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Life Lessons: Make Hair Day Happen

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I love me some hair day. Mamas... make the time. Even if it's a stretch; save some money on coffee for a couple weeks and go get your hair done. Or, get a facial. Or maybe a massage. Maybe even all three.

Do something for you. You deserve it. It's so important to invest in ourselves; to make ourselves feel better. This came after a full day being covered in baby vomit, guys... I needed a night off badly. We spend so much time trying to figure out what's going on inside those little heads that we kiss day in and day out that a few hours with nothing to do but sit back and let someone fix you up is absolute heaven. It helps you to recharge, maybe without even realizing it. 

I had nothing to think about except for which shade of blonde I wanted my ombre to be.

Um, awesome.

Buy This.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Buy this. Put it on everything. Especially quinoa & arugula salads.

This has been a blog post.

Thanksgiving 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hey hey hey! I hope everyone had an amazing Holiday weekend. It always goes by so quickly.

I had so much fun helping to prep for an amazing dinner with both sides of our family, as well as to celebrate Porter's first Thanksgiving. I even got him the cute little outfit proclaiming it as such. I bought it a few months ago and I was worried it wouldn't fit, since he's actually in 12-18 month clothing now (not 9 month, which was the size of the onesie), but it fit like a glove. A perfect outfit for our little Butterball.

We had all the good stuff - turkey, stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans, candied carrots, Aunt Carolyn's Deviled Eggs, pumpkin pie, fudge, brownies, lemon cookies, cherry kiss cookies, etc, etc, etc. The menu was perfect. Porter loved the stuffing, which made Paul pretty happy, since he cooked the stuffing and turkey this year. I've also been feeding Porter leftover mashed and sweet potatoes for the past few days; it's basically been the best weekend of his life.

We wrapped up the evening, on the couch watching White Christmas - a Burton family tradition. Except, this year, we all turned in early - before it finished. I blame the infants/toddlers that we had running the show this year... Porter and Amelia, namely.

I started that thing, this year, where I tried to list something I was grateful for each day. I lasted until, like, the tenth day. It wasn't because I was having a hard time finding things I was grateful for, it was because I could have went on and on and on and on...

I'm thankful for family. I'm thankful for tradition, old and new. I'm thankful for love, and selflessness and warm hugs and hot coffee and a cheesy smile on the face of my 11 month old. I'm thankful that God decided I was worthy of molding and caring for the most precious little human life, and that I got to experience the first of many holidays with him. I'm thankful that I am a wife, and that my husband if my best friend. I'm thankful for cold weather and wagon rides and a loyal family dog...

See? I could go on and on. :)
I hope you all had a fabulous holiday!

Blogging Fun: The Liebster Award

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thank you Linzi at Little Gem for nominating me for the Liebster Award! Linzi is a beautiful wife and mama of two, and a fellow Washington native with an awesome blog (who I randomly found on Instagram)! I was really excited when I got her message about this award... so fun! Hugs to you, Linzi!

>> This is an award given to bloggers who have 200 followers or less, and is used to promote each other in the blogging community and attract some attention to your blog in a positive way! Each nominee must first:
  • List 11 random facts about themselves
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated them. 
  • Choose 11 other bloggers who have 200 or less follows on Bloglovin' and ask them your own 11 questions.
>> The rules are:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link them in the post √
  • List 11 random facts about yourself √
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you √
  • Choose 11 blogs you like and link them in your post √
  • Write out 11 questions for those bloggers to answer √
  • Go to their page and let them know that you nominated them √
R A N D O M  F A C T S  A B O U T  M E

1. I have no middle name.

2. I'm left-handed, and so is my hubby.

3. I love to read, but I have the hardest time getting started in a book. I'll buy a book and it will sit on my nightstand for weeks. Once I finally bite the bullet and dive in, I never regret it. (Well, except for the confusing snoozefest that was Night Circus, but whatever.)

4. My biggest fear was/is childbirth. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I successfully gave birth to my son almost a year ago. You know that feeling that you feel when you complete a really difficult workout, or a dreaded work meeting or job interview is over? I felt like that, times a billion. Best day of my life.

5. I showed horses competitively for most of my childhood (and won a few national titles)

6. The thought/sight of people rubbing their palms on their jeans gives me the heebie-jeebies

7. My dream dinner party would include these famous guests: Jennifer Lawrence. Kate Middleton. Taylor Swift. Ellen DeGeneres. Jennifer Aniston. Kerry Washington. Julianne Hough. & Sandra Bullock.

8. I love trivia

9. I never finish a beverage. I have half-empty bottles of water all over my house.

10.  I love documentaries, especially about sociopaths or crazy cults. SO FASCINATING.

11. I'm a little OCD about numbers, and it's sort of freaking me out that 11 is the magic number in this post. Eesh. It's taking everything in me not to add a 12th to each of these lists.

Linzi's Questions For Me:
1. Do you like to read, what is your favorite book? Love to read. It's cliche, but I'm going to have to say the Hunger Games trilogy. I adore those books. So much so, that I almost refused to see the movies... I didn't want it to ruin the magic of those stories!

2. Are you left or right handed? Left (so funny, I didn't read through these questions before I made my list of random facts... Linzi, great minds think alike!)

3. How many children do you have, do you want to have more? In a perfect world, 4 kids. But... money and age permitting, so we shall see... we'd need to get to work, and I'm not quite ready to be pregnant again!

4. Do you have a secret talent to share with us? No :( I am the least-talented person I know. I mean, I'm a cool person... but I can't draw or sing or knit or scrapbook or decorate or do anything exceptionally well. That sounds like I'm really down on myself, but I swear I'm not... I'm awesome! Haha.

5. Can you speak any other languages besides English? Nope. I wish!

6. What is your favorite band or artist? Too hard! I love me some John Mayer, though. He might be it for me.

7. Who are your style icons? I love Khloe Kardashian lately, and Julianne Hough is always so effortless. Girl is on her style game!

8. Are you a hoarder of anything in particular? Yes. Pretty much everything. I can't delete pictures from my phone -- especially of my son -- because I feel like I'm deleting him from my life! Ha

9. What are you hopeful your kids will be when they're older? HAPPY, HEALTHY AND LOVED. Otherwise, I don't care. A preacher, musician, doctor, real estate agent, stay-at-home mom... I don't care. I just want them to be happy in their career choice, grateful for perfect health, and overflowing in love.

10. What is your favorite meal to eat? I love food. I would probably go out to eat with my worst enemy if they suggested that we dine somewhere that I loved.

11. Who is your biggest inspiration and why? My husband. He's the most passionate, selfless person I know.

My Nominations
Britt @ Oh Baby Havens
Natalie @ Copeland & Co
Lauren @ Wifestyles
Zacha @ MissZ326
Tisse @ Tisse's Pieces
Kate @ Nesting Elm
Britt @ Petite Comeaux

Questions for my Nominees
1. You can invite five celebrities to dinner party. Who is on your guest list?
2. If you have a free night to yourself - no husband or kids - what is on your agenda?
3. What is your favorite Christmas song?
4. What is your typical Starbucks order?
5. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
6. If you had $100 of free money to spend... where would you go, and what would you buy?
7. What is your favorite go-to outfit that you love -- either for a night out OR a night in?
8. What is currently on your DVR?
9. If you could travel the world on a mission to find the World's Best _____, what would that be?
10. You can only leave the house with ONE item of makeup on... what would it be?
11. What is your dream vacation destination?

Have fun! I hope you all will play along! ;)

Do You Believe In Magic?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yesterday at the mall, Paul and I saw from afar that Santa had arrived.

I know... already. Ignoring the rising panic at how fast Christmas is coming, we took Porter down to Santa to give him a glimpse -- mainly so we could see what we were in for. You never know. Porter was too little to care about the Easter Bunny, but now that he's older and has an affinity for beards, we wanted to check in to see if he would love or hate the bearded wonder that is Kris Kringle.

He didn't even notice. We sat beyond the cute little fence, watching a bunch of kids interacting with Santa and waiting for Porter to see this guy with the fluffy white beard, but he was too busy staring at the strange kids running around the mall around him to even pay a second of attention to the man in red we were pointing at and exclaiming over.

We were interrupted by a cute little boy in glasses. He was maybe four or five years old, standing near the computer where parents pour over photo proofs of their screaming/smiling little ones on Santa's lap. He saw us looking and pointing at Santa in awe and he excitedly joined in our conversation.

"That's the real Santa," he told me. Paul and I exchanged a smile. This little boy was so happy. "Oh, really? It is?"

"Yep." He was matter-of-fact. Not a doubt in his mind. "Can you believe it? That's actually Santa. Santa Claus. He's here."

In my mind, I was rolling my eyes (I would never actually roll my eyes at the kid because, ew, so grinchy). But this kid actually thought that Santa - the "real" Santa - is in Tacoma, Washington. On November 19th. Please. Kids are so funny.

We walked away, leaving him in his excitement after sharing a quick moment with him about how cool it was that that was the real Santa. As we walked away, Paul mentioned to me how sad it was that you lose that magic and wonder as you get older. He looked nostalgic, like he was remembering his childhood years and pretending, for just a moment, that the Santa we'd just seen was the Santa of his youth. Thinking back to his years as that little boy.

Gutcheck. I'd lost the magic. I hadn't interacted with the little boy and remembered those magical childhood years lovingly. I had been critical and amused and wondering in the back of my mind when we could start moving because, ugh, Porter was starting to show signs of being cranky.

I have a little boy now, who in a couple of years will be squealing with excitement and exclaiming about the magical idea of Santa Claus coming to town. I'm a mother, who has been assigned the responsibility of cultivating this little boy's imagination... and I stopped believing in magic some time ago.

I know there's a fine balance between knowing the real reason for the season, yet still appreciating the years where Christmas is nothing but snow and lights and hand-delivered gifts from the North Pole.

I'm refueled now. Excited for the coming years when I get to witness Porter's awe and amazement about these incredibly magical times. Last night, I promised myself to get just as excited as he is. Life has a way of stealing the magic, but the only way you can remain young at heart is by actively deciding to never grow stale.

(And I'm sorry if you've been singing the McDonald's "Do You Believe In Magic" jingle this entire time. Because I have.)

The Chocolate Cake Confession

Monday, November 18, 2013

Confession: it's been a bad day with Porter. He's discovered that he can scream at the top of his lungs; like, the kind of scream that will make you lose your voice. So, today, he's been sobbing and screaming and snotty and basically I am convinced he hates me. It sounds like he's being tortured or something. And for no reason... picking him up doesn't help. Blowing raspberries on his little feet doesn't help. Offering him a snack doesn't help. Nothing. Helps.

So, I finally got him to sleep this afternoon, and ate a piece of chocolate cake for lunch. Yep. Chocolate cake for lunch. With thick, fudgey frosting and a layer of frosting in the middle of the cake.

There was nothing organic OR whole about it. Nothing. Except for that the whole piece went into my mouth.

I'm not sorry. Not even a little bit.

Thanks for reading. How is your Monday going?

Currently - November 15

Friday, November 15, 2013

- Making googley-eyes at my new iPhone 5s. I love it so much. It's so pretty and bright and perfect. I'm doing things on my phone I would never normally do, like making voice memos about the current episode of Law & Order that is on my TV. Just because I can. Just because it's so pretty.

- Listening to Christmas music. All of you "omgeee, don't mention Christmas until after Thanksgiving" people... just relax. And read my BFF Jess's thoughts on this same subject (under "Refusing To"). I support her logic entirely.

- being annoyed that people don't know how to use an apostrophe.

- Fighting back tears after reading this fantastic post by an amazing blogger. Just, yes. This is my entire heart toward my husband and son. I could have written this (and I wish I had). Beautiful.

- Lusting over the Naked3 Palette from Urban Decay. Confession: I don't own previous Naked palettes, but man... rose golds? You got me. I'm signed up and receiving the alert the minute this becomes available.

- Sipping my morning coffee very, very slowly. I love peppermint, I love caffeine, and I love that it's FRIDAY.

- "City Folks Just Don't Get It!" Oh my stars. Have you seen the commercial for Laughing. Out. Loud. I thought it was a joke!

What's going on with you currently?

Salted Caramel Fail: How Is This Even Possible?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Time for a confession.

I would eat YOU if you were covered in salted caramel.

It's scary and sad, but it's true. I will never turn down salted caramel anything. Cupcakes, frozen yogurt, candles. So, when I saw that International Delight was coming out with a Salted Caramel coffee creamer, I debated setting up camp outside of the grocery store until I was able to get my hands on it. Joy. Unspeakable joy.

So, the other day, I saw it. Glimmering under fluorescent store lights like a small piece of heaven, brought down to earth. Via Safeway.

This bad boy was in my hands, then in my cart, then in my coffee within an hour. I made a cup of coffee immediately when I got home. I took a sip. As I awaited the angels singing, I was overwhelmed by the taste of... plastic. Salty plastic.

The creamer -- my beloved creamer, the highlight of my holiday season thus far -- was disgusting.

How could it be? Heart. BROKEN.

I don't really have anything else to say, except for that I am sad. I am sad, but I am oh so thankful for the steadfastness of my Peppermint Mocha creamer that was on call in my fridge, waiting to save the day.

I even encouraged my sister to try the Salted Caramel creamer, thinking maybe I put too much in my coffee (I tend to do that). She only added a dash to the her cup, but she came to the same conclusion as me: it's officially gross.

Has anyone else tried this guy yet? Do you agree, or am I crazy?


Sheer Beauty

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I can't believe October is already gone.

One more month to go, and I become the mother of a one year old. That, my friends, blows my mind. I thought time flew by when I was a newlywed... I knew nothing about flying time until I created a human and was put in charge of all of his days. Now, I can't believe how quickly Mondays fade into Fridays; it seems like I just took Porter's weekly picture yesterday, and now here it is... time for another? Already?

Thank you, God. My days are good.

I get up, I make coffee when the house is still quiet. I pull back the curtains, I let Lennon out, I settle in to work from the comfort of my own living room, I turn on the Today Show. Now, since it's November, I start up the Christmas music from my favorite Spotify playlist (the one that taunts me all year, until it's acceptable to listen to again, come Halloween).

I savor every single moment that I possibly can.

I'm so thankful. My heart is happy.

I am a working mom. I am a work from home mom. I can hardly remember the days where I rushed around to get ready to get to a job that I dreaded, wearing clothes that I hated. Counting down minutes, hours, until I could come home. It seems like another lifetime.

Life is truly too short to spend a minute doing something because you have to. Find a way to do the things you want to do... set some goals, and tackle them. Even if you're afraid. And if you can get someone behind you to give you a little shove when you seem to stall out (hey, we all do it. No shame), it's even better. I could never do this alone. My husband is a constant force that keeps me moving -- even when I would rather collapse into a puddle into the middle of the living room, pounding my fists into the carpet while sobbing "I DON'T WANNA..." (Don't take notes, Porter, your mama can be a big baby and you're much better than that). You may not wanna, but most of the time God doesn't move until you do.

The twinkling lights over my TV change with the seasons. Right now, they're orange and white. They keep a constant flow of merry in our house, year 'round; it's one of my favorite parts of my living room. Sometimes I clean up just so I can turn off the lights, sink into my couch, and stare. It's my happy place. It's normally about this time, when I am able to take the refreshingly deep breath, that Porter wakes up. Then, my day truly begins.

But, briefly, I was able to spend a few quiet moments alone... being thankful for the present.

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
Psalm 100:4 (MSG)

Tis The Season For... Elf Storage.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My husband and I got out for an impromptu date night tonight, which was so, so, so needed after a long weekend. I hardly saw him, and Porter was definitely fighting off a stomach bug (or teething worse than anything I could have imagined) all day Saturday and Sunday, so today was a perfect time to catch up and refresh with my favorite guy.

We were driving home, listening to some music and laughing about nothing, when we drove by a sign on the 705 for Tacoma Self Storage. Paul knows how much I adore the holidays, so he knew I would appreciate what he was about to say.

"Do you want to know what one of my favorite things about the holidays are?"

Assuming he was going to say something romantic or incredibly festive, I snuggled down into my heated seat, pulled my cozy oversized sweater tight around me and smiled up at him. "Aww, no, babe... what would that be?"

"When Tacoma Self Storage becomes Tacoma Elf Storage... I'm not kidding. It makes me giddy. I get so excited, it's pretty much the best thing ever."

*blank stare*

Here's what he's talking about:


Ok, fine. That's pretty freakin' cute. Happy Holidays, from my hubby to you.

Weekend Check-In

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Obsessing over: This. My husband, and some of my best friends did an acoustic cover of Katy Perry's "Roar", and it was o-m-g incredible. Watch for yourself (time well spent, promise). My husband is is the one that sings the first verse, and then a couple other parts... but holy moly. I can't tell you how impressive this was in person.

Working on: Cleaning out my personal email. Almost 4,000 emails, and I need, like, 0 of them. But, I'm a virtual hoarder. My iPhoto and inboxes are a disaster. No bueno. It's like a feel like I'm deleting my child if I delete a single, solitary picture of him.

Thinking about: Porter. He's snoozing right now, but we're having some serious issues right now with him... it's either a little tummy bug, or teething is really throwing him for a loop. Projectile vomiting, though, no matter what the reason... sucks. I've never felt so helpless.

Anticipating: The day we put up our Christmas tree. I know it's only November 3rd, but it's coming... I assure you. I would have been great with putting it up on Halloween.

Listening to: The Seahawks game is on in the background.

Drinking: Caramel Brûlée Latte! I love holiday Starbucks.

Wishing: That October wasn't over... it flew by, seriously. I can't believe it's November, and I'm going to have a one year old next month.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend! :) Tomorrow is MONDAY... which means a brand new week, full of opportunities. I love a blank canvas, don't you?

Decisions, Decisions...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oh, ok. Fine. I'll take all three.

Word on the street Facebook is that Nordstrom is matching Costco's price on all Hunter Boots. That drops them down to like $75 bucks each; I can't tell you how happy it makes me to think of a colorful lineup of rainboots for me to debate between, each and every day, from now until June.

So, yeah. I'll take all three.

Sick Day Getaway

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last week was a rough week. Paul, Porter and I were all sick; probably from the craziness of traveling and all the early, early morning flights. Paul was sickest in the beginning of the week, me in the middle and toward the end, and Porter was right along with me. His room is feet away from ours, so my coughing and sneezing and blowing wasn't helping Porter's sleep. There's nothing worse than a sick, sleep-deprived baby.

On Friday, our church had an overnight retreat up in Seattle. Paul was running sound for the event, so I got to join him. We left Porter at home, mainly so we could use a night away in Seattle to get some rest. 

Sleep: bring it.

Overnighters in Seattle are something Paul and I love doing anyway; one of my favorite date nights is dinner/hotel in Seattle, even if it's for less than 24 hours. We usually leave when I'm off work, head up and check in to our hotel, and then we go out to dinner or to see a show (or to a progressive dinner at a few new spots!) and then back to our hotel to watch a movie, order dessert from room service, cuddle up in bed and relax. It's heavenly.

I joined Paul at the retreat Friday night, but I was a mess. Blowing my nose into my dinner napkin and coughing every time there was a round of applause so I didn't distract everyone. Needless to say, sleep that night wasn't as amazing as it could have been, so I woke up in the morning when Paul got up to head down to the ballroom, and I felt even worse. He told me to stay in bed, try to get more sleep until he was done.

I did exactly that.

When I woke up, I ordered room service, and found a Law & Order: SVU marathon on TV. I've never watched it before, but I totally got sucked in (and I may have set up the DVR once I got home to record all upcoming episodes from here on out).

Eggs Benedict and Law & Order: SVU: a good Saturday morning

To all the mommies out there, I have to encourage you... if you have the time and the means to get away for a night with your hubbies -- or even alone! -- please do it. You can shut off your brain for a few minutes and enjoy some much-needed R&R.

Adventures in San Francisco

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This past weekend, we enjoyed beautiful San Francisco as a family. It was beyond amazing; I love, love, love that city. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't to move SF up to my top three favorites cities ever! But, alas -- that's where you can now find it. Top 3 Favorite Cities. Ever.

We flew down for my work retreat (my company is based out of SF). So, along with exploring a new city, I got to meet all the people I've only known virtually for nearly 2 years. It was crazy... putting faces to voices, sharing inside jokes that we've only ever laughed about over IM or email. It was a blast. I'm blessed to work for an amazing company.

My husband was scheduled to fly down with us (Porter and me), but then he was invited to attend a conference in LA for our church (where he works). So, on Friday AM - at 4am - Porter and I were picked up by our friends, Richard and Ashley (Ashley also works for the same company, which is great!) and I flew down sans husband -- Porter's first flight ever.

I was beyond nervous. I'm independent and all, but something about being a new mom sort of takes you down three notches. What if Porter was that baby on the plane? And I was alone, unarmed? No backup? How was I going to carry a suitcase, a diaper bag, a laptop bag, a stroller and a carseat by myself through security and onto the plane?

Turns out, people are pretty nice to traveling moms -- especially traveling moms that are alone and unarmed. It wasn't that bad. Next time, I would probably try to condense even more, and I would have definitely utilized my Ergo carrier sooner than I did. Either way, it's a workout. Porter is no dainty little kiddo... he's 23 pounds of solid CHUNK. He weighs the same as his 18 month old cousin, and she feels about 10 pounds lighter, because she's taller. He is just a solid mass of baby fat. I love it to death, but not so fun when you have no one to relieve you of child-toting duties.

We also booked an apartment to stay at on the website Airbnb... have you ever heard of it? Absolutely amazing. Well, scary -- I mean, you're staying at people's apartments or homes -- but we had an amazing experience. I feel like we made a new friend. Natalie was so sweet, and we were so grateful to be staying in a 2 bedroom flat. With two babies under one year old, being sardined into a small hotel room would have been torture. 

The apartment was spacious, uncluttered, clean and somewhat kidproofed -- Natalie, the homeowner, has a two year old daughter. Ironically, Natalie was leaving down this particular weekend for a work trip... to Seattle. So, it was fate. :)

Some awesome highlights from San Francisco:
  • People are so nice. People are not that nice in Seattle.
  • Painted Ladies. I definitely hung out of the window of our rental car singing the Full House theme song at the top of my lungs as we looked for a place to park at Alamo Square Park. Such a tourist I am.
  • ARCHITECTURE. The detail in all the homes and buildings is just so intricate.
  • FOOD. Oh my gosh, SF has is heaven for foodies. So many amazing restaurants. I feel like we only got a glimpse, but my glimpse included a gourmet grilled cheese, so I'm not even mad.
  • Our apartment. It was a perfect location for everything we wanted to do.
  • ZipCar. It was amazing to have a full-sized SUV to drive around with.
  • Parks, parks, and more parks! I need to be there for a full month, you guys, just to visit all of the amazing parks.
  • Fisherman's Wharf. So much to do, so many shops, so many restaurants.
  • Those ridiculous 10-person bicycles that you can rent. So cool. I needed to have done that, too.
  • Alcatraz. We didn't go, but I saw it from the Wharf. It was pretty amazing.
  • The Bay Bridge, lit up. The most gorgeous thing I have ever seen.
  • The view from Treasure Island (over the Bay Bridge). STUNNING. All bright and lit up, with just a glimmer of fog floating over the tops of the highest buildings. So perfect.
  • THE FOG. It rolls in like powered by a freaking fog machine, you guys. It's thick and has a personality of it's own.
  • De Young Museum, in Golden Gate Park. Sweeping, 360º views of the city. So pretty.

The real Full House house. :) It was painted darker and had a gate up with a No Trespassing sign. I can only imagine how annoying it must be to live there and have to deal with hundreds of photographers

Paul flew in on Saturday evening, and met us at Starbelly, where we were having a fun company dinner. It was so amazing to see him. Porter was so glad to have his daddy.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is the view from Treasure Island. It's moments like this that I wish I had a full-sized camera. I wish I could remember the detail of this view forever.

And, err, some lowlights:
  • I dropped/shattered my iPhone getting out of the car.
  • I got sick. Horrible head cold. And unfortunately, I passed it to my hubby and Porter. Poor boys. I'm doing better, but they're both still fighting it.
  • Traffic. Eww. At 9pm! Freeways are really a parking lot at 9pm!?
  • There was a BART strike. Super lame that I didn't get to experience that... and it made traffic that much worse.

I'm already debating when to plan my next trip back to this fabulous city. Have you ever been? What is your "must do/see" for San Francisco?

A Rave Wave Review | The Goody Wave Creator

Thursday, October 17, 2013


This curling iron is life changing; I am obsessed. Sometimes I stop using it because I go through a sockbun or straight-as-an-arrow phase, and then I forget how perfect it is. Then, on other days, I hurry and curl my whole head with this thing, because I'm short on time and I need some good curls...

...and then I don't have to wash my hair for three days because these curls just look better the longer they exist. And then I sing and skip through my days, gleefully tossing around my perfectly messy second-and-third day curls.

I kid you not. You guys, I don't ever go more than a day without washing my hair -- especially after having a baby. I just can't. I turn into a greasy mess, like, in the 25th hour. I'm not kidding... nothing has ever changed the fact that "second day hair" is not for me.

Enter: the cheapest, easiest tool on the planet.

I feel like I could maybe do my first and only hair tutorial on this... because people don't seem to appreciate how easy and perfect this tool is. Maybe I've discovered a secret in execution or something... but I feel like I need to share it with the world.

It's. Just. That. Good.

Sweater: Charlotte Russe | Lips: Laura Mercier Stickgloss in "Maple"
These curls don't fall out. They don't go limp. They just get more and more perfectly tousled with time. Sadly, the Wave Creator is discontinued through Goody, but you can still buy it online.

You're probably annoyed that I just blogged about something that is probably going to be unavailable very soon, but just in case you come across one for sale or for snagging from a friend's house, I wanted you to know that it's worth the effort. Take it. Your friend probably won't even miss it. But when they ask you about your awesome, beachy waves... don't tell them that it's from the curling iron you jacked from their spare bathroom.

Wait. Cheese from cashews?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm attempting to eat clean, clean, clean. That includes no dairy. No meat. No sugar. Whole foods only, for at least 21 days... and maybe longer, especially if I can find recipes that I love. Because, I just have to be honest... this girl loves her cheese. I can't live in a world that doesn't include sharp cheddar or the stinkiest blue.

And pasta, while we're talking about things I can't live without. And bread. And chocolate cake. Basically, if I'm going to eat healthy, I need to find ways to satisfy my cravings and not feel like I'm eating healthy. If you can trick me into eating pudding made entirely of avocado, I won't be mad.

I found a lasagna recipe on Oh She Glows, that - so far - smells amazing. I'm waiting for it to cool before cutting into it, but it basically captured me at Basil Cashew Cheese. Cheese... made entirely from cashews.

I like cashews. I can do this.

The lasagna also includes some of my favorite veggies: mushrooms, zucchini, peppers. And it seemed relatively easy from reading the steps, so I tackled it last night for dinner.

Took less than an hour, and I have to say... this could be a staple. It was hearty and flavorful... and cheesy. Three requirements of mine, for pretty much anything that I place on heavy rotation.

I may have had three servings.

Fall Things: Friday at Fox Follow Farm

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We spent a fun Friday afternoon at Fox Hollow Farm, a beautiful (albeit, kinda spooky) farm nestled into the hillside of Issaquah. It was magical: fog swirling above the treetops, reds and orange and gold leaves all around, piles of pumpkins and white-fenced arenas, wild bunnies hopping around randomly, a box of brand new kittens for your petting pleasure, a barn full of friendly horses, pony, tractor and train rides for the kiddos, parrots (!?) in the trees above out head greeting us, a beautiful river behind a charming little farmhouse, and plenty of mud puddles so that my Hunter boots could earn their keep.

It smelled like sawdust, campfire, leather, and evergreens.

It was magical.

Oh, and I'm told the "Sweet Shoppe" was selling the makings for S'Mores, so you could carry them over to the bonfire and cook your own. Somehow I didn't end up here, and I'm considering driving back up for that part alone.

Life is so much better when you spend it with great friends. This is Maggie, Katie, Jodi, and Jen... four amazing mamas that I get to be around all the time. It's so fun raising our kiddos together. Not only will Porter will have these wonderful memories growing up, but I will be able to look back on days like this and remember how amazing it is to be surrounded by genuinely good people. Especially as I'm learning and growing in my new role as a mother to a (gulp) almost one year old!

I love photography. This photo above is amazing, but if you panned back, you would see Porter perched perilously on a very questionable tree branch, with Paul's arm death-gripping his leg. Doesn't Porter look so relaxed for a child that could possibly fall into the river at any given moment? ;)

Love that Porter loves his daddy so much. It makes my heart skip (several) beats.

See. Beautiful, and only a little spooky.

100% adorable here. Not even a little spooky.

Currently Loving: Drugstore Deals

Saturday, October 12, 2013

These products lately have made my getting ready routine so effortless. And, best of all -- with the exception of the blush, these can ALL be found at your local drugstore. I'm a sucker for a great deal, and so I'm excited to put my "stamp of approval" on all of these products.

Just a note on the cucumber towelettes... I'm a diehard Neutrogena Night Calming towelette fan, and haven't used anything except for those in quite some time. However. These cucumber towelettes are so refreshing. I love this line, and can't wait to try more.

Our Beautiful Mess: For All The Moms

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yesterday, we had our first MOPS meeting of the year! I can't believe, for one, that I have a child and can now attend meetings like this. It's so surreal.

We were so lucky to hear from Nicole Moore... she was our first speaker of the year! Nichole is an amazing wife, mother and teacher. She is on staff at my church, and every time she speaks, I always find myself completely wrapped up in every word she's saying. She's so poised and well-spoken; one of those women that truly feels like they have it all together. Well, it was such a breath of fresh air to hear her speak of her mistakes, the lessons she's learned, and what she misses most about the earlier stages of motherhood. I took amazing notes, so I thought I would share this with you all, too.

I hope there's something here that resounds with you.
  • Take time to play. A kid isn't a task to be managed. Sometimes, work can wait. Sometimes, the agenda can be paused. Sometimes, you can put off your responsibilities to take a few extra moments playing with your little one, because those are the moments that mean the most.
  • There's a book for that. Resource yourself. We are so blessed to have blogs, websites and books galore. If you're dealing with something, rest assured that someone else has (or is!) too.
  • This too shall pass. It won't last forever. The tantrums, the teething, the never-ending diapers... soon enough, you'll be driving your baby to high school, and wondering where the time went. Cherish the present, because in no time, it will become a memory.
  • Nobody will ever take your place. Your personal standards will become your child's standards. Your kids are a reflection of you. Is what I am transferring into the life of this little being? If it is, and you don't like what you're seeing, it's not too late to change that. Growing yourself is the greatest gift you can give to your kids.
  • The golden rule is for you, too. Being the boss doesn't mean you can treat your kids however you want. Speak kindly. If you want your kids to restrain emotion, then you need to restrain YOURS. Show respect to your little person.
  • Never lose yourself. We let our identity become wrapped up in being a mother. A mother is not all that you are. You're a sister. A friend. A wife. Never lose sight of that. We need to recharge every once and awhile, too.
  • Failure isn't the end, it's the beginning. Acknowledge and learn from your mistakes, and move the heck on.
  • Create a safe place where no conversation is off limits. If you act hypersensitive about something, your kids will not feel safe talking to you about it. If you shame them, they will not feel safe to open up.
  • The future is now. Children are little people who are out of control of themselves, and attempting to control everyone around them. Help them develop character that will help their future go well. The patterns that children establish early in life becomes their character. And their character is their destiny.
  • The days are long, but the years are short. Cherish every single day.

Three Years.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8th, 2010, I married my best friend.

I know, so original. But true. Paul and I were friends long before we were a couple; most people saw something with us that we either:
a) ignored
or b) were too blind to see
When we finally started dating, we were met with a chorus of "FINALLY!"'s, and "I KNEW IT!"s. It was exhausting, the amount of time we were spending swearing up and down that there was truly nothing to see... nothing to know... until one day, we looked at each other, and knew what we'd been missing all along.

So, October 8th -- just three short months after our summer engagement with family and our best friends -- we were married. Those same people were standing next to us when we said I do.

I've learned so much in the past three years about myself as a wife, and as a woman in general.

Most of all, I have discovered that I thrive in my supporting role. I prefer it, in fact. I grew up playing the lead in school plays, speaking in front of crowds, showing horses and earning titles... my role has gradually changed over the years, though. I never thought it would be so fulfilling to be "behind the scenes", but I've never felt more comfortable and right than I do right now.

My husband leads worship. He leads people into the presence of God, and to do that, he has to get there first himself. He puts his heart out there daily; his heart, and every ounce of energy he has. I get to be apart of this from the front row, and it always blows my mind how nervous I get. Like, sweaty palms and racing heart nervous. It overwhelms me, watching Paul do what he loves to do. The supporting role is fulfilling, but it doesn't come without a desire to reach out and physically help when all I can do is pray. It's taken some training, for sure. I've had to learn how to be his rock, so he can do what God's called him to do.

Now, we have a child -- a son. A little boy that I can only pray is the best parts of both of us. I'm forever going to play the supporting role to those two leading men in my life. And I love it.

I hope Porter is thoughtful and loves people like his dad does. I hope he has a heart for worship. I fell in love with this man because he's just likable, and it makes me so happy to think that Porter could very well inherit those same qualities.

 These last three years have been easy. Sure, bad days happen... but bad days happen normally because of my own girlish problems. Insecurities, lack of sleep, PMS. ;) Marriage has been far easier than I thought it would be... everyone tried to warn me about how difficult the first years are, but I received a great piece of advice on the day I went to the jewelry store to pick up Paul's ring before our wedding:

The first years are only as hard as you make them.

My long-winded, joke-stealing, trendsetting husband is my favorite person on the planet. Our marriage is the most important thing to me, right alongside of being a mother. The truth is, I am free to be a good mother because of the way our marriage builds me up. Because of the way he builds me up. Paul thinks I can do anything. And as much as I resist, I honestly feel like I could, too -- especially after a pep talk from my better half. As much as I rely on God's hand on my life is as much as I rely on the man that God put in my life. It's like I have two direct lines of communication to Him -- my own, and through my husband.

I want to be a good wife. I want to be more thoughtful, a better gift-giver; a powerful praying wife. I want to be responsible but fun. Carefree but grounded. Encouraging but realistic. I want Paul to know he's irreplaceable. There is no one like him. There's no one I'd rather spend my days with, there's no one I'd rather fight with, there's no one I'd rather have on my team.

Paul, I love you so much! Happy 3 years... thank you for being such a selfless, loyal, wonderful husband. I couldn't have handpicked someone more perfect for me.

Things We Believe In:
  • Happy Hours
  • Date Nights
  • Building The Local Church
  • Talking It Out
  • Independence
  • Starbucks
  • Friends on DVD
  • Having No Plans
  • Breakfast
  • Taking Lots Of Pictures
  • Love Languages
  • Laughing A Lot
  • Thymus Extract
  • Prayer
  • Not Being Cuddley Sleepers
  • Vacations
  • Las Vegas
  • An Extended Christmas Season
  • Country Music
  • Boys Take Out The Trash, Girls Do The Dishes
  • Progressive Dinners
  • Target Runs
  • Chiropractic
  • "#ImFunny"
Things We Disagree About (Often):
  • Being On Our Phones
  • What "I'll Be There In Five" Truly Means
  • Why He Feels The Need To Take Off His Socks And Leave Them Wherever He Was Standing At The Time
  • Why I Need To Own 356 Perfumes
  • Grocery Shopping
  • "#ImFunny"

I Don't Run, But I Like To Look Like I Do

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday almost always means Target runs with Paul and Porter. It's one of my favorite parts of the week. We usually always pick up a few necessities, like diapers and dog food, or we spend way too much time pouring over the home decor, debating on if we need a new rug for our living room. But, I also always get to peruse through my favorite areas: clothing. Cosmetics. Shoes. Holiday.

I mean, when don't I need another bag of Holiday Reese's, or a new wine-stained lip (made possible by this, in Bordeaux)? The answer you're looking for is never.

So, I bought a hot pink pullover last winter before I had Porter, and I am in love with it. It's fitted and soft and is a perfect go-to outfit for running errands with a 9 month old. I'm sure it's made for something like yoga or running, but HAHAHA.

Yeah right. If you see me, and you think to yourself "man, she must be going running!", I'm sad to disappoint you. I don't run... but I like to look like I do.

I found this year's version today -- which is even softer and stretchier. I'm in love! I bought one in black (but this purple one looks better in a photo, so you can see all the fun detail).

They have a ton of different variations of this jacket, so if you've never looked in the athletic section, I urge you to do so! If you're lucky, you may even find last season's version on the sale racks. 


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