Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday | Mint

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

I'm loving all pastels for this spring season, but it seems I am particularly drawn to the mintier shades of green. Do you ever feel like a color just speaks to you? I can go into a store and without realizing it, I'll have picked every mint thing in sight. I almost have to force myself to avoid it, so I don't overdue it with the fun, yet soothing... classy, yet hip hue. On this Friday here are five mint things that need to get in my wardrobe now. I'm particularly fond of the t-strap flats. And the bag? It's only $16.80! It's one of those items I'll be kicking myself for later if I neglect to buy it. 

Am I the only one who feels a little obsessed with this color? 
Oh, and happy Friday everyone! I for one am looking forward to spending the weekend with my little family.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Photos with My Klair Marie | eShakti Dress Review

I love Easter. Growing up, my mom would always buy me a dress in a bright, springy color that I could twirl and flaunt. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I want to keep this tradition alive... for both of us. Because let's face it, I may be grown up but there are some things I choose not to grow out of...such as my love of dressing up on the Easter holiday. It's fun! And having the cutest baby around to coordinate with doesn't hurt either. 

eShakti sent me this dress, and I am in love with it... and with their company. They reached out to me a few weeks ago and let me pick a design. First of all, I love their business model. They have dresses (and other apparel) from size 0 to size 36, and  they feature real women of all sizes on their website and social media sites.  Additionally, they make customizations based on your body type and style preferences. For instance, this dress that I picked was originally sleeveless and had a longer hemline. I was able to add sleeves, and shorten it to account for the fact that I'm a little vertically challenged. They asked for my measurements, and within a couple of weeks they sent me my dress--designed perfectly for me. Oh and the best part? My dress has pockets! 
Perfect for a mom on the go... or for any woman for that matter.

Basically my experience with them was awesome, and if you want a dress for a special occasion, or if you just want to treat yourself to something nice... I highly recommend eShakti. Check them out for yourself. And, if you decide to buy something, use the coupon code "awees" to get 10% off an order from now until May 4th. 

Also, in case you're wondering, these photos were taken at the Draper LDS temple. We made a trip up there yesterday, and I'm glad we did. The grounds were absolutely stunning and bursting with new life for spring. Klair was enchanted with the flowering trees and bright blooms all around her. And, of course, the temple itself was captivating. Being on those sacred grounds with my little family was a good reminder of the true meaning of Easter. 
Klair was such a good sport for the photos, but as we were leaving Sam snapped this gem. 
It looks like my intuitive little girl knew that we were done, and she was celebrating. 

My Outfit: 
Dress: eShakti | Necklace: Local Boutique (similar here) | Belt: Vintage (similar here) | Earrings: Forever 21 (similar here) | Shoes: H&M (similar here) | Watch: Skagen (similar here)

Klair's Outfit: 
Dress: Carter's | Shoes: Carter's | Bow: Homemade | Bunny: Target (similar here)

*note: eShakti sent me this dress, but the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Britta's Baby Shower

This past Saturday I co-hosted a baby shower at my house for my good friend Britta. Brittney and Kaitlin helped plan and execute the party, and we had too much fun doing it. Sam accidentally deleted the pictures of the party off of our camera, so Britta saved the day with these photos she snapped. Thanks Britta! Here are the party details complete with links: 

//Cafe Rio sweet pork salad copycat recipe (if you live in Utah you know how amazing Cafe Rio is)
//Cookies from Sweet Tooth Fairy (Another Utah favorite) 
//gluten-free cupcakes (recipe here from an earlier blog post)

//Guess the baby food flavor (surprisingly difficult...and gross)
//Guess the size of Britta's belly with a string
//Pin the sperm on the egg (hilarious! Brittney did such a good job making the uterus and sperm cute, too!)
//Tinkle in a pot (this one was my favorite... it's the one where I have the balloon in my shirt and I'm squatting with a ping pong ball between my case you were wondering what in the world that was all about! haha!) 

The food was yummy, the games were hilarious (thank you Pinterest!) and Britta walked away with a lot of good baby stuff--A.K.A enough cute clothes to ensure that her baby will be the most stylish around for months to come. Overall it was such a fun get together! Many thanks to Brittney and Kaitlin for all your help, and to Britta for being an awesome friend and letting me host it at my house! I love these girls and I'm so glad I was part of celebrating little baby Anderson-- I can't wait to meet her! 

Oh and some cute pictures of Klair that Britta snapped :) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Family Fun | Easter Festivities

Klair participated in her first Easter egg hunt this past weekend, and it was a smashing success. She was cute as can be, and picked up on the process quite quickly. I'm not sure which she liked better--collecting the eggs, or discovering the candy inside. Regardless, I enjoyed her enthusiasm!

Due to her current only-child status, we decided to invite her cousins over to participate. While having an Easter egg hunt with one kid would yield more candy for said child, we just didn't think it would be nearly as fun for her. We invited the kids from both sides of our families because, well, the more the merrier of course! All the kids were adorable, and it was thoroughly enjoyable watching them scamper about with big old grins on their faces. Our initial plan was to have the hunt outside and let the kids run around, scouring the greenery to find the egg-shaped containers filled with little pieces of Easter joy. Our plan didn't take into account the possibility that the amazing, 70 degree weather we've been experiencing might come to a screeching halt on the day of the party. Well, that's what it did. It rained, and even snowed yesterday. So, rather than take a (literal) rain check, we decided to move the festivities inside. It actually turned out quite well, despite the fact that I'll likely be finding Easter eggs in random places of my house for the next few weeks. 

In addition to the Easter egg hunt, we also had a barbecue with both our families. It was wonderful to have the people we love come together to celebrate the Savior's resurrection. Good food, good company, and good fun. What more could you really ask for? It was certainly a great reminder of what's truly important, and why the atonement of Jesus Christ is really so meaningful in my own life. 

What fun things have you done and/or do you have planned for Easter? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Sneak Peek from Our Red, White, and Black Family Photo Shoot

This past weekend we had some family photos taken by our talented photographer friend, Jesse Wride. If you live in Utah and need some photos done for any occasion, he is your man. He is the best at what he does, and so wonderful to work with. He is currently adding to his portfolio, so we threw on some of our fancy clothes and posed for some pictures to show what he's capable of. These are a few of the gems that he snapped. I'm kind of seriously in love with how the very first photo turned out... I don't think Klair could possibly be cuter. That might sound prideful (since, you know... I'm her mom and all) but saying anything less just wouldn't be truthful. I'm in love with that baby girl, and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the photos. Furthermore, my husband is a hottie.

My Outfit Details: 

Dress (similar here) | Black Button Up | Red Statement Necklace (similar here) | Earrings | Belt 

Sam's Handsome Attire: 

Klair's Outfit: 

Dress (similar here) | Necklace: It was my Grandma's (similar here) | Bow: homemade (similar here) | Tights | Shoes (similar here)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Conference Weekend | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

For some of my newer readers who may not know, I'm a Mormon. This past weekend we had General Conference (hence all the quotes you likely saw flooding Instagram and Pinterest from Mormon bloggers) and I received the boost that I needed. Nobody warned me about the spiritual lull that accompanies having a baby. I go to church, but I'm not really there. I'm focused on trying to keep a baby quiet, still, and happy. This might be an easier task with a less-active child, but Klair is the energizer bunny. She keeps going and going and going... We bring toys, books, treats-- and that usually gets us through the first half... of the first meeting (if we're lucky). After that we end up taking turns walking the halls and make about 8,000 trips to the drinking fountain. She loves that thing, and it's pretty impressive how much water she's capable of drinking from it. 

It used to be easier. Sam and I could trade off taking care of Klair and actually listening to the speakers and lessons. Then, right around the time that she  became mobile, things changed drastically. Sam got a calling to be a primary teacher, which means we can no longer trade off on Klair duty. This means that, if I stay the full 3 hours, I typically end up hanging out in the foyer/hall with an adventurous toddler for 2 of them. I know that we are teaching Klair valuable lessons and instilling within her the importance of church attendance. I've already even seen some of the fruits of our labors in her familiarity with church and how she loves to sing along with the hymns. Nevertheless, going to church is much less uplifting than it used to be.  Listening to the talks and lessons used to revitalize me. It gave me the motivation and direction for the coming week. Having a toddler simply isn't conducive to listening. I'm too busy chasing. I don't get much from the inspirational messages that I grew accustomed to--that I took for granted.

With my toddler-induced religious slump of sorts, General Conference was absolutely heaven-sent. I needed those messages prepared by the general officers and authorities of the church--prepared by the Lord's servants. I needed to hear the words of the Lord through my beloved Prophet, and I feel strengthened because I did. My soul is nourished. I am invigorated. 

Rather than focus on what I'm missing out on, I choose to be grateful now especially during the hard times. Although I might not be able to listen in church as much as I'd like, it's a small price to pay. I think this extends to all of my mommy woes. Is it exhausting at times to be the mother of a toddler? Sure. Is it difficult? Absolutely. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Taking care of Klair is the hardest job I've ever had, but more importantly it's the best, most joyful experience of my life. Chasing after a toddler is a good "problem" to have. 

I also really liked Sister Linda K. Burton--the Relief Society General President's-- talk. She talked about how she and her husband felt overwhelmed as parents of 4 young children. After much prayer they recieved revelation that it's okay for some chores to be undone. It's even okay if there are times when the kids stay in their pajamas. The things that matter most are family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening. Priorities. They put these first, and everything else fell into place. It's a formula for success, and it's one that Sam and I intend to follow. We aren't nearly as consistent with these things as we should be, so we're recommitting ourselves. Apparently the fact that I can't get as much from church means I need to take a more active role in compensating during my free time. My "attitude of gratitude" and attempts to refocus my attention on things that really matter has caused me to already feel better, stronger, more spiritually nourished.  

Below are few of my other favorite quotes from conference. This list is not all encompassing... there were so many brilliant things said! But here are a few. 

First of all, my always favorite speaker... Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I love how straightforward he is. His talk this conference on the character of the Savior and the need to "defend your faith" did not disappoint.  

"...It is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods and smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds. Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes — and this seems the greatest irony of all — these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of ‘comfortable’ God. Really? Just as Christ understood and taught, individuals must remember — even though many in the modern culture seem to forget — that there is a crucial difference between the commandment to forgive sin, which Christ had an infinite capacity to do, and the warning against condoning it, which He never ever did even once ...pure Christlike love flowing in true righteousness can change the world."

And of course Uchtdorf's talk on gratitude. Brilliant. 

"How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"
"There are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings" President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

And a few other favorites: 

"The Gospel is not weight. It is wings!" Sister Jean A. Stevens 

"Today's complexities demand greater simplicity" Edler L. Tom Perry

"The unique burdens in each of our lives helps us rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah." Elder David A. Bednar 

Then of course our beloved Prophet/president of the church. I really appreciated how, of all the topics he could have chosen, he spoke on our need to be kind and loving. Our world definitely needs more love and light, and he is such a great example of this. 

"As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with more love and kindness to whatever might come our way" President Thomas S. Monson

Overall, I am grateful for the opportunity I had to listen to the words of the Lord through his chosen Prophet, apostles, and leaders. I feel that my testimony has been strengthened and my conviction renewed. The Gospel--the good news of Christ-- is true. It brings me joy and peace.

*The images in this post came from my friend and designer, Kaylie Marie
**I tried to provide links to some of the topics that people might not be familiar with. If I missed something and you're curious what in the world I'm talking about, feel free to ask either in comment or email.  

What are some of your favorite quotes from General Conference? 
Or, what are some good spiritual or otherwise uplifting words that have inspired you lately?