Friday, May 29, 2009

Rapunzel's Revenge

I just finished Shannon Hale's Book, "Rapunzel's Revenge". I'm a big Hale fan... This one was written in comic book style. I don't think I have ever had the urge to read a comic book, but I actually liked the book ok. It was my least favorite of all of her books, however was something interesting and unique to read. I read the whole book in about 2 hours. It was nice to read an "adult" book that has pictures, the illustrations were very well done. I think this book would be a great gift for a teen girl.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Follow Up on Yesterday's Post

Yesterday was Megan's birthday and when she opened one of her last gifts, a bag with lots of dress up clothes in it, Matthew jumped up and down, clapped, and screamed, "YEAH, YEAH"! So I gave him a bag full of boys dress up clothes just for him and he cried "NO, NO" and wouldn't let us go near him with them. And said something resembling, I want princesses. A couple weeks ago I was content that my little boy loved Bob the Builder and Thomas the Train and couldn't care less about princesses like my girls. I know it is probably just a phase that he will grow out of when it is not socially acceptable, but it's great for a good laugh now. May also be great for bribery or wedding videos later on :).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boys Can Be Princesses Too

I was taking some photos in my back yard of Megan and her best friend, Maddie who are getting baptized on Saturday and this is Matthew (destined to be a princess, dancing machine) who came out in the middle of it all. We got a good laugh, including our neighbors who were out with their dog.

He did all of that to himself and it took quite a long time. He has a furry doll shirt around his wrists, and a mermaid doll dress on his leg as well as Kaylee's dance costume around his hands, topped off with a pink princess cone hat for effect. And a wooden stick. Not sure what the stick is for... maybe to beat anyone who tries to take off his outfit. He threw a royal fit when we tried to get that contraption off of him before bed. Luckily he also likes trains and cars. And pink nail polish.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Princess Festival

I am excited to be selling my Little Adventures dress up clothes at this year's Princess Festival at Hatfieldadelphia in Lindon. I have been able to take a tour of the facility there and it is amazing. They are pulling out all the stops and it is sure to please little and big princesses alike. They are expecting over 2000 people there. My girls and their grandma's will be 4 of them! Proceeds from the festival go to their charity, In Our Own Quiet Way, so it is going to a good cause.

Check out my tent/booth at the Princess Festival where I will be selling a selection of dress up clothes and sale items. We will have special discounts for pre-ordering, so email me or comment on this post if you would like a costume.

The Princess Festival is June 8th-13th, which is also when our family vacation will be, I will most likely be hiring an employee to work there for some of the time. I will for sure be there on the first day, Monday. Please stop by and say hi, I would love to see you!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quoteable Quote

I was reading a short book my Mother in Law gave me for Mother's Day. It's called Women of Light by Jack R. Christianson. There are lots of great quotes and stories in it. I would recommend reading it as it's only about 25 pages. The following is an amazing quote in the book:

"I don't want to drive up the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, with my hair expertly coiled, and with long perfectly manicured nails. I want to drive up to the pearly gates in a station wagon {or minivan!} that has Boy Scout equipment in the back seat. I want there to be grass stains on my shoes from mowing Mrs. Schneck's lawn. I want there to be a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want there to be dirt under my fingernails from helping 4-Hers plant a garden. I want there to be children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want God to know that I was really here and that I really lived."

I write this as I forewent putting on makeup and doing my hair so I could talk to a friend before going on a lunch date with Steve and my children have black dirt under their fingernails. There's something to be said for putting others' needs before our own. It just feels good!

Another Hale Favorite

My neighbor just loaned me the last Bayern book by Shannon Hale called, River Secrets. Another page turner! I can't wait for the last book to come out about Razo's sister. Does anyone know when it comes out? I haven't read, Rapunzel's Ravenge written by Hale and her husband yet, but I would like to. It's on my request list at the library. Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

Lambert v. Allen

I was pleasantly surprised last night when Chris won American Idol! I was getting a little creeped out by Adam the last couple weeks. I love it when the underdog wins too! Chris genuinely looked surprised himself. I bet all the 6 year olds that are in love with him are happy too. Did the fact that his fans are so young stun any of you like it did me?

I liked the whole show last night. It was a good finale except for those obnoxious boots the band "KISS" was wearing. Adam included... they gave me a good laugh.

This was the best picture I could find, but those 12 inch platform boots were stylin'. I wish I had some. Kiss scares me, talk about creepy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dance Recital 2009

My girls just had their annual dance recital. It was so fun to see them improve from last year and they did a great job, even in front of all those people which is a daunting task for my shy kids. It was a grueling day of makeup, fixing hair twice and chaperoning to and fro from event to event. Here's a photo of the both of them. Yes, those are Little Adventures dress ups. Their teacher, Miss Kim bought them independently and then found out later that I sell them!

Friday, May 15, 2009


I know reviews have been less than kind with this book. But, I am a huge Shannon Hale fan and have read all of her books. I actually liked this one and thought it was interesting. However, I found it to be quite unrealistic compared to her other books (funny that I can say that about fantasy books starring teens with special powers) and felt like it was slightly disjointed. It still was a fun read. I was actually pulling for the gardener!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Elaines French Bakery

My sister in law told me about a bakery by her house that is really great. I really can't pass up a good bakery, so I went to check it out. I had an excuse, though, I needed an inexpensive "gift" for Kaylee's preschool teacher for Mother's Day. I am so glad I did.

It's called Elaine's French Bakery. I can't believe how amazing (and reasonably priced) this place was! I really am not kidding, they had the most beautiful eclairs, pastries, cakes, and tarts that I have ever seen. Just walking in there, the smell was amazing and the service stellar. It's a family business and the owner is a French man who is really nice, and speaks FRENCH! We kind of struck up a conversation and he said he and his two boys (ages 10 & 12) wake up at 2am so hand bake everything in the shop.

I ended up getting the Raspberry Charlotte for $3.50 and it was quite impressive looking with a ribbon around it and fresh raspberries on top. Her teacher was pleasantly stunned and I was a little bummed that I didn't buy 2. Girls night out anyone?!

Check it out. It's by Xpedx in Orem.

My issues with time...

With Mother's Day arriving in a couple days, I have been thinking back on all the cute things my kids have done over the years and their unique personalities. Megan is the independent one who achieves anything she puts her mind to, Kaylee is a dreamer and the one who makes us laugh, Matthew is our sensitive and cuddly one who is always tagging along with Mom.

Anyway, with that in mind, I feel like lately I have been so worried about time and never having enough of it that I made a bold statement to myself.... I stopped wearing a watch! I guess it is kind of a symbolic step that time no longer rules me. I control what I do with it! There are still times I have to be somewhere at a set time, and we have clocks in the house and one in the car, but I don't have that reminder attached to me at all times. It's pretty nice. Don't hate me John B. (who works for a watch company)!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day Guide

I can't believe Mother's Day is on Sunday. It has been creeping up too fast! I do love flowers, but on Mother's Day, they are so expensive and only last for a few days. I prefer more creative gifts or sentiments to flowers, but that's just practical me.

I have been thinking of some affordable ideas for Mother's Day that I thought I would share.

For the reading Mom:
LDS author, Virginia Pierce's book Glimpses into the Life & Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Journalist, Cokie Robert's Founding Mothers

For the music lover Mom:
A fun and Jazzy CD that a Mom of any age would love. Thanks for the tip Steph. Amazing sax and drum playing on this CD. Getz/Gilberto

For the movie watching Mom:
Sleepless in Seattle

A gift card to a local movie theatre or tickets to a play or musical with you or with someone else.

For the cooking Mom:
I love my indoor grill pan. It would work for a "green" mom too as it has a unique teflon.

One of the "Flirty Aprons" from the University Mall (kiosk). I have a similar apron and any girl I know would love to have one. You really can't go wrong with pink and brown either.

For the jewelry loving Mom
Our local Shopko has 75% off 25K gold jewelry. I found some great earrings for $9.
You can never go wrong with a diamond stud earring or a classic, simple diamond solitaire necklace. They had some there in the $50 range as well.

Any Mom would love a new watch and Precision Time is having a Mother's Day sale. I like this one because it's simple and clean. Originally $575! Now $149.

Here's some more ideas:
A beautiful hanging basket to hang outside in the yard or deck.

A day spa gift certificate or massage. Get half price deals here

I love Sees chocolates. You can gift certificates at Costco to save around $10. If budget allows, Godiva is the best.

I am not a girl who likes things that are smelly such as lotions, soaps, candles, perfume etc. But, if your mom/wife likes these things, try Bath & Body Works. They have a lot of nice gift baskets and sets.

A lot of people are out of work right now... a beautiful hand written card with reasons why you love your mother/wife. A time in your life when your mother/wife made a difference. Maybe a honey-do coupon book is sometimes more thoughtful and better than any gift.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stay at Home Moms

It's official, I just saw on Good Morning America that they studied how much work stay at home Moms do, and if they were paid, they would earn a salary of $122K. If they also work from home, add $76K. Therefore, I am clearly the bread winner around here. To be honest, I think I need a raise. I look like that lady in the picture most of the time. However, she is way better dressed than I usually am!

Great Date Restaurant

We recently went out to eat at Gloria's Little Italy in the center of Provo. The food and service was really good, and they had a live singer that was fabulous. All in all a great restaurant for a date. I'm loving this live in babysitter thing. Too bad for us she will have to get a job soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marble Jars

I have had so many friends ask about the blue marbles we have on our counter and what we use them for, so I thought I'd do a post about their miraculous powers!

For the last couple years we have instituted a simple rewards program with our kids that works amazingly well. It helps us to remember and praise the good things they do and helps us with teaching them important principals.

We have some glass marbles (the kind you might put in a vase) and a small-ish votive candle holder for each child over 3 years old labeled with their names on it. When they do something willingly, a chore, or something nice for someone else, they get a marble in their "jar". If they do something naughty or don't obey, they get one taken out. I know it sounds easy and too good to be true, but it really works for us! When they fill up their jar, they get to choose a prize from the prize box on top of the fridge or they can have $1.

The most important thing is to be consistent and stick with it. It's pretty cool for them to see that they have done 50 good things in a week or a month. As a mom, it's hard to not use negative language all the time, I find myself always saying, don't do that, stop it, that's naughty, no, you can't, etc... but this is a good way to say they did great and to actually take a little time to give them positive feedback.

It's also very effective discipline for us to say, "Don't do that or you'll lose a marble." instead of time out or other forms of discipline. Many times they will cry because they don't want to lose one, but they are learning about consequences.

When we go to the store and they have, I want-itis. I say, you can have that Barbie, but you have to earn it and it will take you 10 full marble jars to get it. They say, psh... no thanks!

I hope this helps, try it out and let me know if it works as well for you as it does for us. Hmm... just wondering if it works for husbands too?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

If I Could Keep Time in a Bottle...

Steve and I were on a "date" last night. Can you call it a date when you are already married?

Anyway, I expressed that I have been feeling a little spread thin lately. Previously, I had been thinking since selling the princess dress ups were going so well that I would probably stop doing photography because when fall rolls around, it will be too busy to be doing both with fall/early winter being the busiest season of the year for both of them.

However, after photographing this last wedding, I forgot how much I love the creativity of doing some type of art (I stink at drawing/painting, so no creative outlet there). I really enjoy being around people and children and being able to have a hobby that I get paid for. I love doing the photo editing as well. I feel that if I quit for a year, I will lose my "regular" clients that come to me every year.

But, with the kids getting older and getting into more activities and friends that play here at the house, I'm just spread too thin. I have been working 3 hours during nap time (thank you Matthew!) and after they go to bed for an hour or two, but it's burdensome sometimes, and with my current health problems I get really tired and worn out easily.

I know there will be a time in my life to do all of these things that I "wish" to do. Maybe when all of the kids are in school and my health has improved. I guess I just don't want to miss any of their innocent cuteness and want to be able to be more present (and awake!) while they are still young and totally adorable! What would you do if you were me?

Wedding Bells

I feel privileged to be able to attend and photograph the Sutton/Woodward reception. It was beautifully decorated (above you will see a picture of a tiered cupcake stand with beautiful black and white cupcakes) and the bride and groom were lovely. The family sure knew how to "party" too, it was very fun. I left at 10pm and the dancing was still going strong!

The bride's dress was gorgeous!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Shabby Apple

I was just going through my bookmarks and remembered this quirky online clothing shop that I thought was quite unique. Check it out: The price tags are pretty steep, but it's a fun site to look through. I really like the dress below, too bad it's wool. Maybe for fall...

They are also doing a little girl model search here. Maybe if I have time, I'll submit Megan and Kaylee.