Snowshoeing is saving my life. And probably my marriage. And my family. And my sanity. Well, all that is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it is 100% true that it’s made my life much better for 6 months of the year.
It’s like this. 7 1/2 years ago we left our cute little home in the Salt Lake Valley for another cute little home in the Snake Rive Plain. I loved all kinds of things about our previous home and life and city, but was ready for this new adventure and trusted my husband’s promises that the new place would be almost exactly the same, just smaller and slightly colder in the winter. Slightly.
That turned out to be rather an understatement. Our first winter in Idaho hit hard, and stayed grey and bitter cold for a very very long time. I was ill-equipped to cope with the biting sub-zero temperatures every single day and the accompanying wind. Icy stinging wind. I shivered and cried for 6 months. That’s how long winter lasts here.
Fast forward to my realization that I needed a way to enjoy winter. Something, somehow, to look forward to. Skiing wasn’t an option–too expensive, … >> find out more...
Time for a 2015 calendar, because it’s almost here! The new year! 2015! If one of your goals is to be more organized, may I suggest starting with a pretty 2015 calendar? I use my smart phone calendar for some things, but I’m still a bit old fashioned and like to write things down and see them all at a glance without my trusty smartphone. I’m talking about using a nice paper 2015 calendar for jotting down all of your to-dos and special dates to remember. For free! Here is a little selection of very lovely free printable 2015 calendars you can download right this minute, all courtesy of talented designers across the interwebs. Enjoy!
1. I like the black and white color scheme and darling chalkboard look of this calendar by Botanical Paperworks
2. Understated and elegant, and more of that awesome black and white, whether you place it on your desk or your fridge or your pin board, or in a notebook, from Chantel Emma
3. Seriously cute designs here, like that wood grain! From Mad About Pink
4. Bright and fresh calendar from Miss Tiina
5. Gold dots? Or maybe turquoise? Say no more! By Oh So … >> find out more...
“I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.” –Cheryl Strayed
I saw the movie Wild this weekend, and I’ve been contemplating my life and my relationships and searching my soul ever since.
2014 has been a little rough. At least for me. There have been plenty of high points and I’ve experienced lots of joy, too, but there was a lot of tough stuff happening in my life this past year. The cry until you collapse, ache until you implode kinds of things. I know you know what I mean. We all have that hard, dark, heavy stuff, the kind that sometimes forces us into a better place. Often we don’t see it that way until much later, after the rocky road is behind us, until, whether prepared for it or not, we journey through some sort of cathartic experience, and realize the grit and heart and promise that’s been inside us all along. Perhaps a bit battle-scarred, but healed and whole once again.
With that in mind, I connected with Wild from Fox Searchlight. Reese Witherspoon (one of my favorites) portrays Cheryl, at the proverbial rock bottom after a series of devastating events and self destructive … >> find out more...
A few months after my first baby was born I thought I needed a change and proceeded to chop 15 inches off my hair length. FIFTEEN INCHES. That’s like mid-life crisis level action there, CODE RED! It took me close to three years to grow back out and I swore I’d never make a drastic chop like that again. So here I am, 6 years, two more babies, and a mess of hair later. There are many many days where I feel like chopping it off again for the simple purpose of making my life easier because this much hair takes a generous amount of time to style, and mama ain’t got a ton of that to spare. But then I remember the growing out process and that chop chop urge goes right out the window.
To compensate, I look for any way I can to simplify my hair routine. I rely heavily on dry shampoo to get me through the days I don’t wash my hair for the simple reason that it can take me close to a half an hour to dry my hair on the days I do wash it. 30 minutes with a blow dryer is … >> find out more...
When my husband and I were newlyweds, we started acquiring Christmas books, children’s books, mostly. We add a new one to the stash each year or so, and when the tree trimmings come out of storage, so do the books! I’ve read that some families wrap their Christmas books in festive paper and open one each night in December leading up to Christmas, but we prefer to put our collection out in a basket so all the books can be enjoyed all month long by the whole family. Less tape that way.
The classics are all there of course–the Grinch, the Polar Express and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas–but I’d love to share some of our other favorites with you today, in no particular order, for kids from one to ninety-two.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
We have 3 versions of this book, actually, because it’s that dear to my husband and my little boys. We’ve shared the original and the children’s version with them with equal success. It’s definitely worth an annual read. Note: my kids also love the old radio dramatization featuring Lionel Barrymore.
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
This story is simple … >> find out more...
Let’s be honest, binge watching all my favorite holiday movies is pretty much the best tradition ever. A tradition that requires zero effort other then plopping down on the couch, or my bed if I please, tuning up ye olde dvd player and settling in for the night. I am all about the minimal effort when it comes to the holidays and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t participated in this tradition several times already. Some people hit the mall this time of year, some people hit the couch. I’m team couch, the mall is way too crowded.
‘Tis the season.
So, you know, because I love you I think it’s time we talk about my top 5 favorite holiday flicks. I’m hoping you’ve seen most, if not all, of these so that we have that much in common. If not, add them to your list and return so we can discuss. Movie time!
*image via Movie Gazette
White Christmas – Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary freakin’ Clooney, and of course… Vera-Ellen’s legs. It’s just my favorite. I sing all the songs and wish I could dance all the dances, and of course I cry when they … >> find out more...
This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Olay. Photo credit: family selfie taken by me on a frozen lake in Spokane, Washington
Did you know that Photobucket isn’t just a resource for finding stock images anymore? It’s true, Photobucket is also a super easy hub for making any and all things photo product related. You want gorgeous holiday cards? They got holiday cards. You want a slideshow? Photobucket has super easy to build slideshows. Remember how I shared some tips for how to get beautiful for holiday photos? I used some of the photos from that post and easily pulled together a super rad slideshow featuring some of my favorite photos from 2014. Turns out, even though our year was less than amazing, there were still some pretty good moments. It took me less than 5 minutes to upload the photos and toss them all together in a slideshow to help me remember those good moments, and then with their handy sharing tools, I shared that slideshow on Facebook in a snap! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Such a fun feature, especially if you’re looking for a low-key alternative to traditional holiday cards or even if you just … >> find out more...
Who else doesn’t have all of their shopping done for the holidays? I hope I’m not the only one! Don’t despair! Last minute gifts aren’t that hard to come by.
Moms do a lot right? I think they deserve the best when it comes to Christmas presents. Let’s give the moms (and other important gals) in our lives the greatest Christmas ever with these awesome gifts under $50. I’m not going to lie, I would want any (or all!) of these! Word on the street is that most of our staff would, also. Kids- are you paying attention.
1. How fab are these gloves from Anthropologie? Gotta keep those fingers nice and warm! ($48)
2. Every house needs a beautiful calendar for 2015! I love this one from Rifle Paper Co. ($26)
3. Get cozy in these polka dot printed pj’s from Gap! ($44.99)
4. This 3-wick candle from Bath and Body Works will fill your home with the most divinely cozy smells! ($22.50)
5. Isn’t this scarf beautiful? Looks super comfy too! Get it at Loft! ($34.50)
6. Everyone needs a classic pair of stud earrings! THESE from Kate Spade! ($48)
7. I think any mom would love to … >> find out more...