some how in the favor. Cait mentioned how her mom had a killer cookie butter popcorn recipe, so I was sold. Instead of being given the recipe, Leann made the popcorn for me. People are so nice. PS. That popcorn was addictive & is probably the reason I am dieting now.
The gold, polka dot containers are from, you guessed it, Target, along with the neon pink tags. I decided the "ready to pop" sticker & printed it on adhesive paper at home. I designed it to the size of one of the hole punches I already had so I didn't have to bother cutting them out by hand.

the final touches
We put color-coordinating wrapping paper over the existing art over the gift couch. I borrowed some Bright Lab Lights from work to drape over the banister, & the decor was complete.
I really couldn't have pulled this party off without Bri & Cait. We were up all night stringing garlands, mopping & not sleeping before the party. They are the very best. We wouldn't do it for anyone but you, Lex!

ten months

1.12.2016


bits & pieces about mothering a 10 month old.

+ Mostly, it's easier than I expected. I wish I could sit down with every anxious expecting mother to tell them that being a mom is awesome. & fun! & they will even sleep too! I'm almost a year into this thing, which isn't long & I don't have a flock of children either, so I'm feeling well rest & happy.

+ Juniper Grey (the original, ha!) is a bundle of joy. She is such a goofy thing, which makes sense, because she has a couple of whack jobs for parents. Her personality is blooming, which is so fun to be a part of.

+ She growls. All of the time. I'm not going to teach her otherwise because I find it hilarious.

+ If she wanted to walk, I think she could. She moves so quickly from each furniture piece throughout our tiny apartment. Curiosity is strong in her blood.

+ Bath time is still her very favorite.

+ When she needs something, she says "mamama" over & over again. However, when she is really excited about something she says, "dadadadada."

+ That pacifier is still attached to her at all times. I know it's going to be a battle someday.

+ Girlfriend has teeth. Lots of them! 6 & counting. We've started brushing her teeth regularly which she thinks is funny, but doesn't fight us on it.

+ Home Goods is her favorite store. Well, it's my favorite store, so she is there quite frequently. She's been use to shopping since she was born, so she doesn't put up a fight most of the time. She has exquisite taste in throw pillows. She eats them all.

+ Chuck-a-rama is her (my) favorite, because oops, we are actually 80 year old gals. She packs down the mashed potatoes like they are going out of style. She wants nothing to do with green beans, but she will tolerate carrots. We wouldn't make it through church without feeding her puffs & yogurt bites.

+ June loves Little Baby Bum. It is the absolute weirdest show ever but it's the only way she will snuggle with me, so I'm not above watching it.

+ She loves McKay more than me. I can't even be upset about it because it's the sweetest thing in the whole world. It makes me emotional, so I'm leaving now.

We adore you, june bug. Don't worry, I'm already planning your birthday party.

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Bachelor season.

1.04.2016

I've had 100 ounces of water today & 0% sugar so I am feeling READY to tell you all about Ben Higgins & his flock of women. Let's do this thing.

This year I've taken my dedication to the Bachelor Franchise to an entirely new level. The athletic level. I've joined a bracket, because I'm 12 seasons deep into this thing so I feel like I can guess like I'm Chris Harrison himself. Also, if I win, I get to go to Target with hefty gift card to buy all of the Nate Berkus wall-hangings & enough $1 notepads to fulfill the needs of all stationary-loving humans.

Each week, I'll show you who I think should have gotten a rose. Now with the conclusion of the first episode, I'm reasonably happy with my choices- even though Ben, by contract, is required to keep a few ethnic girls & a few crazy ones, too.

I'm in first place this week. (Well, I'm tied for first with 3 other ladies in our Bachelor-fan group. Let's disregard that.)

I've been indifferent about the last few bachelors. Okay, bachelor. Chris was a complete flop for me, but I jumped for joy, with the rest of America, when Ben was dubbed King Bachelor 2016. He seems normal, which maybe isn't great for entertainment but THIS IS FOR LOVE, PEOPLE.

On the first night, I can barely keep track of all the girls because I'm overwhelmed by sequins & the few whack jobs in the group who get the majority of the screentime. So let's just jump right to the queen bee herself. Lace.

While I was choosing my bracket, it really came down to Lace & one other non-faced girl to even make it past the first rose ceremony. I could see the crazy in her smile which I assumed the producers would feast on. The name Lace- not Lacey, but Lace, as in the main ingredient for cheap lingerie, means trouble. Look girlfriend, you aren't allowed to have  DTR with your not-boyfriend after talking with him for 4 minutes. I also wouldn't suggest not having a mental breakdown because he didn't make eye contact with you the entire time he was also looking at his other 30 girlsfriends. Sometimes it's really no surprise why some are still single.

Flower child. You know the one, with a giant rose on her head. If you missed her, you probably had too much to drink. I did not, for good reason, put her in my continuing bracket because she is a hippie gone wild, holding a syringe full of novocaine. Ben really, really liked (was totally scared of) her.

Those are the two that I'm most afraid of right now. I surprisingly like a lot of the girls this season. It's also bizarre because 90% of them are my age.

LB is adorable. She has that "laid back, I won't jump down your throat if you don't make eye contact with her for the entire rose ceremony" attitude about her.

Amanda has nice hair. She also sounds like a cartoon character.

Of course Olivia received the first impression rose. I love her. I love anyone that doesn't sound like moron when they speak. The news anchor thing really gives her full-sentence-thing an edge.

Lauren #68 (H) reminds me a lot of Whitney from Chris' season. Sweet as sugar. She's a kindergarten teacher, of course she is sweet.

Caila is my favorite. She is so normal. She probably watches Grey's Anatomy & shops at Costco. I also liked that she didn't look like a stripper on the first night. High five for being classy.

BECCA, BECCA, BECCA. for bachelorette.

Until next week, prepare yourself for the most controversial season of the Bachelor yet!

list one : goals + dreams for this year

1.03.2016

Blogging isn't a new year goal of mine. Writing is. Whether that be here, or in a notebook while waiting in a lobby or quickly jotted down in my phone- I'd like to write more. It use to act like therapy for me, which I'm in need of. Perhaps, I'll see you around more often.

--

A few weeks ago, I sat in a quiet lobby, decorated to calm hormonal ladies. Most of the other women who were waiting were pregnant, but I wasn't. Nor am I now. I was unusually anxious, which really isn't out of my character, but I thought I was actually going crazy.

I thought to myself, "maybe this is postpartum depression?" which sort of felt odd because my daughter is 10 months old. I knew it was a possibility. I always thought depression or anxiety would feel differently. Foggy or incredibly solemn. I felt angry. All of the time. At situations & people that normally bring me great joy. I stepped back from my situation to realize that something was wrong.

My very favorite doctor, who I hadn't seen since he delivered Juniper, greeted me so warmly. After explaining my deteriorating mental health, he prescribed me an antidote to calm my every simmering anger.

Exercise. (Or start there & if that doesn't correct it, maybe a hormone panel is in need.) 

I'm not one for new years resolutions normally, as I feel like they clutter the majority of January & fade away throughout the year, but I do feel as if it's necessary for me now.

I'd like to be healthier. In the kind of way that I don't eat ice cream for dinner & brownies for breakfast. I'm getting older & I can't pack away french fries like I could when I was 17. I understand that my stretch marks probably won't go away, which I'm okay with. I'd like not to be winded when going up a flight of stairs. I've invested in a sponsor- sort of like a mending alcoholic. She'll keep me accountable & send me daily "stay away from Sodalicious" texts.

I will slow down. I like being busy. Incredibly, over-booked, doing-too-much, busy. It doesn't suite my family, or myself when I don't leave time for either. I will let the dishes pile up while we stay in bed enjoying Juniper's babbles. I won't pencil in appointments that aren't necessary. I will not treat being busy like a novelty that should be had.

Mostly, I hope to be more kind.

--

I was gifted The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal over the Christmas Season. I'll be taking prompts, as I'm too boring to think of my own.
be back soon.

bits of tuesday

7.28.2015


this person is mine & she is my favorite.
juniper grey // 4 months
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