Mother’s Day GiveAway

Good Morning Friends,

I’m so excited to be doing my first GIVEAWAY!! I’m glad you stopped by today and hope you will leave a comment at the bottom to be entered for this great Mother’s Day basket.  Target has to be one of my favorite stops and so I thought I would pick a few things from there that I would like to receive on Mother’s Day!

Before I get to the basket, I just wanted to share my thoughts on Motherhood.  I have been a mother now for almost 15 years.  I have kids ranging from ages 14 down to 6.  These kids, along with my husband are my everything.  I find so much fulfillment in being a mother.  I really lucked out with some special children.  We just got home from a week long vacay in California.  We had such a great time.  Mike and I were talking one night and I was saying what fun kids we have! When they are not fighting ;), we have really funny kids.  They are getting to the ages that we can relate with them.  Tell jokes that they understand and talk about things maturely.  It’s nice when you can call your kids, your friends.  I felt like that on this trip.  It was fun to just hang out with them for 7 days with no interruptions and for a time I could have them all to myself. I cherish these moments with them.  I know they won’t last forever and I am grateful to be able to make memories with them now. 

I also wanted to give a little tribute to my own mother.  I look back on my childhood and I wonder how she did it.  She really did it all! Raising 5 kids, sparkling clean house, 7 course meals every night, and still found time to take us to do fun things as a family.  She is a strong women, who loves God, her husband, her children and her 22 grandchildren. When I was 17 my mom went back to college to get her degree.  She worked so hard and even made the Dean’s list.  She kept our family running and still found time to cook 7 course meals! She taught music in the elementary schools for almost 20 years after that.  She always does things to the highest degree and with full effort.  She is very smart and an exceptionally talented musician.  I’m grateful a few of her many talents rubbed off on me and she has helped me become the mother I am today by her example.  I love her with all my heart.

Ok, now that I’ve shared my thoughts, its now time to share the goodies!


Mother's Day Giveaway


up close Giveaway


The gift basket (valued at $50.00) includes:

2 darling dish towels – since I feel like throwing mine out after a couple of months because I’m kind of anal like that, I figured everyone likes new dish towels.

A notebook – I couldn’t resist the color and it’s perfect for writing notes or making lists

Pens – got to have pretty pens to make those lists!

Yummy candle – you can pretend to be at the beach

Thank you notes – I loved these with the bike on them.  I love anything with a bike on it.  Makes me feel like it’s summer!

Gift Card – Because who doesn’t love a $20.00 gift card to Target?!?

I have collaborated with 10 other bloggers who are also giving away some of their Favorite things for Mother’s Day.  Go check them out and enter to win! There are hundreds of dollars in prizes!!!


1- My Daylights 2- Eat It & Say Yum 3- Tastefully Frugal 4- The Things I Love Most 5- Bite of Delight and Western Gardens 6- Home Crafts by Ali 7- Gypsy Road School 8- Mom’s Bag of Tricks 9- Honest Harm 10- Happy 2BA Homemaker

Enter to win below: Leave a comment, follow me on Instagram and Facebook in order to win. Winner will be picked at random on April 27th.  You will have 48 hours to respond.  Good Luck!


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Easter Home Tour

Happy Spring! Friends,

I’m so glad you stopped by today to see my Easter Home Tour.  I love the colors of spring.  The pale blues, yellows and pinks along side the bright greens of the outdoors makes for a beautiful color palette to decorate with. We are in full bloom here in Utah.  I find myself wanting to be outside taking in the wonderful colors and sounds of Spring. I actually just finished decorating my house yesterday because I have been so busy, but what’s great about Easter decor is you can leave it up all of spring and not just for the holiday.

Easter Wreath
Easter Wreath detailI made this wreath a few years ago at Thanksgiving Point here in Utah. They hold monthly classes with different crafts that are super cute.  I love the whimsy of this wreath and all the fun layers.

Entry TableThis is my entry way table.  I purchased this cute moss bunny from TJMAXX this year.  I love the pop of color it adds to the pale hues in the collection.  

sofa tableThe sofa table is a main focal point in my living room and something you see right when you walk through the front door.  I left a few pieces that I typically decorate with and then incorporated the Easter decor into it.  bell domeThis bell dome is something I bought a few months ago.  It is a great piece because you can do so much with it.  I added some fake grass and speckled eggs to give it a touch of spring.

Jelly Bean Topiaries

up close topiariesI made these topiaries quite a few years ago and surprisingly they have held up really well.  When I did the project I thought they might last a year or two, but every year when I pull them out I am shocked they still look good.  They were quite time intensive so I am glad I have been able to enjoy them for so long.

eggsHonest tip: This is an easy decorating idea for Easter. I take any leftover eggs I have and fill up a glass vase.  I love how it looks and takes no time at all.





I bought this little bunny from TJMAXX a few years ago.  I think he is just too cute and I love his roughed edges.


IMG_1234These were a new purchase this year from Hobby Lobby.  Again I love the pop of green and I think they just add a fresh feel to the kitchen.  They are simple, but make a statement.




This kitchen shelf is always fun to decorate.  Again I added a few pieces to the existing items I always decorate with.  The little egg wreaths around the candles add a bit of spring and I love the fabric bunny.

kitchen shelfWell, there you have it! It feels so good to have the sunshine beaming through my windows.  I’ve been opening up my french doors out to my patio and the light breeze and sounds of my fountain in the backyard put me right into my Happy Place! There is no time like spring.  When the earth grows green again.  I love to update my house, do some spring cleaning and enjoy the outdoors this time of year! Take some time to stop and capture the beauty that is all around us.  Life can get pretty busy and there are days I don’t “stop to smell the roses,” but when I do, I am in awe of the blessings I have been given and the many beautiful things that surround me.

Thanks for stopping by! Please comment and let me know what your favorite part of spring is.





Crockpot Italian Chicken

I have to sadly admit that it is a rare thing these days for all of us to sit down at the table together for dinner.  Everyone always told me as my kids got bigger life would get crazier.  As a wife of a dental student with 3 little kids, that was hard to believe.  But fast forward 10 years and I now know what they meant.  We are in the thick of it! The kids are involved in a million different things, homework, Mike’s work and social events have really taken a toll on our dinner time together.  I wouldn’t choose it this way for sure, but I have realized that this is just how it is going to be for the next few years.  So on the nights that a miracle happens and we are all home at the same time for a meal I can’t help but be excited!

Last night I made one of our family favorites! It’s an easy crockpot italian chicken.  The ingredients are simple, but when combined make a delicious combination.  I got this recipe years ago from my sister-in-law and every time I make it my family loves it.  And who doesn’t love a quick, easy, gourmet looking meal that everyone enjoys.Crockpot Italian Chicken

Recipe: Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 Chicken breasts

1 bottle of Italian dressing

Put chicken in crockpot and pour dressing over the top.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  When done, take chicken out and shred.  Skim the fat off the top of the dressing and take out about a 1/2 cup. Put  the shredded chicken back in the crockpot with dressing.Chicken

On the stove mix together:

1 cube cream cheese (8oz.)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can of chicken broth

1/2 tsp. of dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried basil leavesIngredients

Bring this to a boil and then pour into chicken and dressing mixture.  Stir until combined and then cook on low for 20 more minutes. 

Serve with angel hair or penne pasta.  Enjoy!Crockpot Italian Chicken and salad

This would be a great Sunday dinner and it feeds a crowd.  I hope you can take some time out to spend with your families this weekend. Thanks for stopping by!



*If you like this recipe please comment or share, thanks!



Traveling to Puerto Vallarta

Hello Friends,


Playas Gemelas Sunset

I am back from my trip to Mexico! We had such an amazing time and I thought I would share with you some of our favorites from the trip.  We have been to Puerto Vallarta quite a few times before.  Up until a few years ago my in-laws owned a condo on the South end of the city. We were lucky enough to get to go and stay there almost any time we wanted and we loved it here.  The condo was beautiful and the beach was spectacular.  When they decided to sell it a few years ago we didn’t know how long it would be before we made it back to PV.  Fortunately it came up on our time share that we have, and we decided to book it.  We stayed at the Mayan Palace.  It was a nice resort with a beautiful pool and a fun, lively beach.  One nice perk is that it is only about 10 minutes from the airport.  This area we stayed  in is called the Marina District because it is very close to where the boats and cruise ships dock.  There are lots of restaurants and activities close by.

One of my favorite things to do is head into town.  The cobblestone streets and old Mexico structures give Puerto that traditional Mexican feel.  Puerto Vallarta has one of the prettiest ocean walks I’ve ever seen.  The Malecon, is what they call it.  It’s a boardwalk that boarders the beach for miles.  There are all sorts of restaurants, live music and shows, food vendors, and lots of fun people watching.  We love to go down at night and get some of the local food vendors creations, like the roasted corn with cheese or the strawberries and cream, but I think our favorite is the street vendor crepes.  They are made to order and you can put anything in them.  They have all sorts of fruit and syrups, even some dessert liquors.  They are out of this world!

Puerto Vallarta Sunsets

Puerto Vallarta Sunset

So if you are ever in Puerto Vallarta I’m going to fill you in on our most beloved places! They are a must-try in my book.


1. Fajita Republic – This is in the Romantica District.  It has a new modern ambiance with great service. They always bring out chips and salsa and also hicama and cucumbers to start.  The food is fabulous.  You must try the Fajita Presidente and the tortilla soup.  Their tortilla soup is hands down my favorite!!

2. El Carboncitos – This is a little street taco shop.  Now you may be a little worried when you see it, but trust me, you will not be disappointed.  They cut the meat off the bone and top it with fresh sliced pineapple.  They’ve got great sauces to drizzle on the top.  You will see how inexpensive they are and decide to have like 10!! They are THAT good!

2. Vista Grill – This is rated in the top 10 for restaurants in PV and after visiting you will know why.  The restaurant is set in the hills and the view is spectacular! The night we went there were fireworks out in the water and the city lights were so beautiful.  It is definitely a romantic atmosphere.  The food is amazing and service is top notch.  A must-try at this restaurant is their “Sexy Coffee”.  It does have liquor in it, so if you don’t drink try to spot it at another table because the presentation is so beautiful.  Sexy Coffee1

Vista Grill

Dining with friends at Vista Grill

3. Cafe des Artistes – I believe this restaurant is rated #2 on the foodie lists for PV.  It is set above downtown in this beautiful Mexican style building.  The white walls and dark wood are a perfect backdrop to the incredible food you will enjoy. We went here for our friends birthday with a large group.  The dinner was perfect and to top it off they did a huge birthday celebration at the end for the birthday boys!

4. Xocodiva – This isn’t a restaurant, but is a place to go for a sweet treat.  The chocolates are beautifully hand done and they taste amazing! You have to try the salted caramels.  They are my absolute favorite!

Places to visit:

1. I already mentioned the Malecon.  There are hours of entertainment to be had, or even if you want to enjoy a quiet night with the one you love.  The sound of the waves and the smell of the street food can put you in a Mexican Coma.

2. Hidden Beach.  This was a first for us and it did not disappoint.  I have to say we did not pick the best day, but it was still worth it.  We chartered a boat from the beach and then took about a 1 1/2 hour boat ride out to the Marieta Islands.  On the way out we saw  huge whales, dolphins and jelly fish. These are islands west of PV and resulted from volcanic eruption.  Playa Del Amor, or more commonly named Hidden Beach.  The island is uninhabited and were known to be used by Mexican government.  They believe that test bombing was the cause of this beautiful place.  The beach is invisible from the outside and can only be seen by swimming through a long water tunnel to get there.  Now like I said, the day we went was overcast and started to rain, so I have to admit the boat ride was cold, the water was cold and dark, and I was a little nervous, but once we swam through the cave and came out on the other side to this beautiful beach it made things a lot better.  I did not get a picture on the beach because none of us had a water proof camera, but I found this beauty on Google Images.

image/sheida iranmanesh.

one of the small beaches at Marieta Islands

one of the small beaches at Marieta Islands

3. Another family favorite is El Eden Canopy adventure.  It is up in the mountains of PV and a little bit of a drive by taxi, but it is a full day of fun.  This is where Predator was filmed.  There are 2 miles of zip lines, a waterfall pool and restaurant.  The kids love doing the rope swing into the natural water pool and sliding down the rock slide.

Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock


4. The Zoo in PV is not like the Zoos we’re used to in America.  There are monkeys, giraffes, turtles and one of the funnest things to see are the baby tigers.  Many of the exhibits are not covered in bars and so you almost feel as if you are up close and personal.  You can even hold the baby tigers!

Well, after filling you in on all my favorite things about Puerto Vallarta, I think I am ready to go back!! It truly is a place you can visit time and time again and experience new places, new food and new experiences.

Sunset at Mayan Palace

Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to know if you’ve been to Mexico and what your favorite place to visit is.  Leave me a comment and let me know!




My Top 7 Beach Essentials

Hello Friends,

I am a just a little excited today because tomorrow starts my week long Vaca in Mexico!! As you can imagine I am frantically trying to get everything done before we leave.  I have to tell you that I love to travel, like love, love, love it!! But I really hate to pack and I am not a good packer at all.  I usually bring way too much stuff and I have promised myself every time I go to Mexico that I am only going to pack swimsuits and dresses because thats all I end up in the whole time.  But I have already broken my promise because my suitcase is jam packed! 

There are a few things that I will not go without when heading to the beach and I thought I would let you in on my must haves for a beach getaway!!Beach Essentials

Top 7 Essentials:

1. A Hat! I have to admit that up until a few years ago I really didn’t wear a hat for sun protection, but as I am starting to see brown spots on my face that won’t go away I have become more religious about this.  It’s also great for that wet messy hair after you’ve been in the pool! I found this hat at Buckle last summer and it instantly became my new fave! I love the bright colors and of course the saying on the front!!hat

2. Speaking of sun, You’ve got to have a good sunscreen.  I will use about any sunscreen for my body, but when it comes to my face I will only use something especially for my face! I love this SkinCeuticals Face lotion that I got from my esthetician.  It goes on smooth and light and does not have much of an odor.sunscreen

3. Lip gloss, of course!! I love my MAC lipgloss.  It stays on, even when I get in the water! I love this nude pink color, it’s called paper lantern. It’s natural shade gives just a shear shimmer and makes that tan look even better!

4. A pair of sunglasses! I unfortunately like a little more expensive sunglass, but I have found that at times they can get scratched and even lost while at the beach.  I think I have decided on this trip to go buy some nice, but inexpensive shades so I don’t need to worry about it.sunglasses

5. Have you tried ICE drinks? I am a lover of sparkling water and my niece introduced me to these a few weeks ago.  They are so delicious and refreshing.  Zero calories and they even have a little green tea and a bit a caffeine for a pick me up! This is the Target off brand pink grapefruit and it is so good.  They are great mixed for a low cal cocktail too! I will definitely be packing a few of these!sparkling water

6. Hair ties, you never can have too many! That’s it!hair ties

7. A beach bag.  Why, yes, you will need something to carry all these goodies in? And why not find something fun and colorful? I saw this bag at Target and it screamed beach and Mexico to me.  It is large enough to fit all my essentials and then some.  There is nothing worse than a small beach bag, so if in doubt always go bigger.  I am sure you will think of things to fill it!beach bag

IMG_1087Well there you have it, my top 7 Beach Essentials! Make sure and follow me on Instagram as I will be taking lots of great pictures of Mexico! I will also be sure to write a great post about all the wonderful places in Puerto Vallarta!

Thanks for stopping by today! Adios!





Bar Carts are all the Rave

IMG_1005I have had this little table for 16+ years.  We bought it at Pier1 imports when we first got married.  It has traveled to 5 different homes and 2 states! The funny thing is we paid less than $100.00 for it.  This little table has been so versatile that I’ve just kept it.  Since we moved in this house almost 3 years ago, it really hasn’t had a purpose, but it was one of those things I couldn’t get rid of.  I think there was some sentimental attachments to this piece of furniture and even though it didn’t cost a lot it holds memories of first years of marriage, new babies, a big move to Ohio, starting our career back in Utah and moving into the home we’ve always dreamed of.  It’s funny how an object can tell a story….

So after 3 years of not really having a good place for it, I got a brilliant idea to turn it into a bar cart! I have been wanting one, I had seen one at Target over the holidays but decided not to spend the money at the time.  I love to entertain and I knew I would use a bar cart and they look so pretty all dressed in gold. 

I spray painted my little table with Krylon, metallic gold (it’s one of my favorites).  It took a few coats to cover the black.  I then added some fun pieces to dress it up for St. Patricks day.  I found some fun straws, cocktail napkins and coasters at Pier1 and HomeGoods.  I used a gold charger to hold the mixers on and then added some festive green and gold decor.







I am excited to switch the themes for different holidays and events. Bar carts can be used for some much more than just a bar.  It would be a perfect hot cocoa station in the winter. You could add marshmallows, candy cane and flavored syrups. I also think it would be fun for a kids birthday party to display the cake and the serving dishes on.  

 It fits perfectly in my basement next to our kitchenette and theater. It will be a perfect add on for entertaining, now, Who’s coming for drinks???

Thanks for stopping by today!







Heartfelt Gifts

It’s Friday!! And today is a good Friday because I get to see my mom and sisters!! They live in Idaho and so we only get to see each other a few times a year.  Today we are meeting up in a half way point to spend the night and have a little Girl Time!! I like to bring gifts when we get together.  I’m a gift giver.  I love buying things for other people, and so this year I came up with a gift that was pretty, but also something they could use.

Every year at Christmas time my mom & dad write a Christmas story and give a copy to each family.  They have been doing this for about 5 years. The stories are usually an embellished tale from their childhood.  This past Christmas my mom wrote about a Christmas from our childhood.  She included pictures of us from years gone by.  It was a tender moment for me having my dad read it to all the Grand kids and to think back about all the good memories I have of Christmas time. IMG_1037

I came home and decided I wanted to keep my stories in a binder that I could leave out all year long and so

mething I could display.  I found these burlap binders at Hobby Lobby and decided they would be perfect.  I then added a little personal touch to each one.  I found these Martha Stewart stencils at Michaels and stenciled “Stories” on the front. After that I added this fabric tape to the front.  If you haven’t tried this yet for your crafting, you really should! It’s awesome! And they had so many great patterns and colors. 





I wrapped them up with an Easter towel and some fun ribbons.  I know that they will love them.  These were cute and simple gifts that are heartfelt and something they can keep always!IMG_1049

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today! 




Tips for Choosing the Right Rug

I am redecorating my family room downstairs.  It all started with the need for a new couch, you see, we had had the other couch for over 12 years and I finally told my husband it was time to let it go!   After a few months of looking I finally found one I loved at a local furniture and decor store, Down to Earth.  Lucky for me they had one in stock  in the color I wanted. I went with a sectional, because it’s a large room and its mainly used for television watching and game playing.

 The next dilemma I had was finding a rug! I’ve had problems with this before.  Mostly it has to do with the price tag.  Rugs can be very expensive and it’s something I don’t love to spend money on, yet it can be the key element in the room. My living rom has hard wood floors and when we moved in the house I had to get something right away for this area.  Of course, after just purchasing a new house money is feeling tight and so I find something that I like, but don’t love and its too small.  Fast forward 3 years later and I want a new rug in this room! (I’m going to have to wait on that, one room at a time). 

I decided before I get a rug for room downstairs I would research and do it the right way this time.  Here are some tips I learned along the way.

Tips for buying a Rug:

1. Measure your room.   This will determine the size of rug you need.  If it’s a big space and you get an 8×10 size rug, you know before you get it home it will be too small. 

2. If the furniture is floating in the room you will need to go bigger, if it’s against the wall you can go a little smaller.  It makes the room look very choppy if the rug does not go all the way underneath the legs of the furniture if the room is large.

3. Make sure all the legs are evenly on the rug.  If you have a group setting with two chairs and a couch you don’t want the chair legs off the rug and the couch legs on it. 

4. Have 6-10 inches on either side of the sofa.  If you don’t, it will not look substantial enough and make the room feel off balance.

You can find more tips at Designbynumbers.com and also at StylebyEmilyhenderson.com.  She even has a great youtube video you can watch here.

There are so many styles of rugs. I tend to go with more neutral tones and low patterns, but with that being said I love rugs I see with bold colors.  If I make a purchase that I know I will be keeping for a long time I like to go with neutrals.  I pull color in with pillows and accent pieces that are easily switched out.

I had to try out a few different rugs before I found the one I picked.  I liked the color of the first one, but not the size.  It can be a pain to keep switching out a rug, but I promise it will be worth it when you find the one you love. 

As you can see the rug I picked is more neutral with a subtle pattern.  I feel like this is a rug I can keep around for a long time.



Here are some other examples of rugs I liked.  These rugs are from RugsUSA

200ACR129B200SBHAC13A rugsPicking a rug can be a stressful process, but if you just do a little research before hand it will help you find that perfect rug! I wish you the best when picking out rugs.  Just remember, size, color, pattern! 

Thanks for stopping by today!





Perfect Princess Party

Oh, how I love to throw a party! I will find any excuse to have a get together.  I love to entertain people and create a good time for everyone.  One of my favorite types of party to plan is my kids Birthday parties! Call me crazy, cause I might be, but I remember thinking about my Child’s 1st birthday before he was even born! It is something I thrive on.  It gets my creative juices flowing and I love to see what ideas I can come up with.  

Today I wanted to share my last little one, Sophie’s 5th Birthday.  Sofia the First had just come out on Disney Channel and I found it fitting to throw my Sophia a princess party! The purple and yellow color scheme was so fun to do.  It is all about the details when it comes to throwing a party, and this party had so many fun details!   IMG_7543





Of course we had to have a “Royal Tea Party”. The table and chairs were just the right size for these little princesses.  I even displayed the cake and treats on a small table to make them feel like it was meant just for them! The girls all came in Princess attire and my little Sophia wore her purple Princess Sofia dress! Most everything I had on hand for this party.  The tea cups were all given to me by my Grandmothers.  The banner and table cloths I had used for another party. Honest Tip #1:  One thing I have figured out over the years is to keep as much as you can from each party.  I tend to like to throw things away and I have learned when it comes to party decor, if you have the space, keep it! You never know when you will be able to incorporate it again.  I honestly, have things from my son’s first birthday! 

I always use my entry way table for the Party Favors. That way I won’t forget to pass them out at the end of the party.  Have you ever done this? Because I have, and there is nothing more frustrating then to have half the guests leave and you suddenly realize they went home without their party favor!!!  For this table scape, I had jars filled with purple and yellow candy that they could take home and then their treat bags. The treat bags were filled with little girly things, such as rings, bracelets, Sofia the First hair things and candy! Honest Tip #2:  If I am doing a character based party I like to buy the posters at the store and incorporate them into the decorating. This is a really cute and inexpensive way to add detail to the party! 




I am no cake expert, but I do like to make my kids Birthday cakes.  It’s fun to get ideas and see what I can come up with. This cake I  made to look like Princess Sofia’s dress.  I was pleased with how it turned out, and Sophie loved it!


IMG_7550Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out this Princess Party! I have many more parties I am excited to share with you so make sure you stop by again! Please remember to like and share this post! And if you have a party your proud of please share the link in the comments! 




Make them feel loved

I think Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to show those you love how much you appreciate them and care for them.  In our house the word, “love” is used daily! I love the word “love”!! I honestly, think you can not use it enough with your children and spouse.  I want them to know and feel how much they mean to me every single day.  It is important for me to say it and to show them by the things I do for them.

 It became tradition a long time ago to host a “fancy” dinner for my family for Valentine’s Day.  My kids love it and look forward to it every year.  The dinner usually involves music, candlelight and a little something special for each person.  We always go around the table and say what we love about each person that is there.  Sometimes we will invite guests, but most of the time it is just a special night for my favorite little people.  I thought I would share some ideas with you on things we’ve done and maybe you will be inspired to start a fancy dinner of your own.

IMG_5916 IMG_5918 IMG_5919 IMG_8784 IMG_8749




Here some other ideas I found on Pinterest. There are endless ideas!

The Dating Divas have a way cute idea for a Cupid’s Cafe.  It even comes with free printables.


These italian sodas would be so fun for a dinner or even for a snack at a class party! You can check them out at My Honeys Place.

Here’s a great dinner idea for the kids on My Sister’s Suitcase

Whatever you do for your Valentine’s this year, make sure they know how much you LOVE them! Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon!



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